I've written before about how much I like pastries that can pull double duty as both breakfast treats and desserts (like these miniature blueberry and lemon upside-down cakes, made with hearty cornmeal and a healthy dollop of sour cream). Those sorts of treats can imbue your morning with a certain level of decadence, but I find that it's a delicate balance — too much of a good thing and you're setting yourself up for a sugar crash at 3 p.m. You've got to include some wholesome ingredients in the mix.
I was thinking about this the other day when I was at the grocery store and I passed a box of "organic energy balls." Made with peanut butter, miniature chocolate chips and an assortment of nuts and seeds, these snacks were marketed as being a protein-packed bite that would give consumers the jolt of energy needed to hit the gym — or just make it through a lengthy meeting.
But when I scanned the box, I was struck by how similar the ingredient list was to my mom's old recipe for no-bake cookies. So, why not blend the concepts? I set about creating a sweet no-bake cookie that did away with the added butter and sugar of typical versions, while also upping the protein.
To make it feel a little more breakfast-appropriate, these no-bake cookies are built from a base of rolled oats — and includes a splash of brewed coffee. Feel free to adapt this recipe to include more nuts and seeds if that's your thing (I've swapped out flax seeds and hemp hearts for oats in my own kitchen and it turned out splendidly), or if you want to veer this more solidly into dessert territory, you can always trade the coconut oil for plain, old-fashioned butter.
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RECIPE: Oat and Mocha No-Bake Cookies
Makes 12-16 cookies
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
- ⅓ cup brewed coffee, room temperature
- ¼ cup of honey
- 1 cup nut butter (I like almond butter, personally, but use whatever you have on-hand)
- ½ cup of diced nuts
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cups rolled oats
1. In a large saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, coconut oil, coffee and honey. Stir them over medium heat until the chocolate is fully melted and the ingredients are fully combined, then remove from heat.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients until fully incorporated.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to form 12 to 16 individual cookies.
4. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the cookies to set, then carefully remove them from the parchment to enjoy. Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.