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Making cookies together

I love being in the kitchen with Leia. As long as I can remember (which isn’t hard to do, she’s only two), Leia has enjoyed helping me – at least joining me – while I’m buzzing around making meals, doing dishes, putting away groceries, etc.

Lately I’ve encouraged her to get more involved when I make food. I’ll put her on the counter and have her measure flour or sugar into a cup, mix ingredients with a spoon or whisk, etc. We get messy and mash bananas with our hands, laugh if things spill. I let her try cracking an egg open, that was fun. I make sure to explain what things are sharp, and when not to touch. Before you call CPS, I realize she can’t totally grasp those cautions and have to keep everything in her area safe. We’re not juggling knives. She did try to lick the carrots off the grater, I guess that could have turned out bad.

Making sugar cookies, using her new cookie cutters. She had a blast rolling the dough. Unfortunately, the recipe wasn’t great so I’m not sharing it.

Okay, I guess the recipe wasn’t that bad. No, I didn’t let her eat the whole plate full of cookies. Not because I’m overly concerned with her sugar intake, because I’m a junkie and wanted them for myself. After we I polished those off I realized our next experiment should be some kind of “healthy cookie” – mostly so I’m not tempted to eat them but also so I feel better about what I’m feeding the kiddo.

I tweaked the Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookie recipe from Oh She Glows and they’re a hit! I’ve made them a few times now, with different substitutions, it’s a pretty flexible recipe.

  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 whole wheat flour (you can use white, or 1/4 cup each)
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats (I used more oats and less flour compared to the original, no particular reason)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup lightly packed finely shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted so it’s in liquid form
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (honey also works, I tried both)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (no applesauce? I substituted one medium extra ripe banana with no problems)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Taste test. Since the dough is egg free, it’s totally safe.

In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients: flax, flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. In a medium bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, syrup, carrots, applesauce, vanilla, and raisins. Combine wet ingredients into dry, don’t overmix. The dough is very sticky, but I was able to use a standard cookie scoop. Bake for about 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. Note: I must have made smaller cookies than the original recipe, I got 24 out of the batch, hence the shorter cooking time.

They turn out very moist, dense and cake like. My preference in dessert cookies is thin, chewy and a little crispy on the edges. Figures a healthy cookie would be the polar opposite. I could go on about the baking physics that makes a cookie thin and chewy vs. thick and cakey but I’ll assume everyone reading this knows Alton Brown.

The flavor is good (definitely don’t skip the nutmeg). They’re just sweet enough for Leia to believe me when she says “mommy, a cookie?” and I say “sure sweetheart!” but definitely not dessert-like sweet. They’re packed with all kinds of healthy goodness. I gave her two small cookies and a yogurt for breakfast without an ounce of guilt.

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