I'm always on the quest to make cookies that are a little healthier. I'm not saying that cookies full of butter and sugar and chocolate shouldn't be enjoyed, but I prefer to leave those cookies to special occasions and holidays (especially Christmas, when a few extra pounds are expected). On an average day, when I want cookies, I want to feel just a little bit virtuous about it.
The other reason I've been thinking about trying out some healthier cookie recipes is because my Dad is a cookie addict. I know people who like cookies, but my Dad's love for the little round discs of buttery goodness goes beyond almost any love for a food item I've ever seen. My Mom has spent 41 years of marriage trying to keep up with his demand for a full cookie jar. When she makes cookies, it's like a factory in the kitchen, there are jars and tins slowly being filled and racks and trays covering every surface. She has "healthified" her cookies over the years, but one of the ways she does that is by using soft margarine. I'm not a proponent of chemically produced "healthy" fat. I've been trying to get her to switch to butter for years, but to no avail. Their Doctor told them that margarine is good for the heart, so it stays. But these cookies use canola oil, and a small amount of it, which in my opinion is much better for the heart, but I'm no Doctor.
I came up with these cookies this morning, and they are my rough draft, but I must say, they turned out so well, I don't think they need any editing. You can definitely play with them to make them your own by putting different nuts and seeds in them, or by using a different type of granola.
My Healthy Granola Cookies - Rough Draft
I use my homemade granola (http://figueetnoisette.blogspot.com/2008/10/tree-hugging-granola-making-and-more.html) for these, which has gone through quite a number of drafts itself, and is now the best it's ever been. I will post the newest version soon. The one I made yesterday has almonds, hazelnuts, dried apricots, dates and golden raisins in it, but you can really use any granola you like.
Preheat the oven to 350C.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I think spelt flour would also work great here)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flax
Whisk together in a large bowl. Add:
2 cups granola
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
In another bowl, whisk together:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 egg whites
Pour this over the dry ingredients and stir in with a spatula until everything is combined. Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (they should be about the size of a ping pong ball), and make sure you space them apart so they have room to spread. Bake for about 12 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges and the centres don't look pale and doughy anymore.