Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cookies for Breakfast, Part One

Yes, really.  And even as part of a healthy breakfast!  But I'm not talking about Cookie Crisp here.

We recently tried two versions of these, both of which I had seen on (you guessed it) Pinterest.
First, there's the 2-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies, by Lauren over at the Burlap Bag.  (OK, maybe 3- or 4-Ingredient, depending on how many mix-ins you want.)  These were super easy, and super delicious.  We demolished the whole batch for breakfast one morning.  And I was OK with that, because that meant that my kids ate oatmeal, bananas, and a few chocolate chips for breakfast.  And that's better for them than a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a Toaster Strudel.

If you'd like to try these cookies (and I highly recommend you do!), here are a few tips:
  • If you don't like bananas, you won't like these, sorry.  The banana flavor comes through loud and clear.
  • Don't expect a normal cookie texture.  These cookies have more of a chewy, cake-like consistency, in addition to some crunch and texture from the oatmeal.
  • If you like chunks of banana, just mash everything together with a fork.  If you prefer a smoother texture, use your electric mixer.
  • These cookies do not spread out at all when you bake them.  If you "plop" them on the cookie sheet, that's exactly the shape they will be after baking...which was fine with us.  If you prefer a more refined cookie appearance, use a spoon to spread out the batter into nice pretty circles before baking.  Then reduce baking time by 1-2 minutes.
  • If you use bananas from the freezer, let them thaw overnight and then drain off all (or most) of the liquid.  You might also need to add up to another 1/2 C of oatmeal since frozen-then-thawed bananas are juicier than the ones that were just sitting on the counter.
  • Mix-in ideas:  
    • 2 Tbsp miniature chocolate chips
    • 1 tsp cinnamon + 3 Tbsp raisins
    • coconut - haven't tried it yet but would like to!
  • I've experimented quite a bit with this recipe, and my conclusion is that while all of the options/ways to make these are good, our favorite combination of ingredients and techniques is:
    • Use old, overripe bananas, but ones that have been sitting on the counter, not frozen yet.
    • Mash with a fork (for a chunkier texture) instead of using the electric mixer.
    • Just plop the batter on the greased cookie sheet instead of shaping the cookies into disks.
    • Use miniature chocolate chips for an add-in.
(Remember, your family may prefer different textures and tastes, 
so don't feel like you have to make them the way I did!)
  • The recipe makes 16 cookies, but they are very, very small cookies.  Our kids at 3-4 for breakfast, so make sure to double this recipe for a larger family.
  • These are best fresh out of the oven.  They can be rescued the second day by microwaving for about 5 seconds, but the texture and taste is best when they are fresh.
  • Yes, you should probably make these in the morning.  But I promise they don't take very long.  You can have them mixed, baked, and ready to serve in under 20 minutes.
If you prefer that your breakfast include some protein, stay tuned for another breakfast cookie recipe, coming soon!

This recipe is posted in conjunction with April's theme, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  If you'd like to read more on this topic, click over to the Monthly Themes page, where you can get caught up on previous articles in this series.

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