Sugar: the crushing point in most healthy-eating attempts. When those cravings kick in, there’s all too often no going back.
Here, I’m sharing my recipe for spicy, chewy cranberry oat cookies that are blissfully free from refined sugar (the sweetness comes from coconut sugar which is an unprocessed natural sweetener from coconut blossom nectar). The recipe makes 12 smallish cookies that are miles better for you than typical sugar-laden sweet treats, requires little or no baking skills and is easily adaptable – see notes at the end. I prefer these cookies chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and admit to scoffing several in one sitting. It’s a good idea to taste the mixture as you go, adding a pinch more spices to suit (mine are heavy on the ginger, of course!) Once baked, store in an airtight container. They’ll last for about a week, though in our house they’re all gone long before this ‘eat by’ date.
FOR 12 COOKIES
- 75g coconut oil, at room temp.
- 50g coconut sugar (from health food shops and some supermarkets)
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda)
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 50g wholemeal flour
- 175g jumbo oats
- 75g ‘quick-cook’ oats
- 75g dried cranberries
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line a baking tray with parchment.
2. Cream the softened coconut oil and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
3. Crack in the eggs, pour in the vanilla, sprinkle in the salt and measure in the bicarb before giving another good mix through.
4. Toss in the flour and oats, along with the ginger, then mix together until well combined.
5. Finally, heap in the cranberries and any optional add-in extras (see recipe notes below) before zesting in the lemons, fold through and the dough is ready.
6. Roll into 12 small balls (or 8 large ones), flatten with the back of a spoon, and bake for 7-10 mins.
7. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container.
- ADD-IN EXTRAS: add in 75g chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans or macadamias; 75g dark chocolate chunks; swap the cranberries for a different dried fruit, such as raisins or currants; zest in orange instead of lemon.
- GLUTEN FREE? Replace the flour with certified gluten-free oatmeal.
- TO TASTE: Add more or less coconut sugar, spices, citrus and salt, tasting as you go along.
- VEGAN? Swap the eggs for flax eggs to make these vegan-friendly.
- SQUISH these down really well before they go into the oven, since they don’t tend to spread in the heat.
- BAKED when still soft to touch, as they further firm up on the hot tray once out of the oven – don’t leave them in for too long.