A Squared: Dark Chocolate, Cherry & Coconut Oatmeal Cookies + an Adaptation for Nursing Moms

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dark Chocolate, Cherry & Coconut Oatmeal Cookies + an Adaptation for Nursing Moms

When it comes to sweet treats, I have a type. I didn't even realize it until after I had made this recent batch of cookies with a few staple mix-ins, but these cookies are a pretty good representation of what I like in a dessert: rich dark chocolate, flavorful coconut, and sweet bold fruit. I've posted a recipe for these dark chocolate cranberry coconut cookies previously and also these coconut cherry macaroons with chocolate drizzle more recently. Well, this most recent recipe may be similar in flavor profile, but I think it's the best yet!


These oatmeal cookies are an update of the recipe my mom and I have been making for ages, but also inspired by some of the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I have ever had: the little bite sized ones you'll find in a bag at Potbelly Sandwich Shop. I don't know what they do to make those cookies so delicious, but they are the best oatmeal cookies I have ever had... they're small and soft and buttery. And I've done my best to make sure that these come close!


A few things make this cookie recipe unique: It is slightly healthier than your average oatmeal cookie. Half of the butter is replaced with coconut oil, which is a really healthy source of fat. It only has a light coconut flavor, but since there is flaked coconut in the cookies anyway that flavor works really nicely. This recipe also calls for less sugar than the original. Since we're mixing in chocolate chips and dried cherries which are both sweet in their own right, you don't need nearly as much sugar as you normally would. And I used a standard-sized cookie scoop to achieve the size and shape of these cookies. I'd also mention that in order to keep them in these perfect little rounded bites, you'll want to make sure your coconut oil is at room temperature and not melted. Using melted coconut oil will work, but your cookies will spread out in the baking process and get thinner. Still delicious, but they look totally different and the texture will change.


These cookies have a wonderful chewy texture. They're a little buttery and super hearty from the old fashioned oats. And the taste is fantastic too! These cookies are just sweet enough with a hint of salt, and some spice from cinnamon gets amped up with my favorite flavor combo of dark chocolate, coconut, and dried cherries. I could easily eat a few of these in one sitting. And I may have done just that a few times...


Oh, and for all of you nursing moms out there I have included an adaptation of this recipe for you too! There are a million lactation cookie recipes out there and they're all pretty similar. The combination of oats, brewer's yeast, and flax meal has shown to help increase milk production so those additional two ingredients can easily be added to this oatmeal cookie recipe to help you along if you're currently nursing. You can't taste them and as if you needed another excuse to eat cookies, I can't think of a better one than keeping your baby well fed!


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut 
  • 4 Tbs. brewer's yeast (optional, for lactation cookies)*
  • 2 Tbs. flax meal (optional, for lactation cookies)*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together sugars, butter, and coconut oil. Stir in the eggs and vanilla until fully combined.

Stir in salt and next 5 ingredients (through salt) until well incorporated. *If making lactation cookies, stir in the brewer's yeast and flax meal at this step.

Fold in chocolate chips, cherries, and coconut. 

Using a cookie scoop or a large spoon, drop cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets in roughly 2 Tablespoon-sized scoops. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.


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