My wife has never seen “Friends.” Can you believe that? A girl who grew up in the ’90s is completely unfamiliar with the six fictional New Yorkers who figure so prominently in our generation’s pop culture.
This was the show that inspired me to apply to NYU, because I wanted to live in the Village like they did. The running jokes, one-liners and sarcastic quips shaped my sense of humor. Even though I am, by all accounts, a Monica, I related so strongly to the Ross and Rachel saga during the tumultuous romances of my youth. I even pulled the “we were on a break” card once, which effectively ended that particular relationship.
My point is, “Friends” meant a hell of a lot to me and almost everyone I knew growing up, and I wanted to share that with Christine. Now that all the wedding and honeymoon craziness is over, we finally have time to initiate her into the “Friends” cult (thank you, Netflix). As I began my umpteenth rewatch of the series, I rediscovered a Season 1 Phoebe quote that I often borrowed for my social media profiles back in high school:
There are three things you should know about me: one, my friends are the most important thing to me. Two, I never lie. And three, I make the best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world.
I guess I can’t actually verify the “best in the world,” but I have been known to make some killer oatmeal raisin cookies, courtesy of the Sun-Maid Raisin recipe. However, I always feel a little bad about using an entire stick of butter in a batch of cookies that—let’s face it—I’m going to eat 80 percent of by myself. But a few years ago, I learned a neat trick: Mashed bananas or applesauce can replace a certain amount of fats in baking recipes. Armed with this knowledge, I developed this lower-fat version of my classic recipe back in my days as editor of Healthy Way to Cook*, and I’ve never looked back.
Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Ingredients (18 large or 36 small cookies)
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/4 cup mashed banana (about half a medium banana)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fat-free milk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
Using an electric mixer or fork, beat butter, banana, both sugars, milk, egg whites and vanilla until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and raisins.
Using a #16 standard ice cream scoop (for 18 cookies) or a tablespoon (for 36 cookies), drop cookies onto greased baking sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool.
*Healthy Way to Cook is now FreshHealthyEats.com