It's that time of year where everyone pulls out their mixing bowls and makes LOADS of treats to share with friends and family. If you can believe it, I actually tried to give up using my oven this month - HA! Then I got the craving.
Also I have a three year old that LOVES cooking. She loves helping in any way and her favorite thing is to be "like you, mama!" I'm totally in love with that kid so I had to make some cookies with her. Cooking with your kids is the best! They can be messy, learn to measure (my kid is a PRO at leveling out the flours when measuring!), you work on counting, following directions and they LOVE to eat what they help cook!! And while I was at it I had to try to make them as healthy as possible while still maintaining the integrity of a cookie.
Seriously people, stop making puffy little fat free cakes and calling them cookies. They're not. (Hungry Girl calls them "softies" and I totally respect her for that!) These are COOKIES. They have some crunch and some chewiness to them and no "puffiness" at all! They're not fat free but they ARE oil and margarine free. HOW? What? Are you crazy, Fo' Reals Life lady?
The secret is using natural almond butter instead of some of the fat. They still get crispy and chewy but retain the vitamins and other redeeming qualities of nut butters! Plus the nuttiness of almonds just tastes awesome here. Throw in some whole grain flour, some oats and some dried fruit and you've got a great tasting cookie you can feel good about giving to your kids (or putting in your own lunch bag!)
Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Cookies
makes about 20 (more or less - depending on how big you make them!)
(adapted from this Vegan Oatmeal Cookie recipe from Cookie Madness)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons molasses
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Get out a smaller mixing bowl and stir the sugar, molasses, almond butter, applesauce and vanilla until it is fairly smooth. Dump the wet mix into the large bowl and stir until mostly combined. Then add in the oats and give it a couple of stirs. Finally mix in the cranberries and almonds until everything is evenly combined.
Spoon out small (or large - your choice!) dollops of cookie dough onto the parchment paper leaving space between them for them to spread slightly.
Bake for 11-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool off the pan (I usually just pull off the parchment paper with the cookies on it and set that on the counter. Be careful that you don't dump out your cookies when you do that!)