Cookies for breakfast? But of course! I’ve always felt muffins were overrated as an out-the-door breakfast option. I love them, but if I eat them while driving because I need to save a few precious minutes, crumbs go everywhere, including on and inside my shirt (I have once found muffins crumbs in my bra). Maybe I’m clumsy, but tired of having to vacuum my car after a few such snacks, I decided that muffins needed to stay at home.
This is when Breakfast Cookies saved the day (or my day, at least). These treats are filled with wholesome flours, grains, dried fruits, and nuts, packed with banana proteins, and touched with just a little sweetness from the chocolate. They’re filling, nutritious, firm but moist, and—most importantly—they don’t crumble all over you and your immediate surroundings as you eat them. I call them my perfect meal-on-the-go, because since they’ve entered my life, I eat them for breakfast, but also sometimes lunch and dessert.
This recipe makes lots of cookies, which is another reason why I love it. I freeze the whole batch—okay, maybe I eat one or two, and then I freeze the rest—and when I need a quick snack, I pop a frozen cookie into the toaster at a medium-low setting so it defrosts gently, grab it with a napkin, and go (the toaster method also gives the cookies their fresh-from-the-oven texture again). You can and should play around with the choice of dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips according to your cravings: there’s simply no way you can go wrong.
Makes 24 cookies
2 cups [500 ml] unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup [250 ml] whole wheat flour
2 cups [500 ml] old-fashioned oats
¼ cup [60 ml] ground flax seed (or wheat germ)
2 tsp [10 ml] baking powder
½ tsp [2.5 ml] salt
1 tsp [5 ml] ground ginger (or ½ tsp [2.5 ml] ground cinnamon)
½ cup [125 ml] unsalted butter, melted and cooled (you can also use a smooth tasting olive oil, nut oil—walnut or pistachio—or canola oil)
½ cup [125 ml] packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup [60 ml] maple syrup
¾ cup [180 ml] buttermilk (you can also use soy, almond, rice, or regular milk)
1 tbsp [15 ml] vanilla extract
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup [125 ml] chocolate chips (milk, dark, or white)
⅓ cup [180 ml] chopped dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, dates, etc.)
⅓ cup [180 ml] chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F [175°C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, and ginger. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition until smooth. Add the maple syrup, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas, and mix until combined.
With the mixer speed to low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until the batter comes together. Add the chocolate chips, fruits, and nuts, and mix a few seconds, just to distribute evenly. (The batter will be thick.)
Using a ¼ cup [60 ml] measure or an ice cream scoop, drop dollops of batter on the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Using a fork, press down lightly on each batter mound to flatter into a cookie shape. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set and lightly golden around the edges. The cookies will not spread much and hold their form, but they puff up a little.
Let cool completely on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Recipe Credit: Inspired by Jessica Merchant, How Sweet It Is