Marathon Cookies (Beans & Dates)

Heidi of 101 Cookbooks created these bean filled cookies for her husband to enjoy after finishing the San Fransisco marathon. I for one think associating cookies with running is a fine idea. Now I didn’t run a marathon, just the Norman Wells ‘Bearathon’, but I certainly thought cookies were in order.

There were almost 200 entrants and it was a fantastic event bringing the community together and getting sneakers pounding the dusty roads. North Wright did very well, coming first and third for the 10km males, second for 10km females (me!) and first for 5km females.

The post-run BBQ, which, in Canada actually means hot dogs and mustard (bit different from the sausage, Watties and slice of white bread New Zealanders are so accustomed to!) wasn’t too bad..  But these cookies, stuffed with kidney beans, oats and dates, laced with cardamom and coated in sesame seeds? They are what make running all the more worthwhile.

Marathon Cookies
Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

Any bean, really, would work in these. I used red kidney beans as I had just cooked up some dried ones, which all split on cooking (how do you prevent that!?) and turned into a bit of a mess – the perfect mess for pureeing into cookies. Heidi spiced her cookies with aniseed, ground finely in a mortar and pestle. Lacking aniseed (and our beautiful heavy marble mortar and pestle we left in NZ) I substituted ground cardamom. J claimed excitedly upon tasting one before the race, “it tastes just like a lassi!

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom (or try spicing it up with something new!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 15-ounce can kidney beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked dried beans)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350˚F (180˚C. Getting used to this Fahrenheit business) and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the oats in a food processor (or blender) until they resemble a raggy flour. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients start to come together. Sprinkle the dates across the top of the batter and gently mix in.

Place the sesames seeds in a bowl. Make each cookie with a scant 1/4 cup scoop of dough. Roll each scoop of dough into a ball then coat it with sesame seeds. Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten the dough just a bit. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each cookie – they’ll spread a bit, but not much. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.

18 thoughts

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  2. Re the split kidney beans, Heston Blumenthal suggests brining them in a 10% solution for 12 hours or so. I made his Chilli Con Carne for a party a while back and not one single bean split. I’d always heard brining made them tough but it didn’t seem to. Of course they’d only be suitable for a savoury use and not a sweet one (but then it doesn’t matter if they split if you are cooking them up for cookies). Will be trying this recipe for my cookie loving 18 year old (gotta keep trying to get something healthy into him).

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  6. And BEARATHON V is coming up in June Christina – red shirts this year! And there will be the usual hotdogs and burgers for the post-run bbq. With beer. Of course… I think I’m going to have to run it this year – I’ve organized it for 4 years, but haven’t ran it yet. Don’t think I’ll keep up with those speedy young North-Wright guys (and girls!) though. I’m old and slow… Great that you enjoyed it last year though – it’s why we do it! Such a great town turn out too – that’s what’s really satisfying 🙂

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  8. Marathon cookies absolutely rock for long backpacking trips where you’re hauling big backpacks up and down mountains. I’m going to have to learn how to make these!

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  10. re kidney beans- you don’t need to soak them in 10% solution, just soak them overnight in COLD water (I do that whenever I cook any sort of beans- 2-3 times every week- and they never split)…of course, rinse them well and change the water before cooking- this applies to every type of beans, peas and lentils except adzuki beans, black beans (the brine is full of minerals in these) … and, naturally, red lentils don’t need to be soaked overnight

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