Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Cookie Project

I have a seriously mean sweet tooth. There have been times in my life that I have given up sweets completely,  and I was fine, but especially after having baby girl, I just seem to need something sweet not just for my taste buds but for my sanity. It is a little treat I give myself for going non-stop all day and my brain needs the simple sugars. Without it I get headaches and shaky and its not worth it. I realize that after giving it up for a while these symptoms go away...but I'm not passionate enough about giving up sugar to deal with these side effects.

Plus I'm busy. I'm active. I'm not worried about a little sweet here and there. Lately it has been important to me, however, to use the right kind of sweet. Something natural that offers at least some nutrition. That is where honey, maple syrup, and agave come in. I can't remember the last time I used white sugar. Maybe that is why my body seems to be just fine while still eating sweets.

So I wanted to make a cookie that I could have after a meal or for an afternoon snack that tasted good, but was nutritious. I didn't want a real oat-y, grainy full-of-fruit-and-nuts cookie. I wanted a real cookie - one that tastes almost bad for you. So I came up with these guys. I love really soft cookies, almost batter-like, and these are nice and dense and really do it for me. They are my own creation, so I kind of developed them to suit my tastes. The first time I made them I just used butter, honey, whole wheat flour, egg, and salt. I wanted to keep it simple. They were really good! This time, though, I wanted to up the nutritional profile even more.

So I used some coconut oil and some agave, and then played around with adding chia seeds for omega 3 fatty acids and then even some fruit - just because I had old apples laying around. That was just for fun though - I'd rather leave the cookie fruitless because it is supposed to be bad :). I also threw in some oats at one point and I really liked that addition because I really couldn't tell, and oats are supposed to be good for lactating women. Oh and I also added lemon extract the second time. I can't really taste it in the cookies so if I want a real lemon flavor next time I think I'll add some zest.

It is a thick dough. I didn't want them to rise in the oven so they would be nice and chewy

You press them before baking them

And baked - see they barely rise or spread

These are the experiments 

A light dusting of real powdered sugar give these healthy cookies a sinful look

100% whole grain
Yes, you can tell that they are whole grain. You can kind of tell they are healthy. The bottom line is though, after eating one of these, I don't want a cupcake, or ginormous chocolate chip cookie, or 1 lb chocolate bar. That is the key here.

The recipe - still to be changed with further experimentation

1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or agave, or a combination (I like 1/2 and 1/2)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats, optional
1 tbsp chia seeds, optional
powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and coconut oil until combined, then add sweetener. Add salt, extract, and egg and beat until combined. It looks funny at first but it does come together. Add in flour and then any thing else you want in there. Roll into tablespoon sized balls and flatten on the cookie sheet (I used a silicone mat on my cookie sheet). Bake for about 12-15 minutes. They should not get too much color on them. While still warm, roll in powedered sugar just to cover them. Let cool and enjoy!

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