Happy First Friday of April! Aka the first Friday of the month, when a health(ier) cookie is featured here at From the Athlete’s Kitchen. This concept came to be when I resolved to find a middle ground between over the top sugar bombs and clumps of sawdust claiming to be cookies.
In March, a few less successful granola cookie tests finally led to the angle of modifying an oatmeal cookie recipe, namely by replacing the oats with granola. I turned to Quaker Oats’ Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies, and after the oat/granola swap, the next orders of business were to cut the sugar in half and use less fat to yield more cookies. The ingredient list may at first glance beg the question ‘how does a healthier cookie recipe include one stick of butter’, to which I answer, when the recipe yields 30 cookies, it breaks down to an acceptable amount of butter per cookie – in this case less than a teaspoon. If that still seems heavy, think of it this way – one stick of butter has 24 teaspoons. (Cutting a stick into 24 pieces leaves you with rather miniscule pats.) To accomplish the higher yield without *additional* butter, I added a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce.
Re the sugar: with just 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar, these cookies are significantly less sugary than Quaker’s finest but still sweet enough to feel like cookies. You could argue that granola is sweetened and that is true – which is why I used homemade granola, in which I use just a little maple syrup. Many granolas would work well here, and it’s of course easy enough to choose a lower-sugar store bought granola.
Before jumping into ingredients and steps, a word about the optional chocolate mix-in. The decision to include here was inspired by a key factor – these were to be the cookies brought to a family ski trip in Park City, UT this week! I figured that for lunches at 10,000 feet, some sweeter and heartier bites in our cookies would be a welcome addition. I do think these cookies would work well without the chips and that there is enough sugar either way.
Servings: 30 Cookies
Time: 1 Hour
Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Kitchen Equipment: Two mixing bowls, whisk, stirring spoon, measuring cups and spoons, parchment paper, baking sheets, cooling racks or trivets.
– 3 Cups Granola (I used Good Morning)
– 1 & 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
– 1 & 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
– 1/2 Tsp Salt
– 2/3 Cups Brown Sugar, Packed
– 1 Tsp Vanilla
– 2 Eggs
– 1 Stick Butter (1/2 Cup), Softened
– 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Optional: 1 Cup Chopped Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
– Combine granola, flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to throughly incorporate.
– In a separate bowl cream the brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, butter and applesauce until throughly mixed.
– Add the wet ingredients to the dry, as well as the chocolate if using, and stir until incorporated.
– Shape the dough into approximately tablespoon sized (or a little larger) balls and set two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
– Bake for 8-10 minutes (ten minutes was just right for this batch), remove from oven and set sheets on cooling racks or trivets. Allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before sampling.
Happy April from Park City, UT!!!