January 9, 2013
It’s the beginning of the year and everyone’s talking cleanse this and kale that. (Or is kale soo 2012?) Me? Always willing to go rogue, I’m talking cookies. Cowboy cookies. Giddy up, biotches!
Don’t get your chaps all in a knot (is that even possible?), I promise not to call you a biotch again. I’m just feeling feisty. And, anyway, it’s not like these cookies are super decadent. In fact, they are packed with loads of super natural, super healthy stuff like oatmeal, walnuts and hemp seed. Since I developed the recipe as a treat for a breastfeeding mama friend, there are even some great lactogenic foods in this recipe.
So all my “who needs to talk healthy eating just because it’s a new year” bravado is just a show. Because if you’re going to ride off into the sunset with cookies, these are the cookies you should have in your chuck wagon. (Am I taking this cowboy thing too far?)
Here’s the lowdown on my healthier cowboy cookies.
Most cowboy cookies are super sweet treats hefty enough to fuel the wild west on sugar alone. They are usually packed with coconut, nuts, chocolate chips and loads of butter and sugar. My delicious and totally satisfying version swaps coconut oil for part of the butter, is lower in sugar and has fewer chocolate chips than most traditional cowboy cookie recipes. (Not too many fewer chips, don’t worry!) I also pack mine with super healthy fixin’s that are great for all of us, especially little ones and breastfeeding mamas.
Heart healthy oats are high in dietary fiber, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. They are also considered one of the top lactogenic foods. Don’t worry if you’re not breastfeeding or plan to share these with kiddo or your husband: lactogenic doesn’t mean that they’ll cause you to produce milk. It just means that they are said to help increase the supply of moms already breastfeeding. But you already know not to be afraid of oats, right?
I’ve already carried on about how wonderful walnuts are, but it was a while ago. Let’s take a quick refresher. These nuts are considered the best of the best, even a superfood by some, thanks to their excellent source of fatty acids, including a specific omega-3 found in salmon. Walnuts also contain one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants and are a good source of protein and fiber.
Then there’s hemp. You probably never expected to hear someone push hemp on kids or breastfeeding moms, but these nutrient dense seeds are totally legal and safe. Hemp seeds are high in digestible protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. They are also high in fatty acids and fiber and contain vitamin E and trace minerals. (If you’re interested, read more about edible hemp seeds—you might be surprised!)
These cowboy cookies are just sweet enough to feel like a treat while giving an unexpected nutrition boost. Because, hey, if you’re going to eat cookies, you might as well get some extra goodness out of it. And extra goodness is exactly what these cookie have in spades.
Cowboy Cookies for Breastfeeding Moms
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
Makes 1 1/2-2 dozen large cookies, 3 dozen small**
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) coconut oil, preferably unrefined
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, use an electric or stand mixer on medium speed to beat together butter and coconut oil until smooth and creamy. Gradually add both granulated and light brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one, and the vanilla.
3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut, walnuts and hemp seeds until well incorporated.
4. For extra large cookies, drop about a 1/4 cup of dough onto baking sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. For smaller cookies (perfectly sized for little ones and as a healthy treat for breastfeeding mamas), drop a rounded teaspoon of dough on the sheet per cookie. Bake large cookies for for 8 to 9 minutes, then rotate sheets before baking for an additional 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Bake smaller cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets midway through, until edges turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, it’s still relatively high in sugar and best saved for eaters 12+ months. No matter how old, be sure to share age appropriate portions with young eaters. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way! Also keep in mind that these cookies contain walnuts; be sure that your little one isn’t allergic to tree nuts before sharing. Otherwise, read up on how to responsibly share high-allergen foods with beginner eaters.
**Note: I give direction on how to make these smaller and also super sized, the traditional way to bake cowboy cookies. I suggest sticking with smaller cookies since they build in portion control for kids and breastfeeding moms for whom it’s especially important to eat regularly and maintain a super balanced diet. But, of course, do as you like! These are your cookies now, m’am.
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