Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies (Low Sugar)

(An updated picture for you. For an updated, slightly tweeked, somewhat healthier, and overall more amazing breakfast cookie, have a looked here.)

I know I'm not the best photographer in the world or anything and I know my weaknesses abound in both cooking and mothering. But tell me that isn't something you'd like to eat for breakfast.

I began devising breakfast cookie recipes a few months ago when I looked at the nutritional info on a box of Raisin Bran--not fancy crunchy Raisin Bran--just the boring old kind we associate with healthy breakfast eating and grandmas. It had 19 grams of sugar per serving, which translates to about 4 teaspoons. (Seriously, where do the Raisin Bran people hide it? Not in the 10 raisins per bowl, surely.) If you're shooting for the WHO recommended 10 teaspoons a day, you've already blown almost half of that; and that's on a measely cup or so of cereal, which hardly fills most of us up until lunch (which is always one of my breakfast goals--snacking the morning away be darned). I made a batch of cookies soon thereafter and thought, "I could make cookies for breakfast." It was a good thought. A very good thought.

So I skipped a little sugar here and a bit of butter there and added whole grains to everything. And, yes, it was a very very good thought.

(My what a neat and orderly work surface.)

(Oh, look, I remembered to criss-cross)

All of the breakfast cookies you'll see on this site have about 1 teaspoon (4-5 grams) of sugar per cookie or less without the chocolate chips. (1/2 C chocolate chips add about 1/4 teaspoon more sugar per cookie if there are 24 cookies). Which is less than most breakfast cereals, especially the plain breakfast cereals you buy to be a "good mom" which your children (and husband) then feel compelled to pour sugar on in super human quantities. All these cookies have some fat, though I've tried to keep the fats as healthy as possible--many are from nut sources. And even with the fat, they have less than if you spread some butter or PB on a piece of toast. Plus, a couple breakfast cookies keep me full until lunch. And you can grab them on the way out the door, or feed them to kids after school, or have them as a healthy dessert.

These here are my family's favorites. For good reason.

Cautionary Note: If you eat, say, the whole pan of these cookies for breakfast, the health benefits are a bit more, you know, muted, especially in the waist line department.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from smittenkitchen (and if you're looking for a non-breakfast wicked good PB cookie, try hers)
Makes 24 small cookies (18 regular-ish sized cookies)

Note: You can double the sugars (or add a couple tablespoons honey) here and still be pretty close to the teaspoon of sugar per cookie. It just depends on how virtuous you want to be. With the recipe as it stands you’re getting the same as or less sugar than you get from a bowl of plain Crispix and they taste a good bit better in my (humble) opinion. If you double the sugars, I’ll be darned if they don’t taste like a regular cookie and still have just over a teaspoon per cookie. They even got the husband stamp of approval—he could not tell the sugar had been reduced or that it was whole wheat—and he ate the ones without the chocolate chips (and he prefers chocolate chips with pretty much all foods). Now that’s a breakfast cookie.

¼ C butter, melted
1 C peanut butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
2-4 T sweet potato puree (optional, but it makes me feel like a better person)
1 ¼ C whole wheat flour
¾ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
2 eggs
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
½ C chocolate chips, or a combo of chocolate chips and PB chips, or--heck--throw some M & M's in if you must (optional--Because this is health food, darn it)

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add sweet potato puree (if using), eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet. (The dough will be a bit drier than what you're probably used to in cookies. That's okay.) 

Mix in chocolate chips if using.  

Roll into balls (or plop them down if lazy like me), then flatten and criss-cross with a fork or spatula. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350. Might not look done. Take them out anyway. Seriously, take the cookies out already.


  1. I am pretty sure that cautionary note was directed at me... (hides face in shame.) They really are THAT good! And my waistline proves it, by golly!

  2. Hold your head high, my dear. Savannah would eat the whole thing too, if I'd let her.

  3. My whole family is crazy about all your breakfast cookies!

    1. Oh, I'm so glad. I always hope others will love them as much as I do.



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