Baking together: quick & easy take on Wacky applesauce cookies

applesauce_cks2I'm worried I've been a little bit of a downer lately on this blog. Eventually, each post gets around to being uplifting--or so I hope at least--but I do persist in dwelling a little too much on time passing, far too fast. It's not all I think about, but I am always thinking about it nevertheless. One thing about a toddler's speedy, continuous evolution, it forces an inevitable recognition that nothing ever stays the same. Friendships, routines, feelings-- all subject to ebb and flow, seasons and transformation. From there it's just the littlest leap to face the close-up in the mirror and acknowledge that growing up has faded into growing old. And really, where's the fun in facts like that?! But that's  why, that first paragraph aside, I'm determined to drop Debbie Downer for awhile. I'd rather share examples of how this sometimes frightfully frustrating toddler stage  is also SO MUCH FUN.  Little Monkey is my "happy apple" ( a recent nickname coined by both his love of apples and delightful habit of announcing himself as "APPY" when he's in an exceptionally good mood, which is often). When it comes to getting things done, I'm stretched too thin, and I do long for more windows in the day for work. But I am reveling in the fact that, for now, I'm still "cool", and what's more, we can get a lot done together these days.

Of course the best fun with my little one, outside of plain old play, is cooking side by side. It's messy, but not as much as one might expect. It's often sprinkled with questionably germy moments...but those moments are baked to bits and all is good. Little Monkey loves to mix and mash, and we're discovering more and more creations together that can be shared from beginning to nearly the end, with mama taking over just for the quickest of motions, like sliding a tray into and out of the oven.

applesauce_cks3When Little Monkey was a much littler monkey, I went wild working on a boatload of sugar free/dairy free/oil free, etc snacks in cookie and cake shapes only to discover that, to him, a grape was far more fascinating. Now, though, Flix has become much more conscious of the existence of cookies and treats, and with less time and available amid more work, it's so gratifying to have a reservoir of options started that satisfy his cookie cravings and curiosity. This variation of a Wacky Applesauce cookie has is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, and can be made nut free with sun butter. To look at the batter, you might not expect to bake a firm enough cookie shape to hold, but it works. What I love the most, besides the whole process of working together, is how proudly Happy Apple shares his cookies with friends. We're entering a stage full of possessive awareness now, so sharing he initiates is all the more beautiful. Makes me feel happy apples happy. :)

Wacky Applesauce oatmeal raisin cookies (adapted from Wacky Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spoon rounds onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each, and flattening slightly. Bake 20-25 minutes. Allow a few minutes to cool before serving.

**These also work baking at 400 F for 10-15 minutes! Handy when short on time!