Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies

These cookies are yet another experiment in my search for delicious mid-morning snacks to keep me going through the work day. I've made many kinds of bars (see here, here and here) and cookies recently that have fulfilled this need with great success, but the scientist and enthusiastic chef and eater in me just won't leave well enough alone so I've taken to the kitchen again, armed with another recipe from Whole Foods to make oatmeal, coconut and sunflower seed cookies. This recipe immediately peaked my interest because I have a deep love for Grace's Best Cookies, and although this is not a clone recipe (Grace's Best Cookies don't contain coconut), this delicious collusion of ingredients does not disappoint. As these are, for my purposes, a snack rather than a dessert, the hint of sweetness combined with the richness of the butter and coconut and the nutty sunflower seeds achieves a wonderfully satisfying balance that keeps my stomach from growling until nearly lunchtime. If these are intended as a special occasion dessert I would recommend increasing the amount of sugar, adding a bit of honey or serving them with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Although I certainly go all out and indulge myself with desserts made with sugar and white flour (although I generally find myself preferring the taste of whole wheat) from time to time, I love being able to treat myself in a small way every day with a cookie that feels like a indulgence, but is still filled with nutrition.

Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies
from Whole Foods
makes about 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup grated unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/4 cups rolled oats, either quick-cooking or regular (quick cooking will make a finer cookie)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Put butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt and beat again just until combined. Stir in coconut and sunflower seeds. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour and baking powder, then add to butter mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.

3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, then set aside to let cool. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. 

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