Wow, do I have an awesome cookie recipe to share. I haven’t baked in a while, and with Easter on the horizon, I thought I’d develop a new dessert. Put down the Peeps, peeps. Trust me, you do not want those ingredients anywhere near your stomach or your children’s stomachs. Let’s take a peek at what’s inside a Peep:
So basically we have sugar, corn syrup (a.k.a. more sugar), and gelatin as the main ingredients. Then there’s Yellow #5, which has been said to cause hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in kids, and a few more undesirable ingredients after that. Lovely! Gimme summa that. Oh, and that gelatin? Pork-derived. So the next time you spy one of those cute little marshmallow chicks or marshmallow bunnies looking all sweet in an Easter basket, remember: sugar + pig = Peep. Haaaaappy Easter! See that little girl smiling in the bottom right hand corner? Well, her insides are not as happy. Let’s keep all of our bodies (because adults eat candy, too!) smiling on the inside and the outside this Easter, sound good? I have a recipe to make that easy for you. Enter: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free oatmeal-berry cookies with sunflower seeds.
These babies are dense, chewy, oaty, and perfectly sweet. I personally love raisins, but a lot of people don’t, especially kids it seems, so I used a combination of dried blueberries and chopped dried strawberries instead. Heavenly, I tell you, heavenly. Dried bloobs and strawbs are pretty pricey, but the recipe doesn’t call for much, and Easter only comes once a year! Although, I will definitely be making these more than once a year. This recipe is a winner. When I pulled the first batch out of the oven today, my mom literally grabbed one the second I set the tray down and took a bite. I was like, “Mom, they have to cool!” She disagreed…and then she ate three more. They really are that good. I decided to take after her and try one while they were still hot, and it was crazy hard to stop at one. It didn’t help that I baked these right before dinner time. Oops!
Oh, and the dough is drool-worthy. Look what goes into it…how could that not be delicious?
Another ingredient people seem to hate on when it comes to cookies is nuts. Everyone loves trail mix, but God forbid you put nuts or raisins in their cookies. Am I right?! Don’t get it. To be a crowd pleaser, there are no nuts in this recipe, but instead just the subtle addition of sunflower seeds. I love sunflower seeds, and they’re very Easter-appropriate. This is the ultimate allergy-friendly cookie that health foodies and Peep lovers (ew) can both enjoy this holiday. Sorry Easter Bunny, but you and your preservative-filled candy are fired.
3 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons nondairy milk (I used hemp.)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup chopped dried strawberries
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small cup, combine the chia seeds and milk. Give it a stir. The seeds will gel up in a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon).
Give the chia and milk another stir. It should be gelatinous by now. In a medium bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients (maple syrup through vanilla extract), including the chia gel.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Chop the dried strawberries on a small plate or cutting board. Fold them into the dough, along with the dried blueberries and sunflower seeds.
Place a dozen balls of dough (each slightly larger than golf balls) on the baking sheet, spacing them apart. This will be the first batch.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cookies cool for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The second batch should yield about 6 more cookies.
Makes approximately 18 total.
I was about to say that I wish this table always had a fresh plate of cookies sitting on it, but on second thought I realized how dangerous that would be. Actually, on third thought, considering how wholesome these are, I guess it wouldn’t be so dangerous. Cookies for breaky, anyone?