|A bit Nutty|
By adding walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and peanut butter, you will be adding plenty of protein to balance the carbohydrates you will be placing in your mixing bowl. Topping it off with a honey apricot glaze will add a bit of sweetness and the slivered almonds will add another layer of flavor and added texture...
Will make these cookies your 'go to' recipe when you want a healthier version of what we all crave, cookies!
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cups sunflower seeds (shelled)
3/4 cup walnuts (Chopped)
1/2 cup chocolate bar (chopped)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)
1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (light will work just fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup honey (I used a orange blossom honey, use what you like)
1/2 cup of sliced almonds (to place on top of your cookies)
Roasting the nuts, this is one step 'I do not' skip and I recommend you 'do not' skip it either. When using any kind of nuts/seeds in a recipe, I recommend you take this one step. When you roast the nuts you are going to use in a recipe, it brings them to life and adds such richness to your dish.
When I came up with this recipe I used some leftover walnuts that I found in my freezer and they were already chopped but, if you are able to get whole nuts, please do so, they roast better. I would then roast the walnuts for 5 minutes (taking out and stir 1/2 way into cooking), before adding the sunflower seeds.
On a cookie sheet, covered with parchment paper, place your (chopped) walnuts and place your sheet into a 350 degree oven, for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes take the cookie sheet out, stir the walnuts and add your sunflower seeds, roast for another 3 minutes, take the sheet out and toss the sun flower seeds and nuts, if they are not yet golden brown then place back in the oven, at one minutes intervals.
While you are waiting for your walnuts and sun flower seeds to roast, place your rolled oats and baking soda in a big mixing bowl and set aside.
Bottom line is, you want to have a non-grainy consistency.
After you have reached the perfect consistency with your sugar and eggs combination, add your peanut butter, stick of butter, salt and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl.
Mix (same speeds as above) until well blended, when blended add your chocolate pieces and mix with a spoon. At this time, add your 'cooled' walnuts and sun flower seeds to your oatmeal/baking soda bowl, mix well.
We Are Joined Together
With your oven set on 350 degrees, take out two cookie sheets and place parchment paper on each sheet.
It just keeps you from having to do so much cleaning up afterwards and they are easier to get off the sheet too boot, set aside.
If you have a non-stick cookie sheet than bypass the parchment paper.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and stir until well blended.
The 'right' Tool
I have found when you have the right tool to accomplish a task, it is easier on this granny and also, the whole process runs so much smoother and also, it gets done faster.
I only have 2 cookie sheets but if you have 4, then it is worth using them. I use a (slightly smaller) ice cream scoop then the average size that most home cooks use and actually, it would be just about the right amount in your average ice cream scoop in the end.
I use what I have.
I scoop up a heaping mound full and do 'only' 4 cookies per cookie sheet pan, yes these are big cookies.
Place your cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until 'slightly' golden brown, take out and place on a cooling rack.
Glaze it Baby!
You can always place it back on the heat to melt the honey and perserves as you are using it, as it will tend to seize up. I would rather do this step, than to have a runny glaze.
Place your cookies on a cooling rack, 5 minutes after you have taken them out of the oven.
This is where those 4 cookie sheets would come in handy, since you have to wait a bit of time before you are able to use the sheets once again. Though even with two cookie sheets, I am able to pop these out in around one hour, from start to finish.
Another Layer of Flavor
|Make them as gooey and nutty as you like|
I will only add the glaze to 4 cookies at a time, so the next layer of taste and texture of the almonds will be all stuck to those cookies before the apricot preserves and honey glaze has time to dry. Yes, I too roasted these nuts before adding them to the top of this goodness.
I do not allow my slivered almonds get much if any color, I cook them just so I am able to see/hear the oils coming out of the nut. I find if you roast the slivered almonds as you would a walnut, pecan and even a whole almond, they tend to be a bit bitter...
Now that is not helping our goal of gaining a sweet goody to place in your cookie jar, now are we.
A few more goodies to add to your recipe box...
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Carrot Cake: Done Mama's Way!
Paula Deen's website: www.pauladeen.com
All photographs are the property of Denise O. Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission. Just keeping it real folks.:)