CranCherry, Almond, and White Chocolate Cookies

So yeah…. meant to get this one up before the holiday, but I also meant to get approximately 8000 other things done before the holiday, so today is the day. ¬†Besides all that, my sister asked for the recipe so since I would have to write it down anyway, I figured I would write it down here. ūüôā ¬†

These cookies are sweeter than my usual offerings, so I think they’d make an excellent first step for someone who’s just starting to think about cutting back on sweets and sugar OR an excellent indulgence for those who’ve committed to a low sugar scene. ¬†If you’re trying to cut gluten (or eliminate it altogether), these are also a good bet for you. ¬†Frankly, they were delicious and while I am going to have to wean myself back off the sweet stuff because of this diversion, I’m going to say it was well worth it. ¬†So whether this is an indulgence or the beginning of a change for you – enjoy!

CranCherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cookies 

  • 7 cups rolled oats, dividedIMG_8622
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 4 eggs (I used flax)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 cup dried cherries and cranberries mixed (I imagine 1 full cup of either would also work)
  • 2 c white chocolate chips (real chocolate chips would also be delightful)
  • 2 c almonds, rough chopped

Use a food processor or power blender to turn 3 c of the oats into flour.  Sift the oat flour together with the baking soda and salt.  Combine the sugar, syrup, applesauce, banana, and coconut oil in a bowl and mix until as incorporated as the coconut oil will allow. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  At a lower speed (or with a slower hand), add the flour mixture a little at a time.  Mix in the remaining oats.  Add the mix-ins.  Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. ¬†Line or lightly oil baking sheets. ¬†Use a spoon or scoop to drop balls of dough onto the baking sheet. ¬†Flatten slightly with fork or finger. ¬†Bake for about 8 minutes. ¬†Rotate pans (and move top to bottom/bottom to top if your oven is like mine). ¬†Bake about 8 more minutes or until bottoms are browning and some browning is on top as well – or to your cookie done-ness preference. ¬†Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and remove to wire rack for cooling. ¬†Eat, quickly, before the others catch on….. ¬†I mean share with loved ones. Delish!

For other lower sugar treat options, check out our treats category on the sidebar. If you’re thinking about making some changes in the New Year, check out our Baby Steps or Sugar Busting series – we’ll be recapping some of these strategies to help all of you who want to try something new in 2013.

Concession Sweets

As many of you know, my twins started kindergarten this fall….. gack. ¬†There’s an awful lot swirling around in my head about THAT very fact and rather than sit here and take it in, there’s a whole new world of work and school logistics to get to know. ¬†We’re all feeling, while still reasonably enthusiastic, a little tired and beat up around here. ¬†The kids are especially tired in part because their school day is so much longer than anything they’ve done before, and in part because the paltry amount of time they are given to consume lunch is not working out too well for ravenous boy and chatty girl. ¬†Lunchboxes are coming home with a dent at best. ¬†They do, of course, always manage to extract the small sweet that I’ve been including to cheer them up at the time that they say they miss me the most (awww, yes, it breaks my heart a little). ¬†Because of these developments, after having a talk about the fact that veggies need to be eaten before sweets just like at home, I’ve doubled down on my efforts to find and make sweet bits that are much less…. well everything. ¬†The delightful thing about severely restricting sweets is that your kids get a lot less picky about them and so this is one category of food where everyone, even my daughter, is consistently rapturous about my efforts, and let’s face it, that’s pretty good for the chef. ūüôā

This week’s little sweetie scored 100% approval and was just about as easy a cookie as I’ve ever baked. ¬†Why is it better than other cookies? ¬†Less sugar, less fat, and I used buckwheat rather than regular flour (read about the benefits of buckwheat here) and so have a whole slew of health benefits over your average chocolate chipper. ¬†Yes, that’s right, once again I will breach into the realm of the sacred and dismember a classic flavor expectation with a healthier chocolate chip cookie. ¬†Nearly blasphemous.

We Heart Buckwheat Chippers inspired by Jordan’s Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 c buckwheat flour
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • .5 t salt
  • 1/3 c canola oil (or whatever kind you like)
  • 1/3 c applesauce
  • 2/3 c maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • heaping .5 c semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used minis to ensure choc in each bite and because, let’s face it, they’re cute)
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. ¬†Mix flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl. ¬†Mix wet ingredients in smaller bowl. ¬†Add wet to dry and stir. ¬†The dough will be wetter and easier to mix than traditional chocolate chip cookie dough. ¬†Don’t be alarmed. ¬†The dough will also be considerably darker than you might expect. ¬†Again, it will all be okay. ¬†Add chips and nuts (and whatever else your tribe prefers in such things) and stir gently to distribute. ¬†Plop onto parchment or greased baking sheets. ¬†I confess to using an official cookie dough scoop for such things (my Christmas baking requirements justified this little gem), but use whatever method you usually use with drop cookies. ¬†After filling the tray (I got 12-15 per tray), squash the tops a little as they will not spread the way higher fat cookies do. ¬†Bake for 6-9 minutes. ¬†Mine took 9, but my oven is wacky. ¬†Judge doneness by touching the cookie gently. ¬†When it feels like a cookie and not a squishy ball, they’re done. ¬†Allow to cool on the pan briefly for cleaner liftoff. ¬†Cool completely on wire rack, or I should say after you’ve eaten some while they’re warm because you simply must eat some while they’re warm, cool the rest on a wire rack. ¬†Delish.