Cookies for breakfast? Why not?
My main requirements for a healthy breakfast are that the meal fills me up for a while and provides a good amount of nutrients that I wouldn’t get from a sugary bowl of cereal or a fast-food breakfast; and these cookies actually fit the bill.
Truth be told, I didn’t set out to create a cookie made specifically for breakfast; I just wanted to see how much I could tweak a regular peanut butter cookie recipe with healthier ingredients before it became something that could no longer be considered a cookie. Turns out, there’s a lot of substitutions and additions you can make to add fiber and protein, replace unhealthy fats and reduce calories without sacrificing taste. So while you can (and should) enjoy these for breakfast if they satisfy you, they’re also perfect for a quick snack or a healthy dessert.
This recipe starts like any good old-fashioned cookie recipe should – with butter, sugar, eggs and all – but uses whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, applesauce and peanut butter to create a treat that’s heartier, more filling and lower in fat and calories than traditional cookies.
To up the fiber and protein content of these cookies, you could add chopped nuts or dried fruit, but as always, I prefer chocolate!
Hearty Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 24 large cookies
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/4 cup butter (or shortening), softened
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and butter (or shortening). Mix in the applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the eggs.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and stir until well-mixed. Stir the flour and oat mixture into the wet ingredients until just-combined, then add in the chocolate chips.
Use a large spoon to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets; for large cookies (as pictured), use 2-3 tbsp. of dough per cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are beginning to turn golden brown and are just cooked through in the middle.