Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Pinto cookies

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— Who would believe that you can make fudge, pie crust, mock pumpkin pie, cupcakes, and pizza from beans? Beans are good for us, too. They're high in fiber, protein and carbohydrates.

This past week, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring "More Than Soup Bean Cookbook," a cookbook written by Anna Aughenbaugh of Fort Collins. The book's 110 recipes give directions for using different kinds of beans in making desserts, soups, salads and main dishes.

I couldn't wait to make Anna's "Pinto Cookies" so Friday, while my husband helped our grandson Jaycee finish his 4-H project, I mashed up some pinto beans and gathered up the other ingredients.

To make the cookies, you need: 3/4 cup mashed pinto beans, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup shortening, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup applesauce, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips).

I bought a 15-ounce can of pinto beans, which made just more than 3/4 cup. (I poured off the juice.). I mashed the beans with a potato masher, but I learned a lesson. A blender would be faster and do a better job of mashing. Here and there, a piece of bean could be seen in the cookies, which really didn't matter.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Cream the sugar, shortening and eggs. Add the pintos and applesauce; beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Stir in the nuts and raisins.

Drop by teaspoon onto the greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. (In my oven, the cookies didn't take 15 minutes.)

Cool on a rack. The yield is about 36 cookies.

Each of Anna's bean recipes includes an analysis done by Prucal, a program developed in the CSU Department of Food Science and Nutrition. So, the analysis for 1 pinto cookie is: calories 106, protein 1.9 g, sugars 8.19 g, fiber 1 g, saturated fat 1.14 g, polyunsaturated fat 1.23 mg, cholesterol 12.8 mg, sodium 6.1 mg, and potassium 75.25 mg.

And best of all, Jaycee, my husband, and I thought the cookies were very good. I didn't use raisins and forgot about adding the chips until I had just one sheet of cookies left. We couldn't decide if we liked the cookies better with or without the chips.

Besides the 109 other recipes in Anna's book, there's information about bean nutrition, how to cook beans and an index that includes hints and tips for using herbs and spices, for baking breads and desserts, and more.

If you'd like a copy of "More Than Soup Bean Cookbook," send $10.95 plus $2 shipping to Starlight Publications, 2209 Purdue Road, Fort Collins, CO, 80525.

Thanks go to Anna for allowing me to reprint her recipes.

If you have a recipe that you'd like to share, call me at 824-8809 or write to me at Box 415, Craig 81626. Our zucchini are starting to bloom so we'll be looking for ways to cook it up soon.

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