Friday, April 18, 2014

Nutty Millet Breakfast Cookies

Sometimes you just need to have a cookie for breakfast.  At my job I'm tempted with delicious cookies, bars and muffins every morning. But with some willpower and my desire to eat healthy foods I usually pass up those treats for something that my body actually NEEDS. Nutrient dense grub that will not only taste good but make me feel good as well. My morning fare is pretty simple; a sprouted grain English muffin with almond butter or a scrambled egg, maybe a homemade muffin or energy bar.  In order for me to function at work the first order of business is a cup of coffee.  Once the caffeine has made it's way into my bloodstream I need something to fuel me through a fast paced, busy morning. I need something with fiber, protein, fat and carbs.  If anyone of those key elements is missing from the equation, I'm usually hungry again in two hours and my blood sugar is out of control and I get cranky and turn into a space cadet.
These millet cookies have the perfect ratio of everything I need to get me through the morning.  You get a dose of healthy fat with coconut oil, fiber from whole grain flour, bran and millet, and protein from pecans and walnuts.  They are lightly sweetened with maple syrup and studded with sultanas and currants giving you natural sugars that won't cause your blood sugar to spike and crash two hours later. 
So this time, go ahead and have that cookie for breakfast.. For once, your body will actually thank you.

Nutty Millet Breakfast Cookies (Makes 12-14 cookies)
Slightly adapted from Whole Grain Mornings

* you may substitute all white whole wheat flour for the barley and teff flour.

1 c. white whole wheat flour
2 T. teff flour*
2 T. barley flour*
3/4  c. rolled oats
1/4 c. millet
1/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t.. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted 
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 c. pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 c. currants
1/4 c. sultana raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment parchment paper.
Combine the first 12 ingredients (flour through the salt) in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, egg and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.
Fold in the nuts, currants and raisins.
Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons of dough and working quickly roll into small balls. Place on the prepared sheet pans 1 1/2 inches apart and flatten with the palm of your hand to about 3/4 inch thick.
Bake until golden brown and edges firm yet slightly soft in the center, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on a baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If kept in an airtight container they will keep well for 3-4 days.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spiced Brown Butter, Oat and Pumpkin Seed Cookies

Most cookie lovers fall into one of two categories: soft and chewy vs. crispy and crunchy. I'm normally one of those people that has very strong beliefs about a particular type of food. For example, in MY opinion tomatoes and mayonnaise are foods of the devil (not really, but the thought of eating them makes me cringe) but give me a bowl of kimchi and a funky raw milk cheese and I'm one happy camper. So, yeah... I'm not gonna lie, I can be one picky eater, but when it comes to cookies, I simply can't choose between soft and chewy or crispy and crunchy.. I love 'em all! Whether it be chocolate chip, peanut butter, thumbprints or oatmeal raisin....  Sugar cookies, gingersnaps, or pecan sandies. 

When it comes to baking, I usually make something that's uber healthy: chia seeds, raw cacao, coconut oil and almond flour or something that's purely decadent: sugar, flour, butter, chocolate. Sometimes I find something that falls somewhere in between the two categories and this cookie happens to be one of them. 

Any time I come across a recipe calling for brown butter, I'm usually sold.  This one calls for that aforementioned delicious butter, oats, eggs, pumpkin seeds, sugar and warming spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.  These cookies are thin and chewy, with a bit of crunch from the pumpkin seeds. And...... since they are so light and airy you can eat 3-4 of these without doing to much damage.

Spiced Brown Butter, Oat and Pumpkin Seed Cookies
From Good Things Grow

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 T. buckwheat flour* (may substitute all purpose flour if you don't need them to be gluten free)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 egg
1/2 c. cane sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted it should start to foam, then start to watch and smell as light brown specs form and you smell and nice light nutty scent. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about a minute, before stirring in the rolled oats.

While the butter is browning, combine the buckwheat flour, baking powder, spices, salt and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg together until the mixture becomes creamy and batter-like. Whisk in the flour mixture, then stir in the butter and oat mixture, stirring until just combined. The dough will be loose and runny.

Drop level tablespoons of the dough (no more that this.. the cookies will spread like wildfire) on your prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 8-10 minutes, turning the pan halfway through cooking time. Let sit on baking sheet several minutes (this step is important!) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.