I came up with this recipe for dairy-free Monkey Cookies years ago by combining a few different cookie recipes I found online. I love chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and the bananas, walnuts, and spices added an extra level of flavor and texture.
At the time, my children were avid watchers and readers of Curious George, so I called them Monkey Cookies in honor of him. And because they reminded me of Chunky Monkey ice cream, which did not exist in dairy-free form back then! (Now, it does.)
This time I made them with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks instead of chocolate chips, to make the cookies even more reminiscent of Chunky Monkey ice cream. The kids enjoyed them just like they used to, even without Curious George around.
Special Diet Notes: Monkey Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free, dairy-free monkey cookies, you should be able to use your favorite gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour with success. We haven’t tested it, but banana recipes tend to be forgiving with gluten-free. But I wouldn’t omit the egg.
For egg-free, vegan monkey cookies, you can omit the egg. After you stir in the flour mixture, if the dough looks too dry, add a splash or two of dairy-free milk beverage to increase the moisture.
- ¾ cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1¾ cups quick oats
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts (omit for nut-free)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar with a hand mixer.
- Add the egg and mashed banana and beat until thoroughly combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Fold in the chocolate and walnuts (if using).
- Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto a greased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute.
- Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze to enjoy later.