I’ve been on a quest to make baby cookies for two reasons: saving money and feeding Leia healthier snacks. Hours were spent Googling “baby cookies” hoping to find The Recipe – one Leia would enjoy as much as she does the $3 box of Gerber cookies. I wasn’t expecting a replica, just something semi nutritious and enjoyable. A few failed attempts later I still wasn’t getting the crispy, light, naturally sweetened result I was yearning for. So I moved to the idea of creating a bread, drying out slices in the oven to make it more finger friendly.
There was an old banana on the counter and a zucchini at the bottom of the vegetable drawer for inspiration. Yes Leia, Mommy feeds you based on what we need to use up around the kitchen. I found this recipe with good reviews. With a few adjustments I’m pretty pleased with the first round!
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 medium banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs whole wheat flour
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs white flour
1/2 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice (you can use plain cinnamon, or leave it out, whatever you prefer)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
You could definitely add some flax seed or wheat germ, but I never have them in my pantry.
Put all the wet ingredients together in a box and mix on medium until well blended. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl (no biggie if you don’t have a sifter), then mix into wet ingredients. Coat a pan with nonstick spray (I used olive oil) and bake at 325 for about 50 minutes. When your house smells like a warm hug from Grandma, it’s done.
Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool for an hour. Trying to slice hot bread is messy, so be patient. I waited
an hour 30 seconds before tasting it and testing a piece on Leia. Don’t worry, I did the blow-on-hot-food-to-cool-it-down mom trick first. Not too sweet, still moist and flavorful. Leia ate it up – we have a winner!
Cut the bread into slices – thicker slices make chewier sticks and vice versa. Place on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 250 degrees (or whatever your lowest setting is) for about 30 minutes. You want the bread to dry out, but not end up so hard it will crumble. The sticks will continue to firm up after they cool.