Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bean cookies

I'll admit that when I first came across this recipe I was skeptical. Beans? In cookies? But here is the idea, and it's brilliant: instead of using one cup of butter per 24 cookies, we will use one can of beans as the source of fat. You have to admit it's intriguing.

bean cookies

Conveniently, my discovery of this recipe came just as I was re-evaluating how much oil and butter go into my food, and whether they are completely necessary. I have modified this recipe from the original, which came from CBC via this blog. In the past few weeks I've tried several different versions: one with orange zest and raisins, one with walnuts and chocolate chips, and Heidi's version with anise seeds. In the end I settled on an adaptation of my favorite-ever cookies, which were taken from a 1949 Brownsburg, Qu├ębec church cookbook I found in a used furniture store. They are called "dad's cookies." I'm not sure whose dad this refers to, but he had excellent taste. Additionally I've added in dates and walnuts. Feel free to modify the recipe even further.

Recipe: Dad's bean cookies with dates and walnuts

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda (or 1 1/3 soda + 2/3 tartar)
1/4 tsp salt
one 540-mL (19 oz) can of white kidney beans or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg*
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 tbsp whole flax seeds (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the beans and applesauce in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and brown sugar, and mix again.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flax seeds.
  • Slowly pour the bean mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until almost combined. Add the dates and walnuts and mix again until everything is evenly distributed.
  • Form the cookies by scooping out large spoon-fulls of dough and placing them on the cookie sheet. The cookies don't spread much while baking, so you might want to flatten them a bit before putting them in the oven.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
These were completely delicious, and I promise they taste nothing of beans.

* to make this vegan, replace the egg with one tablespoon ground flax seeds and three tablespoons water, as explained in this post. It works just absolutely fine.


  1. I think I'm going to make these this weekend. I'm really intrigued. I hope that the fact that I hate beans doesn't matter.

  2. Seriously, you can't even tell the beans are in there. But tell us how it goes..........!

  3. Everyone I tell about your bean cookies is amazed. They have never heard of using beans in cookies. You need to make us some when you are here in Dec.

  4. Thanks mama! They are very easy to make. You could try them yourself in case you can't wait until December........!