Sweet Treats You Can Feel Good About: Healthy-ish Oatmeal Cookies

Hi there. One of the things we plan on doing on this site is featuring foods posts from The Irish Boutique Cooking Blog.  The Irish Boutique is Paul’s family business.  His parents opened their first store over 40 years ago.  Now, his brother John manages two Irish import stores in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Because the Irish Boutique sells quite a bit of food, we maintain a cooking blog on its website.  Sometimes the food is Irish-influenced, or made with special ingredients from the store, but mostly, it’s just family-friendly food that we make and eat at home.

Today we’re keeping it healthy-ish with grown up cookies that might be closer to a cookie-shaped granola bar than anything.

I don’t have a huge sweet tooth but now and then I like to have a not-too-sweet-treat with my tea.  The older I get the more I don’t like sweets that are really, really sweet. Maybe it’s my Japanese side coming out. In Japan, sweets are less sweet and usually eaten on their own, not after a meal. When a Japanese person bites into a piece of cake and proclaims it to be “amai” or “sweet” you can take that to mean that they don’t like it. When I was little I thought that was weird –  “didn’t they realize sweet was a good thing?” But now I understand.

Since my kids have normal, age appropriate palates – you won’t hear me humble bragging about their love of kale – I’ve all but given up sweets at home, everything we have is too cloying for my aging taste buds.   At work, I usually have some good dark chocolate and salted almonds which is the perfect snack when I want something sweet.

Recently I’ve seen SO many recipes on pinterest and elsewhere for cookies without too much sugar that are packed with good stuff like oats and nuts and coconut.  We always have cookies shaped and ready to go in the freezer so that we can bake a just the amount we want – also so that if we finish off one batch we have to make another instead of being able to mindlessly eat too many. #mykindofwillpower

Truth be told, these are adult cookies in a way, not enough sugar to suit the tastes of my children but perfect for me.  The kids and Paul will eat them if there’s nothing more indulgent around. These days, when I make cookies for the kids I throw one of these on the tray for myself because I cannot resist a warm cookie.

Healthy-ish Oatmeal Cookies (Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Oatmeal Cookies)

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, quick cooking or old-fashioned
  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease one* or two baking sheets (or line with parchment or a silpat).
  2. Beat together the coconut oil, sugar, agave, vanilla, salt, and vinegar until fairly smooth.
  3. Beat in the egg until smooth.
  4. Add the baking soda, cinnamon and flour, beating until well incorporated.
  5. Add the oats, followed by the chocolate chips, coconut and hazelnuts and stir until combined.
  6. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop dough in mounds onto the prepared baking sheets. I space them out generously but found that they don’t spread too much.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and devour them while they are still warm.

* I almost never bake a whole batch of any cookies at once.  Instead, I use my cookie scoop to shape cookies which I freeze on a tray and store in freezer bags.  This way we can bake as many as we want at a time and always eat them fresh out of the oven.

Three Recipes Update

Also, here’s an update on this post about cooking three recipes a week.  It’s actually going quite well. Though I have to say, it hasn’t been easy.  Three a week is a lot. I’ve struggled with finding three new recipes that I am actually excited to try – or that my family is excited to eat. Still, according to my spreadsheet, I’ve tried 83 new recipes in 2018 so far.  And there have been some real winners in there. I’m proud of that, even though I will probably let up a little once the warm weather (finally) arrives.

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