Lentil and chocolate chip cookies

For Thanksgiving I usually make something with lentils since we grow them on the farm and few people do much cooking with lentils. Yesterday, about an hour before we planned to leave for the farm I still hadn’t started making anything (yes, I’m who Xenia inherited he procrastination from). I pulled the The Pea & Lentil Cookbook from the cupboard and started looking through it. “Oh, that looks interesting”, I thought when I saw the lentil cookies. “Interesting” was to be a word used in conjunction with my cookies many times during the day. I thought we had all the ingredients and started work. It turns out we didn’t have enough of everything and I improvised along the way.

Word traveled fast through the house and James came in to look and express his scorn, “Lentil cookies? Have you tried this before?” “No”, I replied. As he walked off he said, “I’ll be impressed if you pull it off.” At the end of the day he came up with my QOTD for today.

Lentil and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 7 dozen, approximately 3 cookies per serving
Lentils lend a rich, nutty flavor and cakelike softness to this classic cookie

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups lentil purée (purée instructions below)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 375o F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add vanilla and eggs; beat until smooth. Cream lentil purée into butter mixture
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and blend lightly. Gently blend in oatmeal, chocolate chips, and nuts, just until evenly mixed.
  • Chill dough until ready for handling. Drop dough in rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 minutes; turn pan and bake another 5 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Lentil Purée

Add 2 cups water per cup of lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer. Simmer 10 to 20 minutes for decorticated (skinned) lentils, 35 to 40 minutes for whole lentils. Add more water if cooking time is extended due to high altitude, hard water, or prolonged storage prior to cooking. Stir a few times. Cook lentils until they are very soft but just short of falling apart. Which cooking is complete remove from heat and let cool slightly but do not drain. In small batches purée the lentils with a sieve, food mill, blender, food processor, or potato masher. Purée should be the consistency of canned pumpkin. Add water to thin if necessary.

It turns out I only had 1 cups of brown sugar. I topped it off with white sugar and poured some molasses over it until I figured it was “brown enough”. I didn’t see the walnuts in the cupboard and crushed some pecans with the potato masher. We only had four cups of oatmeal and I topped it off with Raisin Bran. We only had about 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and I figured the raisins in the Raisin Bran would be a good enough substitute.

I put the mixture in the freezer while I took a shower and we headed off to the farm.

As I was putting them on the cookies for baking people came in and asked what I was making. The response was universal, “Interesting”:

Putting the cookies on baking sheets as Aunt Alice expresses her “interest”. Photo by Xenia Joy.

I baked the cookies for the suggested ten minutes and wasn’t happy with them. Even 12 minutes didn’t seem like quite enough time but they tasted very good. Everyone, even our food snob son James, liked them.