Chef Bryant Terry, the chef, educator and author of Afro-Vegan, may be renowned for his food activism as Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora – and the (organic) apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: When his daughter wanted to raise her voice about a cause that caught her attention, the two baked these pecan butter, rye flour, chocolate and banana cookies together to help spread her message.
“I created these Jungle Cookies when my oldest daughter started second grade and learned about endangered animals and the many thousands of species at risk of disappearing forever in the coming decades. She was deeply concerned about this issue and felt passionately about educating others. I taught her the adage “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” and explained that giving people freshly-baked “Jungle Cookies” could be a gentle way to open the conversation about protecting wildlife. Sometimes we make them so she can proselytize her ideas, but most often we make them because my girls think these are “the best cookies in the world.” They really are fantastic. We both hope you visit https://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more about this issue.”
Bryant Terry’s Jungle Cookies
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups toasted pecans
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil
- 2 tablespoons mild molasses
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3/4 cup raw coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen Massey Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate baking chips
- 3/4 cup banana chips, coarsely chopped
- Fleur de sel for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together the flours and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Next, put the chia seeds in a clean coffee or spice grinder and process into a meal. Dump the meal into a small bowl, add the water, and mix well with a fork. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow the mixture to form into a gelatinous binder.
Meanwhile, combine the pecans and safflower oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and process, scrapping down the sides with a rubber spatula, until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Combine the molasses, coconut oil, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Beat in the chia-water mixture, pecan butter, and vanilla bean paste. Stir in the flour mixture and blend, massaging the mixture with clean hands to combine everything. Fold in the dark chocolate, chocolate chips, and banana chips, further massaging with hands to combine everything.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With a 1 1/2-ounce ice cream scooper, scoop out the batter and arrange on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball.
sheet at a time for about 13 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are crisp on the
outside. Let stand briefly, then remove
to a rack to cool.