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Cookies For Breakfast? You Bet!

It’s no secret that breakfast is
Cora’s favorite meal of the day; she can easily spend an hour
in that chair, eating a good three or four bowls of cereal and a
half a grapefruit. Or she’ll eat a bowl or two when she gets
up, then sit down for another round when Maddie awakens later. My
girl can eat.

So when we’re in a rush to get out the door in the mornings,
prying Cora away from her breakfast can be my number one time-suck.
Which is why, on mornings when we’ve got a deadline –
church, or Maddie’s early gymnastics class- Cora’s
breakfast becomes a moveable feast. She’ll have a bowl or two
in the chair – this works best if I rush her through getting
dressed and sit her down to eat while Maddie’s still blearily
finding the bathroom – which will tide her over for a few
minutes. Then I’ll bring her “second breakfast”
to go: if we’re headed to gymnastics, Cora knows I’ll
have one of my homemade breakfast bars for her to eat there. And if
we’re rushing to church, I used to bring a Tupperware tub of
dry cereal for munching, or even, as a special treat, storebought
– gasp! – breakfast bars (Odwalla rocks!)

Store-bought can be expensive, though, especially when Maddie
begins demanding a second breakfast (“But Cora’s
getting one!”). So I cast my mind around for something
special for Sunday mornings – something to set the day apart,
make the girls look forward to rushing to church. And since Cora
doesn’t get desserts yet, I knew she’d love something
called “cookie”. I dug through my recipe books, and
came up with this winner.

It’s almost a bran muffin in cookie form; packed with fiber
and nutrients and with a cinnamon taste the girls love – and
nut-free, for those of you with younger toddlers. If I bring along
sippy cups of milk they chortle with glee over their “cookies
and milk” breakfast. I got this from The Sneaky Chef, a
decent cookbook for kids with a couple of great recipes in them. If
you make these, feel free to make the cookies larger – twelve
to a cookie sheet – and freeze them on the sheet, then
transfer to a Ziploc for individual grabbing.

Next time your kids can’t get moving, just tell them
you’re serving cookies for breakfast and watch them fly.

2 cups whole grain cereal (like Wheaties
or Total – I buy the Kashi uber-grain flakes)

¾ cup flour

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large egg

½ c. brown sugar (can substitute honey or agave nectar as

¼ c. canola oil (go grapeseed for extra heart benefits)

2 t. pure vanilla extract

¾ c. low-fat ricotta cheese

Cinnamon-sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or Silpat mat.

Pulse the cereal in a food processor until you have coarsely
chopped flakes. If you don’t have a food processor, put the
cereal in a Ziploc and gently crush with a rolling pin.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, crushed cereal,
baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together
egg, sugar, oil, vanilla, and ricotta cheese. Add the dry
ingredients to the wet and mix just enough to moisten dry

Drop single tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving space
between cookies. Flatten cookies slightly and sprinkle tops
generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until
browning and starting to crisp around the edges.


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