When I was younger, my mother gave me some really excellent baking advice:
It’s very important that you roll your cookie dough into small balls. That way, if you end up eating six cookies, then you’ve only eaten six small cookies.
At this point in my life, I have very few vices. I don’t really drink alcohol, my coffee is now only half caffeinated, and naps– once a necessity– now only occur infrequently (and mostly accidentally, like when I fell asleep holding Lily and drooled all over her head). I’m doing my best to avoid distractions and stay present, because I know that, even on the hard days, things are pretty darn good.
But today was one of the hard days. And on the hard days, I don’t want to stay present.
I want to eat cookies.
First, however, I want to eat cookie dough. Lots of it. Straight out of the mixing bowl.
Because I know this about myself, I try to only keep on hand the pantry items that will do minimal damage–which has, on multiple occasions, led me to create terrible quasi-desserts out of such staples as unsweetened cocoa powder and Bisquick (which does not, in case you were wondering, taste anything like a brownie).
So today, when Lily finally took a nap (after throwing the tantrum of the century), I went on a mad Google search for cookies that could be made with the limited ingredients I had around– whole wheat flour, cocoa, nuts, sugar, and rolled oats. Here’s what I found:
I’ll be honest– I didn’t expect these to taste very good. But I liked that they were egg free, which meant that I could eat as much dough as I wanted. And because this was an experiment, I went ahead and made a few substitutions to lower the fat and sugar.
The result? Pretty good. Very chocolatey, not too sweet, and satisfying enough that I didn’t even need to eat six.
But the night is still young.
Low(er)-Sugar Chocolate/Oatmeal/Pecan Cookies
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup + 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter or margarine)
1 /4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup butter or margarine (melted; I used Smart Balance Light)
6 T sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips because they are huge, so you only need a few)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in a large bowl.
In separate bowl, stir butter, sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla together.
Combine wet and dry ingredients; add oats, pecans, and chocolate chips.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes.