Cookies for Breakfast

by Kris on April 10, 2011 · 25 comments

I’ve had the same Saturday morning routine for nearly a year now; wake up a bit late- for me this means around 8 (8:30 if I’ve been up partying, like last Friday- I had two small glasses of hard cider after dinner. Party animal.) Then I have my morning lemon water, read a few blogs, change and make my way down to Birds and Beans- my favorite local coffee shop. There, I order my favorite breakfast of the week- a medium organic soy chai latte {the only time I drink soy milk… still too chicken to ask if they’d use my own almond milk. working on it.} and a breakfast cookie.

I LOVE this breakfast cookie. Choc full of whole oats, nuts and seeds, spiked with tangy cranberries throughout and the perfect balance of crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. And didn’t every kid dream of being able to eat cookies for breakfast? I know I did. It’s literally my dream come true. Or was, that is. Until I discovered my intolerance to gluten and I could no longer enjoy my Saturday morning treat.

My weekend breakfast cookie was, and still is probably the hardest thing- aside from beer (and pizza)- to give up on a gluten-free diet. I will admit I have had more than one momentary lapse of judgment and ordered my beloved breakfast sweet…let’s just say that didn’t end well. So I knew I was going to have to come up with a solution to my cookie yearning. The problem was, I knew if I was going to re-make this cookie I was going to do it right. The original cookie was definitely not gluten-free, more than likely contained both dairy and eggs, and-judging by the sweet taste, likely filled with refined sugars. Not my cup of tea, not my cup of tea at all.

So I set out to make the ultimate Saturday morning breakfast cookie to go along with my tea. I wanted to make sure it was:

  • gluten-free
  • vegan {no eggs or dairy}
  • free of refined sugars
  • packed with healthful ingredients to start my morning right
  • moist and chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside.

I found this recipe online and was overjoyed- bananas sounded like a perfect addition to my cookie quest! So I mashed up my banana, added my ingredients- the dough was perfect, crossed my fingers and waited.

What came out was, well, not exactly what I had expected. Fluffy and moist, with crunchy bits of almonds, sweet bites of raisins (I was out of cranberries) and an ever-so-slight banana taste. These cookies are amazing, don’t get me wrong- but they weren’t the crispy-chewy-sweet cookies I ate every Saturday. I was so disappointed. Nick quickly pointed out how good they were, and requested I make them for him every week for breakfast {yeah, okay honey…}, still I wasn’t convinced.

Then I ate one for breakfast topped with a little raw almond butter… WOW. They really tasted like breakfast! Much more than the cloyingly sweet cookies I was used to, and they were filling too! Perfect with an {almond milk} latte or as a quick grab-and-go meal. Maybe they weren’t the sweet, crispy perfection I grew to love at the coffee shop, but re-creating that without wheat, eggs, dairy or white sugar? Let’s be real- that’s nearly impossible. That’s not to say it won’t stop me from trying again and again- but for now, these babies are the perfect substitution. In fact, I think I may just have me another one….

**Note: This recipe has been IMPROVED! For a chewier, softer cookie, try this recipe. For a denser, more crunchy cookie check out my re-vamped version (still gluten-free and vegan) here **

Grab-and-go Breakfast Cookies
Makes 6-8 large meal-sized cookies
{gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free- vegan}

Adapted from The Baking Stone

1 medium banana, mashed
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup sucanat
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raisins (or dried cranberrries)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash banana and mix with flax, oil, milk, sucanat, maple and vanilla. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, xanthan, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry to wet and mix until combined.

3. Stir in oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and dried fruit. Mix well, but be careful to not overmix. Dough should be very thick and almost able to stand on it’s own.

4. Place large mounds (~ 1/3 cup each) on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 12 minutes or until top starts to turn golden.

5. Let cool for 5 minutes on pan, and transfer to a rack to cool. Enjoy warmed (will be crumbly) or with a bit of almond butter spread on top. Great with your morning coffee, tea or as the perfect one-handed meal!

Okay guys- spill your secrets. Know how to make a vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar free cookie crispy? This chef is lost without her butter! Check it out


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Dani @ Body By Nature April 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

Cookies for breakfast sounds amazing! Maybe coconut butter as a butter substitute?

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:59 am

Coconut butter is a great idea!

Deb (Mom) April 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

Kris, I am so excited to try these. You know we love our cookies and Alison won’t complain about eating breakfast if she can have cookies.
Thanks :)

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:58 am

Very true, I hope both of you like them!! :)

Erica April 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

I make amazing homemade gluten-free cookies, but honestly, there is no replacement for butter. I use local organic grass-fed pasture butter which is one of the best fats you can consume (despite the bad rap that butter gets). Butter is much superior to the majority of oils that people consume that they assume to be healthier. Also, an egg goes a long way- it’s actually much safer to cook with eggs (if you are not vegan, and don’t object to eating them) as flax is extremely fragile, and whenever heated, causes free-radicals to form from the fat breaking down. As to how to improve on the texture I think you have too many liquids in the recipe- the banana, milk, and maple syrup are all going to disallow the cookie to crisp up. I’d replace the maple syrup with a dry sugar, eliminate the milk, and reduce the banana amount to 1/2.

Hope that helps a bit! Gluten-free baking can be tricky, especially when you’re just getting accustom to have different flours produce different results, but I’ve made cookies and other sweets (pancakes, etc) that taste exactly like their wheat-filled counterparts, in both taste and texture. I promise, it is doable! Keep experimenting, and you’ll hit upon the right mix of ingredients to properly replicate your favorite childhood cookies. :)

Erica April 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

I just realized how terrible some of my grammar is here.. so unlike me! That’s what I get for rushing! :D

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

haha, no worries :)

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:58 am

There really isn’t a substitute for butter, you are so right. I do agree it is super healthy, I would never use a fake “margarine” or something in it’s place. Maybe I’ll have to make a trip to Whole Foods… ;)

Interesting you said there was too much liquid in the recipe… I thought something similar myself, then when the batter came out right I was like, well, guess not! But I think you may be onto something there :D

Thanks so much for all the amazing suggestions!! xo

Erica April 11, 2011 at 10:28 am

Anytime! If you ever need any suggestions, never hesitate to ask. :)

megan @ the oatmeal diaries April 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

These look awesome!
As far as crispier cookies, have you checked out Veganomicon? They have some killer cookie recipes!

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

I haven’t, though I do love that cookbook- thanks for the tip!

Hayley April 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I would say, just go with your chef instinct and use the butter :) Butter is mostly fat (butyric acid, which is a short chain fatty acid and is easily digested) and because it is mostly fat there is less lactose and casein than in other dairy products. So it is more digestible and…well… it makes baked goods taste so much better haha. But if you really don’t want to use butter, or just can’t tolerate it, I’ve used avocado, coconut oil, and coconut butter successfully in baked goods as well.

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

I did know that about the less lactose/casein- I can tolerate butter well, I just wanted to avoid going out and buying some :P Thanks for the suggestion! Avocado is a really interesting one as well, I’ve never tried that! Coconut oil/butter is another good one, too :)

Gillian April 11, 2011 at 7:09 am

I think butter or coconut oil would crisp these up! I made my ultimate chocolate chip oatmeal cookie gluten-free, but kept all the butter, and they were super crispy!

Still, these look rock star, I would eat one for breakfast any day!

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

I may just have to go buy some organic butter… ;)

janetha April 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Kris those look amazing!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) April 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm

You’ll have a few left for Thursday… right?

Kristin April 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

If the husband doesn’t eat them all! haha ;)

Kristina April 12, 2011 at 12:09 am

Oh I love the idea of topping these with almond butter, yum! :)

Sam April 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I think it’s the sugar that makes a cookie crispen, along with the fat. Any time I’ve added applesauce say to replace fat/sugar I’ve ended up with a moist cake cookie. The banana and lack of sugar (white sugar in particular) is what lead to your results. Delicious, never the less.

Karen April 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

My kids will be thrilled!

Kristin April 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

So glad! :)

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