I would say, “Let’s rethink breakfast!” but then I’d sound like an early 2000’s TV commercial trying to sell children on mini cookies in milk because they have two whole grains in them. Yes, I know I’m giving you a recipe for cookies and YES I know I’m placing it (strategically) in the breakfast section of the blog and YES I know I’m also cracking a joke at cookies for breakfast. What’s that cereal called again? Whatever.
Okay, but really. Let’s think outside the breakfast box here. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked forward to each day’s breakfast the night before. My dad would push his dinner plate forward a few inches, signaling his fullness, along with, “I can’t wait to scramble this sausage with some eggs tomorrow for breakfast!” Nowadays, I wake up looking forward to coffee, a workout, and then breakfast, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m really looking forward to the breakfast as I take my last sip of coffee.
We’ve moved on, for the most part, from the cookies-in-cereal-as-breakfast days (thank goodness). More than I see sugary breakfast cereals and those interesting chocolate milkshakes - oops! I mean “protein shakes”! - I see recipes for frittatas and scrambled eggs and baked egg cups, and whole-grain pancakes and waffles and muffins. We’re cooking and baking at home more now than we used to, and in my book, that’s a big step forward. And even when we aren’t eating something made in our own kitchen because life get's busy sometimes and the thought of cooking everything from scratch is just stressful, what we are eating is of higher quality. We have protein bars made with high-quality whey protein or egg whites and unsweetened dried fruit. We have frozen waffles (that taste good!) made with seven or more whole grains and we have low-sugar cereals that taste like freaking Captain Crunch and I can recognize all of the ingredients listed on the box! I’ll take six boxes, please and thank you.
Nine and a half times out of ten, I prefer a sweet breakfast over a savory one. Banana bread pretty much speaks to my soul and, come on, is there any better way to start the morning than with a cup of Jo and a warm slice of sweet homemade banana bread? There isn’t, but there is something that comes close to beating it…
… like a breakfast cookie! Duh! With the same basic ingredients to yield create the same flavor profile as banana bread, but a slightly different ratio, shape, and baking time, these healthy breakfast cookies could change the breakfast game as we know it. They’ve certainly changed my breakfast game already. I went on quite the journey to perfect the recipe, and though the end result isn’t what I had pictured, I think it’s even better.
My cookie-loving, breakfast-hungry imagination led me envision this thick, chewy cookie loaded with nuts and seeds and dried fruit and chocolate chips (of course) that would be roughly the same diameter as… mmm, say, a classic glazed donut. Attempt numbers 1 and 2 - made with a blend of oat flour and coconut flour - proved to be futile. I find its a are occurrence when coconut flour works the way I’d like it to. Both times, my cookies came out of the oven flat and floppy. No one wants a floppy cookie, especially not for breakfast.
I ran out of coconut flour by attempt number 3, so I turned to the trusty bag of whole-wheat flour I always have on hand. By the mixing stage, I already felt more confident in this dough than I had with the first two. I scooped the dough onto the baking sheet, pressed a little extra love in the form of chocolate chips onto each scoop of dough, and slid the sheet into the oven to wait patiently for plump, perfect little cookies.
Eight excruciatingly long minutes later, after visually examining the cookies, I bit into one. Picture a child taking his first bite of cookie cereal. That was me in this moment, but way better because I’ve already experienced the cookie cereal and these breakfast cookies are so far beyond that I’m ashamed I even put them in the same sentence.
Soft, chewy, thick, sweet, studded with chocolate and dried fruit and nuts in every bite. THIS is breakfast happiness.
Makes about 16-18 cookies
1 extra ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 pasture-raised egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup each: cashews, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. plus extra for topping
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana with the coconut sugar, honey, coconut oil, and egg. Use a stand-mixer or hand-mixer to beat the wet ingredients on medium-high speed until smooth and caramel-colored. Next, add the vanilla and baking soda and give it one more mix to combine. Set aside.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl until combined, and then add this mixture to the wet ingredients slowly, mixing at the same time to ensure that everything is well incorporated. Stir in the nuts, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Let the dough thicken for 5-8 minutes.
The dough will be rather thick, so I don’t recommend using a cookie scooper to transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Instead, use a tablespoon to scoop the dough into your palm, roll int into a smooth ball, and place on the baking sheet. Top each portion of dough with 6-8 extra chocolate chips.
Bake for 8-9 minutes and then remove the cookies from the oven. Let them rest on the baking sheet for another 10 minutes to allow them to cool and firm up. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to finish the cooling process.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!