By Nour Almesmari
It’s another rainy Sunday, but it doesn’t have to be cold and dreary in your kitchen. So apron-up, and whip up a treat for your end of the week: go healthy with vegan almond milk and banana bread, or go all out with the decadent peanut butter & Hershey’s cookies.
Vegan Banana Bread
1½ cup plain flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 large overripe bananas
1/3 cup almond milk (or any dairy substitute)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
Mash the bananas until smooth, then add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix to a smooth paste.
Add the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well combined, but do not over-mix.
If using any optional ingredients such as walnuts or chocolate chips, add at this stage.
Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes until lightly golden and firm.
Let cool for half an hour before serving.
Peanut butter cookies
170 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Beat in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the chopped peanuts, if using. If the batter is too soft to form into balls, place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Roll the batter into 2.5 cm spheres. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, placing about 5 cm apart. Then, using a fork, make crisscross patterns on the cookies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
To serve, place a Hersey’s chocolate kiss in the middle immediately after removing from the oven, and leave to rest for a few minutes. Enjoy with your favourite hot beverage.