For these breakfast cookies, whole wheat flour, oats, flaxseed, banana, peanut butter, figs, and chocolate come together to make a satisfying, filling breakfast. Kids love ’em.
In the words of one of our recipe testers, “Breakfast cookies are hard. You want them to be healthy so you feel virtuous about starting the day on the right foot, but you still want your breakfast to taste good. These cookies leave you feeling slightly virtuous (flax!) yet slightly naughty (CHOCOLATE!).” Think of granola bars but in cookie form. That’s what you get with this breakfast cookies recipe. And you can feel free to tweak the recipe a little to suit your tastes, whether by adding walnuts, skipping the flax, tossing in some pumpkin seeds, maybe even upping the amount of banana or egg for a moister cookie. As our tester alluded to, it’s all about perspective. Originally published January 8, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H
- Makes about 20 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup stemmed and chopped dried figs (preferably Turkish)
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a smaller bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg, coconut oil, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Stir in the dried figs and the chocolate until evenly dispersed.
- 3. Scoop out the dough 2 tablespoons at a time and place on the baking sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. Gently press the blobs of cookie dough to flatten slightly as the cookies will not spread at all. Bake until the cookies are set and slightly golden at the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. (Most of our cookies came out done at 12 minutes, but start checking them at 10 minutes.)
- 4. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet. These breakfast cookies are best when eaten the first or second day but can be stored in a sealed bag or container for up to 5 days.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I can never make these breakfast cookies again. Because then I would eat them. All. By. Myself. I am a huge fan of breakfast cookies like these—you know, feels healthy but tastes like a treat. My only critique of this breakfast cookies recipe would be that the cookies were a tiny bit dry, and I actually think I might add either an extra banana or egg or more coconut oil to help with that. I think these would work well as "bars" and want to try them like that (but then I would have to eat them all). I found them a little difficult to eat as cookies because they were a little dry, but the flavors were spot-on. I used 1/3 cup dried cherries instead of figs and they were amazing with the chocolate. I then added 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and enjoyed the extra crunch they gave the cookies.
Healthy cookies? I almost looked the other way, but I’m so glad I didn't because this breakfast cookies recipe is very good, especially for having no butter and very little oil or sugar. They're very much like oatmeal cookies except a little more cake-like in texture. Also, what a great way to use overripe bananas! I hate throwing away my overripe bananas, and there are only so many one can freeze. I’m so glad I made these. The flavor profile of these breakfast cookies reminds me of an oatmeal cookie. The texture is somewhat cake-like but satisfying. Two tips: With the back of a spoon, spread the scooped unbaked batter to resemble a cookie instead of a blob since the cookies don't spread out while baking, and check these after 10 minutes in the oven. To save a bowl, I mixed the wet ingredients first, added the dry ingredients next, and then folded in the dried figs and chocolate last. I added walnuts instead of flax, and I liked the flavor. When I was pulling these out of the oven, my teenager walked in the door and tried one of these without even knowing what the ingredients were. He detected the banana right away, saw the remaining cut-up figs on the counter, and said “Ew, there are figs in these?” He grabbed a glass of milk and proceeded to eat it as well as another. Teenager approved! I already know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow...with coffee…mmm. (These breakfast cookies remained moist up until the 5th day, when we ran out.)
There are a few things I really like about this breakfast cookies recipe. First, flexibility. Given the "healthy" nature of this recipe and its primary ingredients, it lends itself to whatever you have on hand in your pantry on any particular day. For example, I didn't have whole-wheat pastry flour so I used regular whole-wheat and subbed almond butter for peanut butter. You could also play around with the choice of dried fruit and with the addition of other ingredients such as almonds, toasted coconut, etc. Second, ease. Without having to cream butter and use 2 types of sugar, this is a quite an easy cookie recipe. It took me about 25 minutes hands-on time. Third, taste. These are certainly not an indulgent chocolate chip cookie, but for what they promise to be—a healthy cookie—they do a nice job. This tasted sort of like a baked granola bar, with the addition of dark chocolate adding just the right amount of indulgent sweetness.
This breakfast cookies recipe was a hit among my tasters. They're satisfying in many ways—the crunchy texture from the rolled oats, the familiar aroma of banana bread, the rich chocolate, the chewy dried figs. And the abundant fiber helps keep you full for a long time. The recipe is user-friendly in that you can be flexible with some of the ingredients—replace figs with other dried fruits, etc. In fact, I didn’t have whole-wheat pastry flour, so I used regular whole-wheat flour for my cookies. My gut feeling is that one can be very flexible with regard to the types of fat you use. You basically need a total of 1/4 cup fat as the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons peanut butter. I don’t always have coconut oil, in which case I would use 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or mild oil such as canola or grapeseed in its place. The dough is very soft—it’s really more like a batter. My only complaint was that it was awkward to drop the very wet dough onto the baking sheet using the 2-spoon method. And when baking the dough as cookies, it’s hard to tell when the cookies turn “slightly golden,” as they’re already quite brown unbaked. Baking them as breakfast bars in a 9-by-9-inch square pan solved that problem. Just scrape the batter into a baking dish as you would brownies. My bars baked perfectly at 350°F degrees in 20 minutes. Both the cookies and bars keep well at room temperature in a tightly sealed container or bag for 5 days without any comprise in taste or texture.