Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast

What?  Cookies for breakfast?  You may be thinking that Bru Crew Mom has lost her marbles.  :)  Well, it all started a couple of years ago when Bru Crew Dad replaced his daily breakfast with Oatmeal To Go bars to lower his cholesterol.  (It worked beautifully, by the way.)  The kids were jealous, and wanted these yummy oatmeal treats too, but they came six to a box, and cost over $3 each box, most days.  I told them no.  Then, one time, the store was out of the bars, and I bought Bru Crew Dad Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.  Then, the Bru Crew was REALLY jealous.  Dad gets cookies for breakfast?  We never get cookies for breakfast!  I tried to explain that these were different, but in a child's mind, there is no difference.  Cookies are cookies are cookies.  So, I set out to find a recipe for breakfast cookies, because I am NOT spending that much money on breakfast for my children regularly,  especially considering that they are still hungry after they eat one!  It took a lot of hunting, and I still didn't find the perfect one, but I found one that was close here.  I have adjusted it to meet our taste preferences, and my easy cooking preferences.  I reduced the sugar because I could.  I reduced the oats because I use whole wheat flour, and it absorbs more liquid.  I also use whole eggs.  I avoid using just egg whites whenever I can because we tend to not use the yolks later, and I hate wasting food.  I also replaced the oil, water, and prune puree with just apple sauce.  (Side note:  I have also used banana puree, pumpkin, and others.)  I have one that won't eat nuts in his foods, and I don't keep apricot around, so we use dried cranberries.  Here is my recipe with adjustments:

Bru Crew Breakfast Cookies:

1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 c rolled oats
4 c whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c unsweetened apple sauce
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c dried cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  (I used a seasoned stoneware pan, and I do neither of these.  They are non-stick already.)
3.  Mix first 7 dry ingredients in a large bowl.  (I use my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.)
4.  Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients.  Mix well again.
5.  Stir in raisins and cranberries.  Dough will be thick!
6.  Using an ice cream scoop (or Large Pampered Chef Scoop) place balls of dough 2 inches apart on the sheet.  (If you do not have a scoop, you can roll golf ball sized balls of dough.)
7.  Spray your hand with non-stick cooking spray and flatten the cookies.  Because of the lack of fat in these cookies, they will not spread on their own.  (See picture above.)
8.  Bake 8 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie, 10 minutes for a more cake-like cookie.
9.  Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, the move to cooling rack to finish cooling.
10.  This makes around 3 dozen large cookies for us.  They freeze well, but stick together, so layer with waxed paper before freezing.

*Also, I have used banana puree instead of apple sauce, and used nuts and chocolate chips instead of fruit to make "Banana Nut" cookies, and I've used canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice and cranberries for a fall version of these cookies.  Varieties are endless, but different purees cook up differently, so the texture isn't always exactly the same, but they still taste good and are healthy.  Soon, I plan to try sweet potatoes!

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