Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cookie Monster

These are about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.

On second thought, better make that Monster Cookies, because they're huge! I'm always looking for things that my husband, Scott, can have for breakfast that don't involve a bowl or milk, since usually he's eating breakfast in his car on the way to work. He needs something that will fill him up and give him lots of energy because he doesn't always get lunch at the same time, and sometimes it's a long time between breakfast and lunch. Most breakfast rolls/muffins aren't filling enough or are more sweet than nutritious. I'd heard about "breakfast cookies" that were loaded with granola-type ingredients, but hadn't seen a recipe. Then my September issue of Martha Stewart Living came and, lo and behold - a recipe for breakfast cookies! I immediately showed it to Scott to see if he wanted to try them and he was game, so I decided to try it.

Raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, Craisins, dried blueberries & dried apricots.

I made a few changes to the ingredients, since Scott wasn't totally enamored of some of the dried fruit choices. The original recipe calls for dried mango, dried papaya, and raisins or dried currants. I substituted dried blueberries for the mango, diced dried apricots for the papaya, and dried cranberries for the raisins. The rest I left the same. In shopping for the ingredients, I found that it can be difficult to find raw pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds at the local chain supermarket, unless they have a really good bulk foods section. They can be expensive, too. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, I found all my nuts, seeds and dried fruit there and really reasonably priced. I'm pretty confident that Whole Foods would have them all, too, but we don't have one near us.

I use a chopper for my nuts and chop a handful at a time.

The quantities of this recipe seemed huge to me (except for the dried fruit), and I was skeptical. I mean, it's supposed to make 8 large cookies using 1 cup of batter or 16 smaller cookies using a half cup. So why would you need a whole pound of butter? I suppose that for all of the dry ingredients you would need a lot of fat to hold them together. Anyway, I was right - this makes way more than 16 small cookies and they were by no means small - more like 4 or 5 inches across. When I added the oats to the recipe the dough kept trying to escape from my mixer bowl and it was hard to keep it from clumping on the paddle.

Escaping dough! This recipe is huge. The white area is the dried coconut.

The dough is very stiff and I decided to use the half cup size. Even then, the amount of dough was enough that I patted them down significantly in order to avoid having cookies that were thicker than an inch, which made them spread out enough that I could only get 5 or 6 on a sheet. The fun part was putting the banana chips on top before baking; I pressed mine into the dough slightly to make sure they didn't fall off. This recipe easily made 18 or more very large cookies. I highly recommend a large drink with them - juice, milk or your favorite coffee beverage. And if you're someone who doesn't eat a lot of fiber, make sure you drink a lot of water throughout the day, since this is a lot and you'll need the water to help digest it. And as with any high fiber food, you may notice a slight change in your number of bathroom trips. *grin* My husband commented on its effect on him.

Verdict: My husband liked the one he had yesterday, although he didn't have a drink with him and his only complaint was that he needed something with it, as it felt dry on its own. Not terribly, but he felt it needed a couple of swallows of something to go with it. I had one this morning with coffee and it was pretty good. I think it might be good crumbled over yogurt as an alternative to granola or muesli. If I make this again, I'm definitely cutting the recipe in half (except for the fruit, perhaps), since I'm not sure that my family will eat all of these giant cookies before they start to go stale.

You can find the recipe here.

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