Guilt Free Oatmeal Cookies Good Enough for Breakfast

Photo from Breakfast Cookies recipe on  Epicurious

Photo from Breakfast Cookies recipe on Epicurious

Who says you can’t have cookies for breakfast?! I love a good bowl of hot oatmeal in the morning. But when I’m short on time or want something that feels a little more indulgent these healthy, portable breakfast cookies do the trick! The heart-healthy, fiber and protein packed combination of oatmeal and quinoa hold me for hours and the natural sweetness of the dried fruit is just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Here’s my version of the original recipe. I’m rewriting it to include my modifications and a step that was missing in the original instructions. You can make these with any rolled oats. But I prefer the size and texture of McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal. They take a bit of time so I always make a double batch and put half in the freezer.

1 large egg*
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup date paste, mashed ripe banana, applesauce or pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid) or canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried chopped fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process 3/4 cup of the oats to a flour (a few remaining bits, without any whole oats in the mix, are fine). Transfer the oat flour to a large bowl. To the bowl, add the remaining oats, cooked quinoa, coconut, nuts, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk to blend.

In the food processor, make date paste, if using. Combine the date paste (or banana, applesauce, or pumpkin puree), oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add the egg to the processor and blend until slightly aerated, 1 full minute.

Add the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir until the dough is evenly moistened. Fold in the dried fruit. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Don’t skip this step!! It affects the final result.

Using a large scoop, drop quarter cupfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Gently flatten to 1/2” thickness. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Cookies should be set enough that you can lift one off the sheet to make sure the bottom is a deep golden color, though the centers will still be soft.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

*For a vegan version substitute flax eggs by combining 1 TBSP flax meal with 3 TBSP hot water. Set it aside for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally until it’s the consistency of a beaten egg.

Here are some of my favorite variations:

Pumpkin-Date: Pumpkin puree, dried dates, pumpkin pie spice (in lieu of cinnamon) and walnuts

Apple-Cranberry: Unsweetened applesauce, dried cranberries and almonds

Trail Mix: Date paste and fruit & nut trail mix

Tropical: Mashed banana, tropical dried fruit and cashews or macadamia nuts.

Lemon-Blueberry: Replace cinnamon and dried fruit with zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 cup fresh blueberries