Wait, cookies that both taste like the holidays and are pretty good for you? Huh? How’d she do that?
I know it’s spring time, but I was craving maple pecan, and with all this quarantine business, it almost feels like winter since we’re spending so much time indoors. So pop on a Hallmark movie (or serial killer documentary if you’re like me), get your hot cocoa, and cozy up with a few of these yummy cookies.
These are easy to make because they use mostly pantry staples, are gluten free if you sub coconut, almond, or quinoa flour, and are jam packed with protein thanks to Nuzest’s new amazing vanilla probiotic protein powder. If you haven’t heard of it yet, head on over to their sight for preorder, because it’s so stinkin good. It’s made from European golden pea protein and probiotics so it gives you a protein boost that’s also good for your belly.
Ingredients (makes 24 cookies):
1 1/2 cup oats
2/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flax egg
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp vegan butter at room temperature
1/v tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
5 scoops vanilla probiotic protein powder
1/2 cups pecans (plus additional for topping)
1/4 cup bakers sugar crystals for topping if desired
These are so so easy because you plop everything into a food processor or mixing bowl and mix it all together fairly simply. Don’t worry about the order of operations here, because these are fool proof. A few pointers: be sure to pack brown sugar into the bottom of your cup for measuring,because if you measure it loose, it won’t be accurate. No need to pack flour or oats down when measuring, as these are measured loosely. If you don’t have cloves, you can add in nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, or whatever cozy spice you have on hand. These will also still taste amazing if you omit this step if you don’t have the ingredients for it. Also, I mixed the pecans right into the batter with my food processor so they were ground up and gave the dough a decadent rich flavor. If you’re using a mixing bowl, crush the pecans first in a bag by smacking them with a rolling pin or bottom of a pantry can. Set aside about 1/3 cup so you can add 1-3 pecans atop each cookie before baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line your baking mats with silicone sheets so your cookies don’t stick to the pan. You can of course spray the pans with olive oil or line them with parchment, but in an effort to go no waste and toss less in the bin, I always opt for my silicon baking mats. If you’d like a few more tips on a waste free kitchen, click here to up your sustainability game. Use a cookie scoop to ensure your cookies are all the same size. Scoop about 12 cookies onto each tray, sprinkle with sugar crystals, and add a few pecans on top for texture. Bake for 8-10 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the edges start to get golden brown. After baking, let cool on the baking pan for a few additional minutes as cookies continue to bake for a minute outside of the oven on hot pans. If you take them off too soon, they may fall apart since they’re so soft.
Confession: I took a few off immediately and ate the warm crumbly soft deliciousness on a bowl of warmed cinnamon baked apples. I have no regrets.
So I initially made these with steel cut oats. I honestly don’t even know why I did that, but I’d like to impart my wisdom to you and say, please don’t be like me and do that. These cookies bake for 8-10 minutes, which is not enough time to soften steel cut oats in the oven. They were a little gritty for the first day, but then softened up as we kept them in an air tight container and the moisture got to them. I ate them crunchy the first day because honestly, the flavor was so delicious that I was accepting a little crunch (think granola). But, we made them again right away – don’t you make two batches of cookies in the same week?- and this time used old fashioned oats, which were a dream. So, be sure to note, a pro tip is to make sure you definitely use instant or old fashioned oats if you have them on hand. If all you have available is steel cut, you can soak them in water for a few hours first, and then drain really well so they don’t add extra moisture to the cookies. Hesitate to add in your extra 1/4 cup of milk if going this route so the cookie dough isn’t too wet.
You can sub walnuts for pecans if desired. I’d also venture to say these would be amazing with chocolate chips, coconut shreds, raisins, currents, or cranberries if you have them on hand.
These stayed excellent in an airtight container for 5-6 days. You can also pop a few in the freezer in a silicone plastic free storage bag and they’ll stay good about a month. Simply pop into the microwave or toaster oven to reheat when ready and enjoy a toasty warm cookie, still with all of the probiotic benefits from before the big freeze.
I’d also like to add that this vanilla probiotic protein powder (also available in chocolate) is amazing in smoothies, coffees, morning and overnight oats, chia puddings, just about anything vanilla flavor is welcomed in. If you’d like to check some out, head over to Nuzest’s site and see why athletes, nutritionists, and recipe creators are raving about it.