Chunky Monkey Cookies

Chunky Monkey cookies

We pretty much never tire of banana + chocolate + nuts around here. If you prefer your chunky monkey in liquid form, head on over to my smoothie recipe. These cookies will satisfy anyone looking for something a bit more toothsome.

Ingredients:

  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the dates and water and process until very smooth, to make a date paste. You should have about 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  2. Combine the oats, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, mashed banana, and date mixture until smooth. Stir in the Ener-G egg and vanilla.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Let the mixture chill for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough by generous portions onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 14 to 16 minutes, until set.

If, like me, you’re a little tired when you make these cookies and end up doubling the amount of chocolate chips by accident, so much the better!

Night Sky Mobile

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How perfect that our September issue of High Five magazine included this decoration for a child’s bedroom – we’ve just moved to a new home, and making this craft not only made Travis so proud to decorate his new space, but also feel safer at night in the unfamiliar setting.

To start, I drew a crescent moon and two stars on white craft foam and cut them out.

Night Star Mobile (1)

No pinterest worthy shapes here, but Travis didn’t mind an askew star or two, plus wanted to try doodling his own!

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Then came the novelty factor of the project: glow-in-the-dark paint! The only non-toxic version I could find was actually face paint, but it seemed to do the trick.

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Travis loved painting on a layer before we let the shapes dry, and then repeated with a second layer.

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In fact, he thought the paint was so neat that he wanted to make a glow-in-the-dark picture before we put it away.

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Next up was punching a hole in the top of each shape once they were dry.

I mostly did the final assembly solo, threading string through each shape and attaching to the perfect stick we had found on a walk in the new neighborhood. This step would be great knot-tying practice for little fingers.

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Finally, tie a long piece of string to both ends of the stick, and hang from a peg in your child’s room. Ideally, it will be some place that the sun hits during the day, for optimal glowing at night.

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Sweet dreams!