I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new bundle of joy. In the meantime, I’ve set up a few posts ahead of time to share. These cookies are one sweet treat I plan on baking again and again.
Hand me a cookie baked with lentils and you’re my new BFF.
And here is where I’m guessing you think I’ve lost my marbles.
I know this because I, too, once thought a lentil cookie was kind of a crazy thing when I first discovered it in Nick Evans’ new cookbook, “Love Your Leftovers” (he’s the brilliant blogger behind Macheesmo, by the by). I mean, there are plenty of other yummy sounding recipes in the book — like creamy chicken pesto pasta, or spicy beef wontons, or crunchy black bean tacos. But no, no — I went straight for the lentil cookies because I just had. to. know. And boy oh boyyyyy are my taste buds glad I did.
In case you’re not familiar with Nick’s new book, let me fill you in — it’s awesome. He takes one ingredient or dish — say, lentils — and then shares several recipes you can make from a big batch of leftovers of said dish. So the plan is that you make a whole bunch o’ lentils on Sunday night, then make lentil wraps one day, seared salmon with caper lentils another day, Indian dal another day and lentil cookies for all the days (because they are that good). It’s a genius plan, especially for food waste-haters like yours truly (which is why I’ve been known to eat things like chips, guacamole and baked beans for dinner just to get them out of the fridge).
So about these cookies: They taste nothing like lentils, so we can get that obvious question out of the way. But the lentils do give them a super-soft texture that makes them extra tasty. Add in some shredded coconut, dried fruit, almond extract and old-fashioned oats and the tastiness is amplified even more. Case in point: I ate a few of these and then sent off the rest with my husband to take to work and they were all gone by the next morning. His co-workers even knew there were lentils lurking in there! Didn’t matter. They were too good to resist. Even my husband raved about them and he’s not much of a cookie eater (I know. I don’t get it, either).
In conclusion: Make some lentils. Make some cookies with said lentils. Devour cookies. Love your leftovers. The end.
- 1 cup cooked lentils*
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or a combination)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine cooked lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or so, mashing mixture with a fork until a paste forms. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, then almond extract and cooled lentil mash until well combined.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir just until a dough forms. Carefully stir in oats, raisins and coconut.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until edges of cookies are golden brown. Cool a few minutes before eating.
- *To cook lentils: Rinse ½ cup uncooked lentils in a colander or strainer. Combine with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to barely a simmer (just a few bubbles) and cook 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are soft with just a little bite. Strain, if necessary.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of “Love Your Leftovers” for review purposes only. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.