The other day, I was visiting my mom and on my way out, she handed me a pizza tray, a bunch of frozen bananas and a bag of unsweetened chocolate chips. “Wouldn’t it be fun to make a giant smiley face cookie for Little A?” Yes it would! A great big mess of fun! Making cookie pizza, decorated as a happy face or however our creative minds desired, was part of my childhood. My mom would roll out the dough and have little bowls on the table filled with goodies to personalize our very own cookie with. Baking with my mom was always something special I looked forward to and I’m very grateful for those times shared and for all that she taught me.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s sugar-free as well.
The bananas and natural vanilla
sweeten just enough so that you don’t compromise on taste. When it comes to baking with bananas, I usually use frozen ones, thawed. Firstly, because they were very ripe when they got tossed in the freezer to begin with, meaning they are at their sweetest point and are an ideal natural sweetener. Secondly, you can find a bunch of bananas on the reduced produce rack for three quarters the price of regular bananas and freeze them for a rainy (or snowy)
It’s the simple joys in life that can really make us happy. For me, baking is one of them. Just a few ingredients mixed together, creating something delightful that makes the people around me smile. Even when things seem to all be going wrong, like this week; my car overheated and is in the shop for repairs, my skin reacted to a product and left me red-faced, and I somehow managed to pull a muscle from my shoulder down to my lower back (most likely from dancing around with Little A!) – yes, even when it would seem that way, there is always room for happiness from the simple beauties that life offers us. Like digging into this cookie with my beautiful son and Mr. Smith.
As Spring Break approaches, keep this idea in mind for the kids in your life. Grab whatever might work to decorate a cookie pizza (fruits, nuts, raisins…) and have a blast doing so! I assure you the Little Ones will and you’ll love seeing their imagination and creativity shine!
Cheers, with a glass of bubbly (almond milk!), to the good stuff in your life!
Gluten-Free Smiley Face Cookie (also known as cookie pizza)
Makes 8 points
1 cup gluten-free oats
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup of salted butter
1 Tablesoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas or frozen bananas, thawed, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate chips (optional)
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg, add mashed bananas, and vanilla.
- Melt butter on low in small sauce pan. Add to mixing bowl and stir.
- Mix baking soda into 3/4 cup brown rice flour.
- Combine flour, oats, and cinnamon with wet mixture and stir well, forming dough.
- Add in unsweetened chocolate chips.
- Line a 12 inch pan (I used a pizza pan, but you could use any pan for this recipe) with parchment paper and spread dough in the shape of a circle about 1/2 an inch thick. So that the dough doesn’t stick to your spoon, dip your spoon in ice cold water before spreading.
- Decorate the cookie as you’d like. I cut out star-like eyes from strawberries using a cookie cutter, a halved slice of banana for the nose and unsweetened chocolate chips for the mouth.
- Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes.
- Let cool and enjoy!
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