Tuesday, February 21, 2012

cookies for breakfast (or lunch, or a snack...)

I have a gigantic sweet tooth. I like to think I come by it naturally (my sister has the same condition, if you can call it that), but no matter the source it's there. My regular winter breakfast is oatmeal with almond milk, cinnamon, and a sliced banana, so I even start my day with something a little sweet.

These cookies are kind of a grab-and-go version oatmeal, akin to granola bars. Most of the "breakfast cookie" recipes I've seen include some measure of white flour and a fair amount of sugar, and although I'm certainly not opposed to either of those, I try to hold off on having them until after lunch. The only added sugar in this whole recipe is 1/4 c of maple syrup, which comes out to 1 tsp per (pretty large) cookie. Calling them "cookies" might be a bit of a misnomer, but I just like thinking that I'm eating dessert for breakfast.

These go great with tea or coffee, or they're delicious alone. You can also make any number of substitutions to this recipe; if you prefer different sweeteners, fats, grains, seeds, spices, or dried fruit, feel free to give them a shot. If you want more of a "real" cookie taste, chocolate chips would be a great addition (clearly, since the original recipe uses them).

breakfast cookies
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
makes one dozen large cookies  

2 medium bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c peanut butter
2 c rolled  oats
1/4 c wheat germ
1/4 c flax seeds
1/2 c dried coconut
1/4 c dried dates, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients; add to banana mixture and mix together until thoroughly combined (you can use a spoon or your hands, although it's a bit sticky).

Scoop dough into 1/4-c. portions and place on cookie sheet. Press down a bit to make them as tall or flat, neat or messy as you'd like. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes (longer if you'd like them to be crunchy rather than chewy).

The cookies will last a few days in an airtight container, or freeze them for up to a month and pop one into the toaster for a quick, healthy breakfast.

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