26 October 2009

The muffin cookie

A while back I set out to find a cookie recipe that didn't contain eggs, so that even the little guy, with his egg-sensitivity, could indulge.

I settled on a pumpkin cookie recipe studded with chocolate chips. It tasted pretty good, but there was something about the texture that I just couldn't get past. It didn't really seem like a cookie to me. But I thought with a little tweaking it could perhaps make a great breakfast cookie -- sort of a cross between a muffin and cookie.

I added oats, applesauce and traded the chocolate for raisins. It's subtly sweet, dense, and, perhaps the best part, it goes down easily despite fumbling little fingers. These cookies don't hold up well over a day or two, which at first I thought was a problem. Then I realized that they hold up very well in the freezer, so problem solved. I now make a huge batch and freeze them. I pop them out one at a time and either leave them on the counter for a couple of hours or zap them in the microwave for a minute on defrost.

I'm not a nutritionist, but I don't think it hurts to get a little fruit, whole grains and vegetables in our kiddos when we can. If you're worried that your crew wouldn't like some of the ingredients, try these options: You could replace the raisins with chocolate chips if you wanted. You could chop the raisins a bit to make smaller pieces. You could even try golden raisins for a more subtle addition visually. Using instant oatmeal (versus rolled oats) will give you less of a oatmeal texture. Even still, you could toss your oats in a food processor for a minute and add that instead. You'd get the same nutritional value, but it would be harder for the picky eater to discern the oats from the rest of the cookie.

It's the perfect snack or breakfast when you're short on time or on the go. But we also like them while sitting down at the table when we've got all the time in the world.

Oats and Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apples sauce
1 cup butter
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup oats
Additional brown sugar for topping

In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, applesauce and vanilla and mix to combine. Add about 1/4 of the flour mixture and mix to incorporate. Repeat, adding 1/4 of the mixture at a time until it is all combined. Next, add raisins and oats, mixing just until combined. Roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls and dip one side in brown sugar. Set dough ball on cookie sheet with sugared side up. Using either a glass or empty measuring cup, lightly press on the ball to flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. Cookies should rise slightly and a toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Makes approximately three dozen cookies.

To freeze: Place baked and completely cooled cookies on a cookie sheet, making sure no cookies are touching. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least three hours. Transfer cookies to an airtight container and return to freezer. To defrost, pull out as many cookies as you need and either leave at room temperature for about two hours or place in microwave on defrost until cookie is defrosted but not hot.

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