Healthy Cookie Secrets!

Yep, you read it... healthy cookies. Oh yeah, I went there! I recommend you read this with a bit 'o optimism... I promise you'll be surprised!

These are very tasty and will hit your sweet tooth on the head without spoiling your whole day of healthy eating. What's better yet, is that when I put this recipe together, I did it with the intention of making it kid-friendly.

You know how sometimes kids demand something they shouldn't have? They are certain that living off Nilla Wafers and Oreos is totally doable and that they aren't going to be happy until you allow them to fulfill their dreams of a cookie-only diet. They pull your hair, hold their breath, tell people in the grocery store that they don't actually know you, and leave you wishing they were still young enough to take a pacifier.

Well... hopefully the recipe I am providing you with will help maintain your sanity and keep your little tikes healthy (but lets keep the fact that these are healthy cookies between just you and me).

So basically my goal was to disguise these little miracles as cookies while keeping the fat and calories down, yet including some healthful nutritional aspects (such as potassium, whole grains, protein, thiamin, and magnesium) you're not left with an "empty calorie" snack.

Healthy Cookie Secrets
1/2 cup butter (unsalted and at room temperature)
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup mashed super-ripe banana or applesauce (or you may opt to use 1/2 cup of each - keep in mind that the cookies will be fluffier with banana and denser with applesauce)
1 cup rolled oats
1-1/2 cups multi-grain flour (or whole-wheat, but multi-grain is arguably healthier)
1/4 cup oat bran (or wheat germ, flax seed, or a mix of the three)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

*I also mixed in sliced/toasted almonds, raisins and craisins - all combined to equal 1 cup. Feel free to play around with this part though... if you are in need of a small chocolate fix, add a small handful of chocolate chips, at least these will calm that craving before you attack the carton if ice cream in the freezer, right?

1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. Cream butter and honey together, add egg. Mix in banana (and/or applesauce) and oats.
3. Combine remaining dry ingredients in separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients into butter/honey mixture. Hand stir nuts, dried fruit, etc. into batter.
4. Drop by spoonful onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven.

P.S. I recommend crumbling these cookies into your yogurt for a healthy, protein-rich lunch. I love using The Greek Gods Greek Yogurt (Honey Flavor), it's seriously delicious and is filled with loads of calcium and protein.

Happy healthy snacking!

(Thank you Christina and Nora in Madison, WI for requesting a healthy cookie recipe!)

Heirloom Chocolate Chip (or M&M) Cookies

These cookies are quite delicious. I have some larger baking projects up my sleeve (mua ha ha ha ha!) so while I am brainstorming and gathering all the tools I need to complete these projects, I have decided to take a break for these classicly yummy M&M Cookies!

This is what I would call an heirloom recipe. This recipe has been in my friend's family for generations - no one really knows what generation it first started in however. The first time I tried a cookie from this recipe, I was probably no more than 10 years old and was at my friend's house for a sleepover. In the morning I woke up to these wonderful cookies and was given a bag of them to take home to my family. After my mom had a taste of these little yummies, she managed to get a copy of the recipe. Yay!

So here I am sharing the original recipe with you. Originally, the recipe called for mini chocolate chips (not M&Ms as I have done - but I sometimes like a little rainbow in my cookies!). The cookies will turn out very soft and chewy - perfect for a tall glass of milk! I recommend making the traditional recipe, but feel free to substitute the chocolate chips for M&Ms, walnuts, mini peanut butter cups, etc.

Heirloom Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (unsalted and at room temperature)
1/3 cup crisoco (or more butter)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package mini chocolate chips

1. Cream together: white granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup butter. Add Crisco (or another 1/3 cup butter) and cream together for one minute.
2. With mixer on low, beat in egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt.
3. With mixer still on low, slowly pour flour into batter, mixing just until ingredients are combined.
4. Fold chocolate chips into dough using a spatula.
5. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes.