Better-for-you butternut oatmeal chip cookies

So often it seems success and contentment involve a little letting go. I hope that proves true with those things hardest to let go of, when we find we have to. For now, these cookies are a little bit of practice, albeit in a a fluffy (literally and figuratively), flippant way.

In a quest to compile a range of  healthy-for-cookies cookie options, I’ve wrestled with disappointment over cake-like cookies, even when they taste good. And then I thought, I like cake, and I like cookies.  I don’t  indulge in either very often. What’s the harm in a little crossover? Especially when time to experiment is itself precious, these days.

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These “cookies” are more like muffin tops. Or drop biscuits, maybe. But  imho, they are mmmm, mmmm, good drop biscuits, with no butter (they use 1/4 cup coconut oil), and little sugar. I used 1/3 cup maple syrup, but you could get away with even less…and ok, chocolate chips…one day I’ll take the blinders off when it comes to being fairly liberal with chocolate, but that day hasn’t yet arrived!

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One thing I love about these cake-cookie/muffin tops is that they offer a bit of a sweet fix without calling up cravings. You can enjoy two, and stop. The reason they happened in the first place wasn’t any kind of cookie craving either, but a surplus of mashed roasted butternut squash after butternut, black bean and kale burritos with roasted red pepper and tomato sauce. Another mmmm, mmmm goodie to share–better, actually, and coming soon.

rogersWe’ve been keeping sugar well away from Little Monkey, as best as we can, but even he got a mini morsel and smacked his approval. He earned it…after all, he completed his first official out-of-utero 5K the weekend they were made! It was a fun, friendly local event, but I was anxious about it anyway, because I’d been feeling sluggish for awhile. It took me a good two months to recover from the 50K in May. My muscles felt fine after four days, but the overriding fatigue from the whole I had dug lingered for what felt in the moment depressing. Our family 5K was a little speed check, with my legs finally feeling like they were getting some juice back. I pleasantly surprised myself with a faster-than-expected pace and age group win. When I jogged back to root for Dave and baby in the BOB, they were just BOOKING it toward the finish over the last mile! Felix was cheering, “‘Eeeee, Aaaaaa!” as he bounced by, little prince in his chariot. I’m hoping his cuteness made up for any sting runners might have felt being passed by a stroller. If not, maybe these cookies can.

Butternut oatmeal chip cookies

I didn’t use gluten free baking flour or alternative flours this time, but so far in my experience with cake-like cookies, they work great!

  •  1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a generous shake of pumpkin pie spice (about 1 tablespoon) plus 1 dash extra ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butternut or pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.

3. In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and puree. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Drop by large, rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges.

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