I had a great experience with a healthy cookie recipe this week – so much so it would be rude not to share it with all of you lot!
I was desperate for an oatmeal raisin cookie 1) because oatmeal and raisin is an all time favourite cookie mix of mine (yes I did eat about a third of the cookie dough whilst I was making this batch) and 2) because none of the ingredients upset my IBS if I use the best alternatives to the regular recipe.
The oatmeal raisin cookie recipe I used was from Sally’s Baking Addiction because I was adamant I needed a chewy cookie. Not one that was essentially a glorified biscuit. Too many past experiences of pretending I intended to produce shortbread were at the root of this.
So I found this recipe, the photos looked good, and the ingredients looked non-threatening. So I gave it a go – and made it the IBS way. These were her ingredients and method – take a look at my modifications and try it for yourself for a wholesome, healthy cookie!
- (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- (200g) light or dark brown sugar (As this is a high sugar snack, I used Sukrin’s brown sugar alternative. Tastes just the same and made with Stevia instead).
(50g) granulated sugarI used an extra 50g of brown sugar rather than the small amount of white sugar to give it extra moisture.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (yes, Tablespoon!)
1 Tablespoon molassesI didn’t use molasses as they’re incredibly difficult to come by in the UK, so I just used a tablespoon of The Ginger People’s syrup instead.
- (190g) all-purpose flour. This isn’t too much flour, but if you struggle with gluten, try Sukrin’s almond flour instead. The nutty taste really compliments all the spices in the mix.
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. I also added a teaspoon of Mixed Spice. Be careful not to add too many spices to this recipe, though, as you don’t want to take the taste away from the plump raisins.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- (240g) old-fashioned rolled oats. I preferred to use half of the total oats (120g) using Delicious Alchemy’s rice porridge oats for this recipe. The rice flakes give a much lighter cookie that can help curb any gluten problems. Of course, if gluten is a huge trigger food for you, feel free to replace the whole 240g of oats with the rice flake porridge. Just be sure to add slightly more flour to the mix so that the cookies don’t spread too rapidly in the oven.
(140g) raisins.I think I realised only too late that I didn’t have enough raisin distribution going on with my cookies (I like lots of raisins in my oatmeal raisin cookies, so there’s one juicy raisin per bite, preferably). So I added another 100g of raisins so I knew for sure they were packed to the brim. (64g) chopped toasted walnuts (optional)I added a handful of chopped almonds instead as they’re known for being a particularly IBS-friendly nut (they stimulate the healthy bacteria in your gut upon absorption and help ease digestive difficulties).
Bake me! (adapted from the original recipe)
- Cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, syrup, and mix until well combined. (She’s right about how much vanilla essence you need. If you feel like vanilla essence might cause flare-ups given their high sugar and glucose content, you may need to steer clear of this recipe).
- In a separate bowl, toss the flour, bicarbondate soda, spices and salt together.
- Add to the wet ingredients and mix.
- Before you pop the raisins in, soak them in boiling water for 15 minutes prior. This plumps up the raisins incredibly well, making them extra juicy when you bite into them. Once this is done you can beat in the oats, raisins, and almonds to the mix. At this point you might think the dough looks too thick and sticky due to the high amount of oats going in. This does seem like a lot of oats at first when you put it all in in one go, but trust me, you need this amount to give that wholesome taste, as well as holding the cookie together when it bakes.
- Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator to stiffen the dough ready for baking.
- Preheat oven to 280C degrees. Grease two baking trays, ensuring there will be plenty of space for all of your dough.
- Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Before you put them into the oven, sprinkle a teaspoon of brown Stevia over the top of each cookie so that they have that grainy taste that oatmeal raisin cookies should have.
- Bake for 10 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. I cannot emphasise that enough – you need to keep a close eye on this and only bake in the middle of the oven. Any overbaking ruins the chewiness. When you take them out they should look somewhat underbaked.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time.
- Cover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies and rolled cookie dough freeze well, up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute– do not thaw.