If any edible-slash-catchphrase is more iconic than "mom's apple pie," it is surely milk and cookies. A classic after-school snack, a hallowed bed-time ritual, a staple of Sesame Street monsters and small children everywhere, milk and cookies combine both healthfulness and treat (protein, sugar), and offer the fraught parent a last-ditch compromise in the battle with picky eaters ("You can have another cookie if you finish your milk").
In our own milk-and-cookie childhood, there was a standout: Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. It was (and remains still) a cylindrical tube of slice 'n bake artificial deliciousness that always made a fraction of the promised end product, because we had eaten much more than we spoon-dropped onto the baking sheets.
Homemade cookie dough was pretty good, too; although its consumption was spoiled somewhat by our mother's warnings about salmonella from the raw eggs. But Pillsbury's grainy dough seemed impermeable to contamination, with its millennial stale-dates and its oleaginous sweetness, no matter a long tenure in the refrigerator's cheese drawer.
You can't go home again, though, not now that we know just how terrible all that processed food really is. So, below, our healthier take on a favourite cookie (it is egg-free, so you can lick the spoon for old time's sake!)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients, including the chocolate or cranberries (or both!).
Blend the banana, maple syrup, oil and vanilla together and pour into dry ingredients. Mix well.
Place a spoonful of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and press flat with fingers. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
Makes 15-20 cookies, depending on size.
Thanks to Margaret Gdyczynski for the beautiful photographs