Let’s horrify the children: Oatmeal Raisin “Breakfast Cookies”
You reach a certain age when the idea of eating cupcake topped pizza for breakfast stops being a brilliant flash of inspiration, and you realize that your cupboards are more likely to house All Bran and quick cook organic oatmeal than they are to contain Lucky Charms and rocky road granola bars. More is the pity, really, because when it comes right down to it, we all still have that kid inside us that wants to snatch sweet treats and stuff them in our mouths when nobody is looking; the inner child that still thinks cookies are the single greatest invention ever of all time, plus infinity for keeps.
Let us find that inner child of ours and feed it oatmeal cookies for breakfast.
And then let us burst out in evil cackles of glee, because what I’m going to share with you are not just any ordinary oatmeal raisin cookies, if you know what I mean, but the inner child doesn’t need to know that yet.
The concept of “breakfast cookies” had been around for a while, and started back when that was just another name for hermits. The first breakfast cookies were drop cookies, like any others, but fortified with dried fruits and nuts so that they were somewhat – and only remotely – healthier than your average chocolate chunk. Over the last few years, breakfast cookies have also started to go to market with representation by some major brand manufacturers in North America. They tout their higher fiber content and inclusion of fruit purees with pride, but at the end of the day, most are still laden with the fat and sugar that your breakfast most assuredly does not need.
Not these ones, however.
You see, instead of “raisin oatmeal cookies”, I could have just as easily saddled these with the unfortunate moniker of, “chickpea wheat germ cookies”. Except that let’s be honest…who here would NOT have gasped in horror, clutched at their chest and vehemently refused to read the rest of the recipe? No, no. I prefer to lure you in with my promises of delicious raisin oatmeal cookie, and then slam the trap shut when it is too late to back out, and you can never un-think the idea of chickpea and wheatgerm in your beloved sweet treat.
Your inner child must be screaming with rage and disappointment right now. That’s okay. We’ll all get over this together, in time, and after you finally muster up the courage to take a tentative nibble on the corner of one of these big, cakey cookies, and you realize that….they aren’t half bad. In fact, they’re actually….pretty good? Is it possible?
Now look, I’m not claiming that these are any kind of substitution for your regular after school treat, but if you want to be able to eat cookies for breakfast, these are the kinds of concessions that you have to make. They have a mere fraction of the fat and sugar in regular cookies (and no refined sugar or animal fats), and two of these with a hot bevy in the morning is just wicked enough to make you feel oh-so-good, inside and out.
Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies
Makes ~ 22 large cookies
- 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas
- 2/3 cup peanut butter *
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup fine dessicated unsweetened coconut, optional
* Feel free to use your favorite nut butter, such as cashew or almond, if you prefer.
Rinse and drain the can of chickpeas. Pour the chickpeas into your food processor and add the peanut butter. Crack in the two eggs and measure in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Puree the mixture until it is smooth and creamy with with nary a lump to be found. The texture should be just barely looser than hummus. If the mixture is too thick, which is possible (and dependent on your chickpeas) add a tablespoon or two of water and continue to puree.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients except for the inclusions (raisin and coconut).
Spoon the chickpea puree into the dry ingredients and fold the dough together until it is just combined. Do not beat the cookie dough or over-mix.
Stir in the raisins and coconut until they are evenly distributed.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set it aside at room temperature to rest for 30 minutes. Lay time is often overlooked when it comes to baking cookies, but depending on your dough it can often make a world of difference to the final texture.
As the dough rests, preheat your oven to 350ºF with your racks set in the center.
Dollop large, heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used my #24 ice cream scoop for even sizing, so each cookie was made from about 2.75 tablespoons of dough.
Pat the cookie dough down into a flat circle that is about 1/2″ thick and 3″ in diameter. Pat around any ragged edges to smooth them down attractively. Don’t worry about leaving too much space between the cookies because the dough will not spread.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are dry and set and the bottoms are a pale golden brown. Let the cookies cook completely before stacking or packing them away.
You might be able to detect a faint trace of chickpea flavor if you are determined to find it, but you could easily convince the unsuspecting child/eater that it is merely the mild flavor of the peanut butter gently pushing through. These virtuous cookies are not at all sugary, yet they’re just sweet enough to feel like you’re having a treat instead of a balanced fiber rich snack with protein and whole grains.
Moist and a little bit cakey, these breakfast cookies are also hearty enough that two can make a perfectly ample breakfast (and at only about 150 calories each, a serving of two is still perfectly reasonable for the calorie counters out there) that will keep you sated as well as any bowl of porridge.
And really, let’s just be honest. You can have porridge or you can eat cookies for breakfast. I know where my vote will be cast.
PS – It could be that I went on a Healthy Cookie Baking Extravaganzimentation the other day, and made batch upon batch of iterative oatmeal and chocolate based cookies. If you think pureed chickpeas and wheat germ are scary, just wait until you see the next ones….!