Like a lot of other people in the US, we too tend to buy a lot, if not all, of our produce from local farmers markets. You get practically EVERYTHING there, in terms of vegetables and fruits! And the prices tend not to be as inflated as they are if you are buying in bigger name stores.
So, the other day when we were shopping there, I happened to notice the aisle that housed all the varied nuts and seeds. They had the usual - cashews, pistas, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, et al. And then my eyes caught sight of something I used to love to eat when I was as a school-girl, in Dubai. Sunflower seeds. We used to get them unshelled and salted. The whole process of de-shelling and consuming the seed was theraputic in a way. I remember doing a lot of thinking while I got those little crunchy nuggets out of their casings and gobbling them up. Never thoughts of any significance, mind you. More day-dreams than anything, really. And I think thats what I liked so much about them - after opening up the first few, one tends to zone out, and your hands just move doing the work of opening, and moving the seed to your mouth, automatically. Sigh. Good times.
Back to the present, I bought a whole tub of them from the market. I brought them home, put them in the pantry, and forgot all about them. Then, recently, when I reached for a new can of coconut milk from the pantry, I noticed the seeds peering at me from under it. I decided then and there, I was going to use the seeds to make something that same day. So, I got on my laptop and looked up a cookie recipe that featured sunflower seeds. The one I found satisfactory, also called for 2 overripe bananas. And, as luck would have it, I had exactly two EXTREMELY overripe bananas. While I stuck to the original recipe for the most part, I made a few adjustments that I have mentioned in my 'Notes'.
The cookies were pretty nice, except that I failed to follow one important instruction (see Notes), causing the cookies to be more cake-like than crispy and crunchy. I enjoyed them all the same. Isn't that all that matters? :0)
Sunflower Seed and Chocolate Chip Speckled
- All Purpose Flour 1 1/2 cups
- Baking Soda 1 tsp
- Medium Very Ripe Bananas 2 nos.
- Vegan Butter/Non-hydrogenated Veg. Shortening 1/2 cup
- Granulated White Sugar 1/2 cup
- Sunflower Seeds 1/2 cup
- Chocolate Chips 1/2 cup
- Sift the flour and baking soda into a big bowl and mix thoroughly.
- In another big bowl add the vegan butter, peeled bananas, and sugar. Beat on medium speed till everything is well amalgamated.
- To the mixed wet ingredients, add half of the flour mix and beat well. Now add the remaining flour mix and beat well.
- Fold the sunflower seeds and chocolate chips into the cookie dough till the mixture is homogeneous.
- Place the cookie dough into the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour, to ensure the cookies don't spread too much while baking.
- After an hour, preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a teaspoon measure to scoop teaspoons of cookie dough placed approximately 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie baking trays.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges appear a light golden brown.
- Considering I have a 9 month old, and only two baking sheets, I don't usually enough time to do too many batches of cookies. Using a teaspoon of the dough would have yielded several cookies, and required at least 2 or 3 rounds of baking. I was lazy, and impatient, and used a tablespoon measure instead. This resulted in cookies that were well done on the outside, and cakey on the inside. They didn't really ruin the cookies, but I would have liked to have crunchy cookies as opposed to cakey cookies.
- The original recipe calls for butter, but since I was all out of my Earth Balance vegan butter spread, I used vegetable shortening.
- I used the Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips since they are vegan.
I am sending this post in as an entry for 'The Chocolate Fest' Cook Curry Nook's First Anniversary Event!! Cook Curry Nook, authored by the charming Madhuri, is one of my favorite sites for super-simple, super-quick, and most importantly, super-yummy vegetarian/vegan recipes. If you haven't already visited her site, head over as soon as possible, and certainly try and send in your entry for this event.... there's a super-cool cook-book at stake!