Hot tips from cookie expert and author of 'The Cookie Book,' Rebecca Firth
A lot of breakfast cookie recipes on the internet tend to be just cookie recipes with the word breakfast slapped in front. No judgement, really. I’m not saying a chocolate croissant is any better for you at 8 a.m. than a chocolate chip cookie, but as someone who requires an actual meal in the morning, I need a breakfast cookie that will work harder. To figure out exactly what I should look for in a breakfast cookie, I consulted someone who quite literally wrote the book on cookies—Rebecca Firth, author of The Cookie Book.
Like me, Firth feels that a good breakfast cookie shouldn’t leave you hungry in an hour. “I think it needs to be moderately healthy, really delicious and hearty,” she said. “I say moderately healthy because I don’t typically like to start my day with something super rich and fatty.” She explained that ingredients like olive oil, yogurt, nuts, berries, grains and oats make breakfast cookies feel healthier than other breakfast classics like pancakes, which are often basically just flour and milk-based vessels for maple syrup. Sure, the ingredients Firth mentioned sound nutrient-dense, but they certainly don’t seem like a compromise or, worse a bore.
One thing is for sure about breakfast cookies: you really should make them yourself. Even when labeled “breakfast,” packaged cookies tend to be as much of a meal as a dinky granola bar. When you DIY, not only do you then have the power to control exactly what nutrients and flavors go into your cookies, Firth pointed out that you can never beat a freshly baked good with something store-bought. “We all agree on this, right?!" Right.
Oatmeal, Blueberry, and Puffed Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
Yield: 30 cookies
¾ cup (177 milliliters) good quality olive oil
¼ cup (60 grams) 2-percent Greek yogurt
¾ cup (158 grams) light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon (9 grams) lemon zest
2 teaspoons (11 milliliters) pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1½ cups (180 grams) white whole-wheat flour
⅓ cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons (4 grams) cinnamon
2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups (182 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (60 grams) puffed quinoa
½ cup (61 grams) raw almonds, toasted and chopped
3 cups (426 grams) fresh blueberries
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, Greek yogurt, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and whisk until smooth.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and nutmeg. Dump into the butter mixture and mix until the cookie dough is barely blended; you’ll still see streaks of flour. Add in the oats, quinoa and almonds and mix until just combined.
Step 3: Fold in the blueberries. If the dough is too sticky to roll, cover tightly and set in the fridge for 20 minutes or until it has firmed up.
Step 4: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Make sure you have a rack in the top third of your oven 6 inches (15 centimeters) from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 5: Roll the dough into balls of about ¼ cup (57 grams) of dough and allow 2 inches (5 centimeters) of space between the balls. Wet your hands and press the dough down so they are discs.
Step 6: Bake one sheet at a time in the top third of the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.
- Pick an olive oil that tastes delicious to you out of the bottle, as some of the flavor will carry through in the final taste of the cookie.
- These cookies will soften over time. Place in a preheated 350°F (177°C) oven and warm for 5 minutes to toast back up.
Reprinted with permission from The Cookie Book by Rebecca Firth, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.