Monday, August 22, 2016

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies with soaked oats and raisins, sweetened with peanut butter before baking, then topped with a maple spread frosting. Start the day off right with these gems. A whole grain cookie that is naturally gluten free, free of refined sugar and a tasty breakfast, too!

a plate with a close up of healthy gluten and refined sugar free breakfast cookies

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Each school year starts with such promise--we will have LESS clutter, lose LESS papers, be MORE organized, waste LESS food and LESS time, be MORE productive, etc etc. You know the drill. The inspiration of those blank planner pages soon fades into the daily grind of getting up and out the door with everything you need for the day Oh-and-by-the-way-mom-did-I-tell-you-I-needed-a-solid-blue-shirt, shorts, and-socks-and-this-specific-brand-of-index-tabs-by-3rd-period?

image of 'as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal' breakfast cookies

Sigh. I can't help you with that brand of index tabs [it's a thing you stick onto a piece of paper to make it into a divider. I had to look it up]. We went to 4 drugstores and office supply stores to amass sufficient quantities for the classroom stash. [Should have ordered online.] But I can help you put something nourishing into your folks' bellies to get the day off to the good start:

These breakfast cookies.

close up of a healthy breakfast cookie on a cooling rack

My working title over the summer months while I was making test batches was As Healthy As A Bowl Of Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, because that was my goal:  a breakfast cookie that had all of the nutrition of a bowl of oatmeal but in handheld form.

My search started when I wanted to encourage my son to keep up his oatmeal habit during summer. Some people [my spouse] can start their day with a hot bowl of oatmeal year round. Not me. I like to mix things up. I figured I'd grab a Breakfast Cookie recipe and whip up a bunch one day for breakfasts throughout the week. If you've followed the blog and seen how I make muffins with LESS sugar, LESS fat, MORE fiber and MORE flavor--you can guess what happened next.

a plate of healthy breakfast cookies frosted with maple spread

I kept finding recipes for breakfast cookies that were Cookies with some oatmeal and orange juice tossed into the dough. Cookies--starting with creaming butter and sugar. Not the building blocks for breakfast in my house! Please do not misunderstand. I love cookies, and a good cookie recipe starts with creaming butter and sugar. But that's for dessert. Not for breakfast. Each has it's time and place.

an image of a plate of healthy gluten and refined sugar free breakfast cookies

I went back to the drawing board and thought about how, when I soak oats in buttermilk overnight for my muffins, the resulting mixture is pretty darn thick. I experimented with turning that into a baked handheld breakfast item. Each batch became better, but missing the essential sweetness until I hit upon frosting them. I used maple spread from my farmer's market and whoo boy did that do the trick! If you cannot find maple spread I'd suggest making your own (see Note below) or using peanut butter, apple butter, or Nutella.

a bowl of batter that will become healthy breakfast cookies
All my optional add ins (nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut) stirred in. Ready to scoop and bake.

Note: this recipe starts the night before when you combine oats and buttermilk (or kefir). You can soak them in a bowl on the counter or in a container in the refrigerator. If it's hot out I use my fridge.
Note about maple spread: I get this from my maple syrup dealer at the farmer's market. It's a refrigerated item that is pure maple syrup cooked down even more into a thick spread. Update: Here's how to make your own Maple Cream (video).

Healthy Breakfast Cookies (makes 12, we eat 2 at a time)


  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned kind)
  • 1+¾ cups buttermilk (my friend used kefir with excellent results)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (if you need to add sugar, I'd suggest ¼ cup here)
  • ½ cup raisins or chopped dates
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup roasted salted sunflower seeds (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • maple spread (in my opinion NOT OPTIONAL, but substitute peanut butter, apple butter, or Nutella if you cannot locate maple spread--see Note above)


  1. The night before you want to bake these cookies, combine oats and buttermilk in a bowl. You can leave them out on the counter or refrigerate them. Your choice. 
  2. In the morning, add the salt, baking soda, flax meal, egg, peanut butter and raisins. Stir well, and let it sit on the counter for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and use sheets of parchment paper to line 2 cookie sheets for best results (I found that the cookies will fall apart if you merely grease a cookie sheet, but they stick together until cool when using parchment paper).
  4. Stir in the optional add ins (nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and/or chocolate chips).
  5. Scoop large cookies, about ½ cup size, onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a drinking glass, a spatula, or the back of your cookie scoop. These cookies don't spread out.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish.
  7. Frost with a dab of maple spread. It will dry so that the cookies can be stacked. Store these cookies on the counter for a day, in the fridge for a few days, or wrap up and freeze for a few weeks.

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1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of the substance and sustainability of a bowl of oatmeal only in cookie form. I think we should make everything in cookie form. Ok, maybe not everything, but certainly more than we do now.