Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shortcut Oatmeal Cookies

Ok, so here's a confession: sometimes I get so coupon happy that I buy products I really have no intention of actually using. Those items I usually get for free or for just pennies, and I just cannot resist putting it in my cart. The worst is bringing my finds home only to endure the knowing look from my husband and sometimes the "When are we ever going to use that?" comment.

It's ok, you can judge me now.
For instance, over the winter, I found a fantastic deal on instant oatmeal. I think I paid maybe .25 for the box full of little packets. I was looking for breakfast foods for Cohen, and I found this oatmeal that contained a ton of protein and fiber and only a gram of sugar, and I just couldn't help myself. The thing is -- I don't like oatmeal, and it looks like the kiddo doesn't, either. And this particular oatmeal was ... well, it's just gross by itself. So it kind of just got shoved into the back of the pantry and forgotten about.
Until this morning.
I had a craving for something sweet and filling and just couldn't find anything to satisfy. And then I found the oatmeal and an idea came to me -- I wonder if I could make healthy cookies out of these?
Turns out, you can.

I am a genius, I tell you. Those pretty things up there are what I'd like to call Cookies You Won't Feel Guilty Feeding to Your Kid or maybe just Shortcut Banana Oatmeal Cookies. Here's how you make 'em:
  • 6 packets of instant oatmeal (I used Quaker Weight Control in cinnamon, but you could probably use any flavor you like). The Weight Control oats have 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of sugar per packet.
  • 1 single-serve container of Greek yogurt (I used Dannon honey flavor)
  • 1 banana, mashed or diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar (although these cookies are really sweet -- next time I'll probably omit the sugar entirely)
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • a splash of vanilla
  • a splash of milk


1. Dump all the ingredients into a large bowl (hold off on the milk-- you'll use that to moisten your batter)

2. Mix. If you've got a cute toddler around, get him to mix. But don't do this before naptime; otherwise your cute toddler might have multiple meltdowns when you try to "help".

3. The banana was an afterthought for me, so I added it in after the rest of the ingredients were mixed. You'll probably have to use your hands to get everything mixed well. Add a little milk to get everything moist and sticky.

4. Roll into balls and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. NOTE: halfway through the baking process, I realized my cookies weren't flattening, so I took them out of the oven and flattened them into cookie shape.

This recipe will make 24 cookies, but I only baked 6. The rest of the dough balls were frozen for a quick treat later on.

The end result? A chewy, dense, sweet cookie with a faint banana flavor. I love that it's fairly healthy (as far as cookies go). Cohen loves that it's a cookie. We're all happy over here.

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