feel-good cookies.

2 Feb

Cookies make me feel good. Baking makes me feel good. Of course, too many cookies can make you not feel quite so good. Enter healthy-cookie-experimentation.

I keep reading on other blogs about going sugar-free, or detoxing, or what have you. While I’m a big believer in moderation, I don’t necessarily think sugar is something I need to consume a lot of. Granted, when I’m not at home baking lots of cookies, I don’t usually eat a whole lot of sugar. But I was still enticed at the notion of making a sugar-free (or at least lower-sugar) cookie recipe. What can I say, I like a challenge!

Unfortunately, most of the ones I found called for maple syrup, or agave. Again, these would be easy staples at home, but I don’t have them in my dorm and I’m too damn cheap to buy them. So what did I do? I made my own recipe.

Definitely mixed the dough up in my room… Classy, yes?

This was born out of necessity, out of a severe compulsion to bake. Ordinarily I can’t get into the kitchen until 7PM, but I embarked on another adventure to the neighboring building where the kitchen is open earlier than that. Luckily, the kitchen is much prettier.

Less luckily, there was all sorts of crap in the oven and I was sort of afraid the smoke was going to cause the alarm to go off. But I pressed on.

Desperate? Perhaps.

Delicious? Of course. (Especially because I used half Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter… my school sells it. Number one reason I go here, actually…)

These aren’t totally sugar free, but they don’t rely on sugar for texture, which was my main concern. They’re also still a work in progress. I don’t have things like flax, and I didn’t want to buy eggs, and there are generally a lot of limitations on what I have available to me, so it’s kind of fun tweaking things to see what I can change within those limitations. So expect to see some variations in the future. I’m stubborn & perfectionistic determined & quality-seeking like that. Actually, this is already the second version; the first didn’t have the optional oil.

These are definitely very dense (very high fat-flour ratio!) and, as you might expect, not overly sweet, save for the optional chocolate chips. The recipe’s pretty small, but easily doubled.

Oh, and nutritionally? Even with the sugar-containing Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter I used AND the chocolate chips, each of these cookies has 134 calories, 3.5 grams protein and 1.5 grams fiber, and 5.6 grams sugar. Not too shabby for a cookie!

Putting them in a low-carb tortilla bag TOTALLY makes them low carb, right?

Without the chocolate chips (but still with the DCD!), they have 100 calories, 3.2 grams protein, 1.1 grams fiber, and only 1.8 grams sugar. (If you don’t add the oil, subtract 10 calories)

Definitely something you can feel good about.

Low-Sugar PB-Oat Cookies
Makes 12

½ cup peanut butter (I used half Dark Chocolate Dreams, half regular)
½ banana
1 tablespoon water (may need more)
1 tablespoon canola oil*
2 packets stevia (or to taste)
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup oats
½ cup chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, or other add-ins (optional)

*Like I said, this was my modification. The natural PB I’m using is towards the bottom of the jar and kind of thick, so if you’re using a drippier peanut butter this might not be necessary…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave banana for about 30 seconds or until soft (this is technically optional, but seems to work best for flavor and texture). Mash well. Add peanut butter and water and mash together until well-mixed. Add in flour, stevia, baking powder, and salt and mix well. If the dough is way too dry, continue adding water in teaspoons.

Add in oats and optional add-ins and stir to combine.

Form into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly. Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool for a good 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, or they might crumble.



What’s your favorite healthy cookie recipe? Or… how do YOU feel about sugar?


42 Responses to “feel-good cookies.”

  1. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    I have all of these ingredients I can’t wait to make these

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      Oh please do! And let me know how it goes :) I already have a few tweaks in mind for some new attempts ;) haha…

  2. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    DO you know what the nutritional info is by any chance?

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

      Yeah I actually wrote it in the block of text in there somewhere… With chocolate chips (the whole 1/2 cup, you could probably do just 1/4 or 1/3 of a cup though) they’re 134 calories, 3.5 g protein, 1.5 g fiber. Without the chocolate chips it’s 100 calories, 3.2 g protein, 1.1 g fiber… Hope that helps!! :)

  3. healthyexposures February 3, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    I love a good healthier, heartier cookie! My favorites are the Energy Cookies out of Vive le Vegan and of course SuperCharge Me cookies from ED&BV :) Looks like I need to try these, too! I definitely prefer lower-sugar over most “normal” recipes, which are too sweet for me. Especially with chocolate chips since they are so sweet already!

  4. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 3, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Why did I eat that banana yesterday????? If I hadn’t, I would have all the ingredients! Oh well, I’m still putting these on the “to make” list! They look FANTASTIC!
    I once made some healthy oatmeal scotchies – need to make those again too!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      You could probably put in applesauce or pumpkin or something instead! :)

      Let me know if you do try them! My family really enjoyed them (I sent some home, and my mom said it was her new favorite cookie!)

  5. Kristina February 3, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    I wish I went to school with you! No one ever made anything beyond pasta at our dorm (back in the day)….looks delish!
    I’m not a big fan of negating anything out of my life that isn’t harming it:)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

      Yeah, i actually totally agree… I like to reduce things that I know probably aren’t good for me and honestly just like the challenge of messing with things like gluten-free, vegan, or sugar-free baking, but butter-filled white-flour sugar-filled baking is loads of fun too ;)

  6. movesnmunchies February 3, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    these sound and look AMAZING!! i love how they are no sugar– wow blog world is on a big no sugar kick lately! no complaining though!

  7. Aly February 3, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    These definitely look like my type of cookies! :) P.S. I love your pictures! So crisp and nice! :) Awesome!
    I can’t wait to read more (and eat those delicious cookies! ;) )

  8. Sophia @ Raven Waves February 3, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    These look so scrumptious…and the fact that they’re healthy is amazing!!

  9. Jenny February 3, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I think those cookies would most definitely make me feel good :)
    And i think sugar is fine in moderation just like everything else. It’s just that people tend to overdue it :(

  10. Mandi February 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m definitely like you and tend to experiment and alter recipes depending on my ingredient limitations. Those cookies look like they turned out fantastic though! :) I think that sugar is fine, as long as it’s eaten in moderation. Although I do try to keep an eye on how much I take in.

  11. kissmybroccoli February 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Loved this: “I’m stubborn & perfectionistic (scratch that) determined & quality-seeking like that.” I am the exact same way!

    Your cookies look fantastic! Love how you used the DCD! I made some healthy cookies a few weeks ago. I call them my “Everything But the Sugar Oatmeal Cookies”. So delish http://kissmybroccoli.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/welcome-to-my-lab-oooor-atory/

    I think everything is good in moderation, but I also KNOW I have absolutely no will power when it comes to baked goods so I try to “healthify” recipes as much as I can!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      haha ohhh goodness i know what you mean about over-consuming cookies! i’m actually worse about the cookie DOUGH… mmmm…

  12. whatkateiscooking February 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Delicious! I always try to healthify baked good recipes, but my cookies never come out well. I have to try these!

  13. theamazonprincess February 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    So creative girly! I’ve been looking for a healthy, good cookie recipe lately. I think I foooound it! :D

  14. Erika February 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    I loved hearing the entire story about how you managed to make these cookies while at school. That’s determination right there – I would totally do the same thing! ;-)

  15. Lee @ Fit Foodie Finds February 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    you are one brave woman using a dorm kitchen! I didn’t dare step foot in mine. I guess sugar isn’t a big deal for me when I bake. I do use honey or maple syrup a lot. Also…I try and use a natural sweetener, like a mashed banana or carob powder so I don’t have to add any real sugar!

  16. thefitacademic February 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    I LOVE that dark chocolate dream PB! SOOOO good! I die! Those cookies look amazing!

  17. spoonfulofsugarfree February 4, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Yay! I’m glad your low-sugar cookie was successful (they certainly look tasty!) Now the next challenge-make them completely sugar-free ;)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      I sent some home to my parents and they absolutely loved them, said it was their new favorite cookie! so definitely a success ;)

      I think this recipe itself could just be made sugar free and would probably turn out prettyw ell… I have since run out of bananas so haven’t had a chance to try ;)

  18. stephchows February 4, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    oo these sound delicious!!

  19. amy@healthyhungryhappy.com February 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    yum those look soo good!

  20. Kayla February 5, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    These look AWESOME! I love that you experimented with low sugar! I love baking, too! But baking sometimes causes me to overeat, hahaha. Love these cookies, though!

  21. February 6, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    I love how these are ingredients I actually have around the house! And I almost never add sugar to anythingthat I eat/drink.

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

      That’s the beauty of being limited in resources… Usually the recipes you come up with are easy for other people to make too! :) If you try them let me know :)

  22. Olivia February 13, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Oh my gawd, these look awesome!! I just so happen to have all of the ingredients in my pantry, so I’m going to make them now!! Can’t wait:) YUM!


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