Saturday, January 11, 2014

Healthy Cowboy Cookies

I don't know about you, but I get a craving for something sweet about 3pm in the afternoon. I am probably not really hungry, but it just seems to be a great time to sit down and have a little snack. Usually I wait until about 4:30 when John gets home from work and we enjoy a cup of our favorite tea, Hot Cinnamon Spice from Harney and Sons.  It is a black tea infused with cinnamon, orange peel and cloves. We both love it so we buy the sachets in bulk 50 count bags because we literally drink a cup every day! Cinnamon is supposed to be good for you, so I don't feel the least bit guilty about this little indulgence, and it also gives us some nice quiet time to catch each other up on our days while sipping this warm delicious tea!

Along with the tea of course it is nice to sometimes have a little sweet treat... that's what the Brits do right... tea and crumpets or something like that?  So today I decided to make us a healthy cookie to enjoy at tea time.  

Cowboy cookies are delicious, and of course I have a really fabulous cookie recipe for them that is nice to make for company, or to give as gifts.  They are huge so it is easy to wrap a 3 or 4 up in a cellophane bag with a raffia bow and a cute tag and you have a fabulous little gift for someone special! But today I decided to try a healthier version of this favorite cookie recipe because the regular ones are probably about 20 ww points each!

A Cowboy cookie generally has about everything you can think of in them and this healthier version does the same, but unlike the original recipe, there is no butter, sugar, oil, eggs, or flour! It is a great little snack to have around if you are trying to watch what you eat.  You can have one of these and not even feel guilty! If you decide to give them a try, let me know what you think!

Healthy Cowboy Cookie
2 ripe bananas mashed
1/3 cup reduced fat peanut butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped nuts (unsalted peanuts, walnuts, pecans)
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup reduced fat unsweetened coconut flakes 

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash bananas in medium bowl.  Mix in peanut butter, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg until blended well.  Add Oats (I used old fashioned), chopped nuts, chocolate chips and coconut and stir to blend.  Drop by heaping 2 TBS. spoonfuls on parchment lined cookie sheet and press down a little with the back of a spoon.  Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes (25 minutes was about the perfect time in my oven) until lightly browned.  Enjoy with a spot of tea or a cup of cold skim milk for a yummy afternoon snack!

99.3 calories and only 3 p+ on ww!

Cooks Notes - These are a really moist, soft cookie and should be stored in an airtight container.  If you are not eating them within a few days, I would suggest storing them in the fridge.  They are great pulled out and heated up for a few seconds in the microwave... yummy with a glass of low fat milk!  You could even eat this as a breakfast cookie on the run :).  

Mash the bananas, and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla

Add the applesauce and spices and blend well.  

I keep these little individual containers of unsweetened applesauce on hand,
they are a great substitute for oil in recipes that you are trying to reduce 
the calories. and you don't waist any when you can just up a 
little at a time as you need it for baking!

Stir in oats, nuts, chocolate chips and coconut

Drop rounded 2 TBS. portions on parchment lined cookie sheet,
and flatten a little with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until browned


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