Sunflower Seed, Cherry, and Apple Oat Bites

Baked cookies on a long white plate sitting on a countertop

Oatmeal cookies are pretty much my favorite cookie ever. They are just amazing. As in, I-can’t-stop-eating-them amazing. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are often my go-to cookie when I’m not sure what else to bake. They are easy and quick to make. And, oatmeal cookies are incredibly customizable. When it comes to baking, you can add just about anything to oatmeal cookies and they still taste wonderful. I’ve tried peanut butter, coffee grounds, nuts, shredded zucchini…etc.

Since I love oatmeal cookies so much, I have been trying to make “healthier” versions of the cookie. Something that I can justify eating for breakfast. (I have definitely eaten cookies for breakfast before, and it’s great. But I have to be honest with myself, cookies are not always the best way to start the day). My main healthy oatmeal cookie hack involves baking the cookies with cooked apples instead of butter. The cooked apples keep the cookies nice and chewy, all while adding the fragrant deliciousness of slowly cooked apple pieces. And, apples pair well with many other cookie mix-ins.

My preferred mix-in is chocolate chips, but I baked this batch of cookies for people who like chocolate far less than I do. I usually don’t like dried fruits in cookies, but I have to say, this batch was great. The pumpkin seeds and walnuts added a nice crunch, while the cranberries added a nice pop of sweetness. I ate three of four of these apple oat bites in one sitting.

*This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, but it all depends on how big or small you shape the cookies.

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes | Serving: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

4 apples, peeled and chopped

4 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups flour

3 cups old fashioned oats

3/4 cup pack brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins…)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions

Peel and finely chop the apples. Place them in a frying pan on low to medium heat with 4 tablespoons of butter. Cook the apples until they are tender. Before removing from heat, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar and stir.

Preheat the oven to 370 F degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat two eggs. Add vanilla, brown sugar, and cooked apples.

Add the flour mixture to the cooked apple mixture. Stir together. Add oats, nuts, and dried fruits. Mix together.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto a prepared baking sheet. These cookies will not spread very much, so it’s alright to pack the cookies tightly. Bake the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes. Depending on how chewy or crisp you like your cookies, you may want to bake them longer, since the cooked apple keeps the cookies moist.

Baked cookies on a long white plate sitting on a countertop

Close up of baked cookies on a long white plate sitting on a countertop

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