A "monster cookie" is not a cookie in the shape of monster, I guess. A monster cookie is actually what Google suggested when I searched Pinterest and other blogs for inspiration for incorporating these Sunspire Sundrops into a sweet great recipe. Don't just think of them of them as healthier M&Ms - they are M&Ms prettier twin, the one who gets the good grades and wins the sports games and leaves all the boys drooling. They mean well, though, with no artificial food colorings or strange additives!
Actually, a monster cookie - and I mean this recipe in particular - is everything I didn't know I wanted it to be (or even thought it could be, for that matter), right down to the most in depth level of evaluation, a level to which most normal humans probably evaluate their cookies. I, however, do.
In my exploration of blogging niches, I've tried paleo and gluten-free and vegan and bakery-esque cake (well, the closest I could get to that) and buttery cookies and fluffy cinnamon rolls. I love them all, I really do - even the paleo (but sometimes I hate it because, if you've ever messed with coconut flour, you know it isn't the friendliest of flours). And I do not mean to make this sound like the clichè journey to healthy baking in which I tell you that I one day came to the realization that if I wanted to maintain my active lifestyle, bakery-esque cake isn't the best bedtime snack... every night for a week... or two. I recently read in a cookbook of a chef I admire a paragraph like that that just screamed clichè and, while I highly respect that chef and can certainly relate to his story, I promised myself to never let mine sound so... simple. Because I love love love complicating the simplest of matters.
I'm talking about this line - "I finally realized that cooking/baking/eating this way just wouldn't suit my active lifestyle in the long-run, so I made a change". Ya' know? How many times have you heard or read that?
We are not going to discuss school here (you're welcome, if you get sick of me doing that), but I must mention it here as an important detail. The hardest 17 units I've taken in one quarter thus far in college - while time-consuming and demanding and e x h a u s t i n g - have helped remind me how much I absolutely thrive when I'm in a routine. Right now, that's a bunch of classes and studying and working (that I won't detail out for you/bore you with) between a 5-AM wake-up call and a 9:30-ish-PM bedtime, with my favorite time of day being around 6 AM for the only bit of genuine me-time - my workout. After about a year of swaying between "I must workout every single morning and only drink protein smoothies and never eat refined sugar and blahblahblah" and "I shouldn't workout because this blogger preached self-care in that way and that MD said my hormones are probablyout of whack and blahblahblah", I can shut both of those external cues up and just do me in a healthy, balanced way.
Take that long-winded explanation and apply it to baking. Likewise with the exercise, I swayed between "I want to bake everything I can with butter and cane sugar because I never have before and these ingredients are magical and will yield the most bakery-esque treats of all" and "I will not use any refined flours or sugars and I will pretend I'm okay with brick-like 'bread' and flavorless cookies".
I didn't really believe anything to offer the healthy-baking niche. Nothing I made really felt like... me.
These cookies, though... they do. They boast texture and body and sweetness and crunch and they feel good and help me feel good, not because they're "clean" (which I don't even think they technically are, but you get my point) but because they're both wholesome and deliciously bakery-esque.
They're the best way I could think of to tell you that I've discovered my balance and man, oh man, does it feel like the most empowering, encouraging and peaceful place.
Makes about 16 cookies
1 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup creamy nut butter*
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup turbinado sugar**
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup Sunpire Sundrops
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, for topping
Sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the egg, nut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add the sugar and whisk again until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and cinnamon - and stir into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Next, add the quick oats and Sundrops and stir until incorporated. You can refrigerate the dough before baking, but I prefer baking immediately for a flatter, crispier cookie. The choice is yours!
- Using a cookie scooper or spoon, scoop portions about the size of the palm (or larger, if preferred) and gently roll into a ball. Press a couple dark chocolate chips into each cookie. Spread the dough portions evenly, about 2" between each. Lightly sprinkle each with sea salt and bake for 12-14 minutes, possibly longer if large cookies.
- Remove when golden brown around the edges. Let them cool slightly on the pan to allow them to firm up before serving.
*Any nut butter will work. I used peanut butter, which yielded a strong peanut flavor. I would imagine almond or cashew would also work and give a more neutral flavor.
**I prefer turbinado sugar because it is a thicker granule, which gives a unique texture to the cookie while still acting like traditional cane sugar would. Coconut sugar would probably work, too, but I haven't tried that. Let me know what you choose and how your cookies turn out!