I found The Rancho La Puerta Cookbook by Bill Wavrin, in a used book store the other day and tabbed a bunch of recipes to make. Since I was headed off to a work meeting and lunch last week I whipped up a batch of their "Amazing Cookies" to take with me. My partners and co-workers are healthy eaters for the most part, so I knew they were a good group for this cookie. I made a couple of additions to the cookie, listed below in the Notes/Results section.
Warvin, who was/is(?) the executive chef at the spa says: "I make a double or triple batch because these go fast , and I freeze the ones that survive the first onslaught for those sweet-tooth emergencies later on. Figure an additional 7 calories in each cookie if you add the chocolate chips. I do."
The Rancho La Puerta Cookbook, Bill Wavrin
(Makes 30 cookies)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp light or dark brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 2 cooking sheets with vegetable oil spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, and baking soda and whisk 8 or 9 times until well mixed. In a food processor or blender, combine the bananas, egg whites, brown sugar, orange zest, and vanilla and orange extracts and process until smooth and creamy.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold the raisins and, if desired, the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, leaving about 1-inch between them, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool completely on wire racks.
(Per recipe as written) Per cookie: 45 cal; 0g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1g protein, 9g carbs, 0g fiber, 18mg sodium.
Notes/Results: "Amazing" is a pretty strong word, so I am not convinced they are necessarily amazing, but for a pretty healthy cookie, they are darn good. Very moist, chewy, with a nice flavor. I baked mine on parchment, used my small scoop and only got 24 cookies so I think my tablespoons were a little too rounded. They baked up very nicely in 10 minutes. I changed the 3/4 cup raisins in the recipe to about 1/2 golden raisins and 1/2 dried cranberries for a little tart/sweet kick. I also added about 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds and a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed for some extra nutrition. And of course I put the chocolate chips in! They were easy to make and a hit with everyone at lunch. Lots of positive comments on both the moistness and flavor. These would be a great little breakfast cookie or snack, although I am guessing my slightly larger cookies with the extra "stuff" would come in closer to 60 calories each. I didn't get a chance to freeze them and then try them; they went straight from the wire rack to the plastic plate and off to lunch, (explains the not-so-great pictures), but I will be making these again, and maybe trying some different variations.