Here comes the sunflower
nut free sunflower seed butter breakfast cookies
Credit: Photo by The Picture Pantry/Ivan Danik via Getty images

If you’re allergic to peanut butter, you probably get irritated—possibly physically in addition to emotionally—every time you come across a breakfast cookie. Because peanut butter is high in protein and good fats, and low in sugar (if you buy the right brand), many breakfast cookies you’ll find at a cafe will be packed with PB and off limits for you. But how is that fair? The non-peanut-eaters deserve breakfast cookies too. Enter sunflower seed butter. While its flavor is a bit sharper than almond butter, the MVP of the anti-peanut world, jarred sunflower seed butter is typically blended into a perfectly smooth paste, just like creamy peanut butter, making it a great ingredient in cookies.

That said, this recipe will also work very well with almond or cashew butter if that’s what you happen to have. But seriously, if you’ve never tried sunflower butter, now is the moment. Because it makes a really killer breakfast cookie. You can’t see me through your screen, but there’s currently an 87 percent chance I’m eating one of these breakfast cookies right this minute.

If you also want to eat breakfast cookies right this minute (or, well, in 20-ish minutes), go preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper while you’re at it.

In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup smooth unsweetened sunflower seed butter, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 egg, 5 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. While many brands of sunflower seed butter exist, and you can even make your own if you want, SunButter Organic has worked very well for me.

In a small bowl, whisk together ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup rolled oats, ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt.

Dump the flour mixture into the sunflower seed butter mixture, then add 4 tablespoons chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and 2 tablespoons dried cranberries. Add a handful of toasted sunflower seeds and/or chopped toasted almonds.

Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, then flatten each cookie slightly. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, and in the freezer for months.