Super-power cookies, activate!


Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

Itty-bitty cookies are fine for itty-bitty appetites. But hard-charging, voracious appetites demand cookies with super powers. With the right ingredients, cookies can be energy-delivery systems. The best ones are made with whole grains, nut butters and natural sweeteners. Oh, all right: And chocolate chips. But don't expect the sugary crunch of an Oreo or its ilk. No reason kids should have all the fun, though. These cookies are good to have at the desk, in the car or after lunch. Two cookies and some fruit make a breakfast on-the-go.

• Big Bad Coconut-Apricot-Oatmeal Cookies. Crunchy, chewy nuggets of energy like these are always popular, especially when enhanced with tropical flavors. They are kind of like a portable bowl of oats and fruit with a boost of protein from nut butter. If you swap a neutral oil for the butter, they are vegan.

• Maple-Peanut Breakfast Cookies. Matching high protein peanuts and peanut butter with maple syrup is inspired. If you swap a non-dairy milk (rice, soy or almond) for dairy milk, this becomes vegan, too.

• Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Nobody turns down a chocolate-chip cookie. So why not amp it up with pumpkin puree, chopped pecans and dried cranberries? The result is a spicy, soft and cakey cookie loaded with hearty nuts, fruit and chocolate chips. This cookie gives me an idea, too. Wonder what pumpkin pie tastes like if you marble it with an ounce or two of melted chocolate? Or add, say, mini-chocolate chips? Stay tuned.



Big Bad Coconut-Apricot-Oatmeal Cookies

PG tested

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or honey
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots or mango

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, flour, baking soda and salt and whisk until well mixed. In a food processor (or medium bowl), combine the nut butter and bananas and process (or stir vigorously) until thoroughly blended. Add the agave syrup or honey, melted butter, vanilla and flavor extracts and mix well.

Pour into the oat mixture and stir to combine, then stir in the apricots (or mango).

To form cookies, drop large spoons of the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them. Flatten the mounds to a thickness of about 1/2 inch either with damp fingers or with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in water.

Bake for about 12 minutes for smaller cookies (longer for bigger), until brown around the edges, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 22 smaller or 11 larger cookies.

-- Adapted from "Sweet and Easy Vegan" by Robin Asbell (Chronicle, Sept. 2012, $35)



Maple-Peanut Breakfast Cookies

PG tested

  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spritz sheets with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseeds with the milk and allow to stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and whisk until well mixed. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, peanut butter and vanilla and stir vigorously until thoroughly blended. Stir in the flaxseed mixture, then pour into the flour mixture and peanuts and mix the cookie dough well.

Using a table spoon, drop blobs of dough onto the prepared pan, about 2 tablespoons of dough per portion, leaving about 2 inches of space between them.

Bake for 16 minutes, until firm to the touch and browned around the edges, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.

Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cook completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about 24 cookies.

-- Adapted from "Sweet and Easy Vegan" by Robin Asbell (Chronicle, Sept. 2012, $35)



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

PG tested

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves OR allspice
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, nutmeg, baking powder and allspice. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with an electric mixer for about a minute. Beat in the pumpkin. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla.

Mix in the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and cranberries.

Using 2 tablespoons per cookie, drop the dough 3-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until a cookie springs back when pressed in the center, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, using cooled baking sheets. Makes about 5 dozen, enough for the whole team including seconds.

-- "Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends" by Kathleen King (Tate Bake Shop, Sept. 2012, $24.95)

food - recipes

Marlene Parrish may be reached at 412-481-1620 or marleneparrish@earthlink.net.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here