Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cinnamon-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

I am nothing if not a creature of habit, and since I've been offering up a healthy cookie recipe each Sunday for some weeks, I figured I might as well keep in up since I still have a few waiting to be shared. At first glance, the first ingredient might turn off anyone not in the over-60 set, but I can assure you the prunes only bring good things to this cookie, keeping it moist and tender (as well as provide all of their legendary benefits). Unless you're enjoying these cookies with an issue of the AARP magazine and a Centrum Silver, these cookies won't make you feel like a geriatric, and will probably even make you feel a little healthier and energetic at a time of year when we can all use a little boost. In the holiday season, when butter and sugar laden desserts abound (and I enjoy them with great vigor), I also need tasty and healthy treats, lest I feel completely bogged down with indulgence, without enough energy for all the holiday shopping, wrapping, and celebrating (as well as the unfortunately-timed overtime at work). These tender, chewy little nuggets are packed with flavor and holiday spice, the perfect thing to keep you going during the hectic holiday season. Whip up a quick batch just to treat yourself, or share them with friends and family who aren't adverse to a little nutrition during the holidays.

Cinnamon-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
from Whole Foods Market
makes about 30 cookies

1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Put prunes, walnuts and sugar into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, baking soda, applesauce and oil. Stir in prune mixture then add oats, flour, cinnamon and salt and stir until just combined.

3. Drop dough by the spoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Moisten your fingertips with a bit of water then gently press down each cookie to make a round shape. Bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and set aside to let cool.

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