Monday, October 11, 2010

Cookies for Breakfast? Yes!

Alright, I hear the moans and groans. "I can't give my kids cookies for breakfast. They need something healthy for them, not cookies." Oh, I see something like that bowl of boxed cereal you handed them or cereal bar you just tossed to them because you in a pinch for time. Come on ladies, I'm not talking oreoes and chocolate chips here but something filling and healthy for them. The way I see it depending on the recipe cookies can be muffins in a different shape and not a one of you frown at muffins for breakfast. These aren't the itty, bitty mini cookies but the large size where one will do and you don't have them every morning - well - let's be honest if you did they wouldn't be special. That's what makes them so magical when a child wakes to this delight one morning.

Grown Up Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups quick cooking oats (not instant)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl  beat together the shortening and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and bet to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat to incorporate. Stir in the cranberries, raisins and sunflower seeds and walnuts.

for large cookies use 1/4 cup of batter and space the cookies 2 inches a part on the baking sheet. Then wet your hand and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers so that they are about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for about 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges but still soft in the centers. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.  Makes about 15-16 large cookies.

Another variations for these is Uptown Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies; leave out the cranberries, dark raisins, walnuts and sunflower seeds and add the following; 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup currants, 1/4 cup dried blueberries.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
1/2 whole shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.

In a bowl with your hand mixer beat the two eggs and sugar until light and smooth. Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Stir in the raisins and pumpkin seeds. Using 1/4 cup of batter place small mounds of batter onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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