Monday, April 29, 2013

Best Ever Breakfast Cookies for Under 100 Calories

Long time, no write. I've been doing this weird thing where I've been enjoying time with my family and friends (and quite honestly myself) and focusing on work, hence the not writing a lot. Plus, I'm in 1000 weddings this spring (ok, not really, it's only two but I love those two girls so much that it feels like 1000 importance-wise) which has taken up quite a bit of my free time and head space.

What this time away from blogging has given me is a chance to perfect some recipes. I don't like sharing something I've made once with you, dear readers, because as we all know, sometimes the second time around we screw something up that reminds us to never screw that same thing up again, or we figure out how to tweak the recipe a bit here and there to make the best possible version of the dish in question. So as I return to sharing recipes here, I'm bringing some more perfected (in my terms, of course, which means they taste better, are easier and quicker to make, use fewer ingredients, etc.) dishes your way.

Let's start with the Best Ever Breakfast Cookies. Cookies! For breakfast! With whole grains and no added sugar! What?!? Yes.

I've adapted this recipe from Lux Hippie to get more sweet, sweet cookie bang for your caloric buck

You'll need:

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 tbs 100% maple syrup
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
Recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. Approx. 98 calories each.

Mash together the bananas, peanut butter, vanilla and maple syrup until they're creamy. Note that this needs to be real maple syrup, not that pancake syrup weird stuff. I do the mashing by hand because I like a chunkier texture where you bite into some whole bits of banana every once and a while, but if you want an even consistency, bust out your electric hand mixer for a couple of minutes. 

Stir in the oats, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until all is combined, then fold in the dark chocolate chips. I've taken to buying inexpensive 70% cocoa bars from Aldi and roughly smashing them into chunks with a meat tenderizer. I like the randomness of the chunks in muffins and cookies - sometimes you get just a little bit of chocolate and sometimes you get a big mac daddy piece melting in your mouth. Today, fancy ol' me actually had chocolate chips on hand, so that's what I went with.

Line baking trays with parchment paper and add heaping tablespoons of the dough in rows on the tray. Spray a fork lightly with Pam/olive oil spray and then make hatch marks across the top to flatten the cookies out. Pop in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes depending on if you like chewier cookies (like me, I did mine at 10 minutes) or crispier cookies (15-20 minutes would get you there). 

You can use this base recipe for all kinds of breakfast cookies. Substitute the bananas for apple sauce and add cinnamon for a sweet apple cider style cookie. Swap peanut butter for almond butter, add walnuts and really go nuts with it. Sorry, I had to. I'm terrible, I know.

These are so, so, so good and they're (a) 100% whole grain and whole wheat (b) made with no added processed sugar besides what's in the dark chocolate chips and natural peanut butter, which are both lower in sugar than their  regular counterparts and (c) easy to grab and go in the mornings. 

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