Secret Breakfast Cookie Recipe

It is conniving, it’s tricky and it flirts with deceit but it is also genius. Tell them they can have something forbidden for breakfast and they will not believe you. Let them taste what is for breakfast and you will win them over. I’m talking whole grain cookies, for breakfast. Shhhh, it's a secret!

Why give the kiddos a cookie for breakfast?

Because food that is good for them will keep them healthy. Food that tastes good AND is good for them makes feeding picky kiddos so much easier!

Aren't whole grains for old people? Old, constipated, crabby, awful people seek after grams of fiber to help scootch things along. A few years ago, people started fussing about the virtues of whole grain and how beneficial they are for all of us regardless of our age.

Claims of “whole grain” appear on packages of bread, breakfast cereal, English muffins and well anything made of grain trying to appear as something more wholesome over its competitor on the supermarket shelf.

There is a reason we look for products make with whole grain. They are better for us.

When grain is refined and milled into flour the most of its nutritional goodness is lost. This happens because the germ (where vitamin E and all of the B vitaminsantioxidants and good fats like omega-3 fatty acids live) and the bran (insoluble fiber = better digestion) are removed.

The endosperm is the part of the grain that remains – white fluffy flour.  The endosperm  alone is so nutritionally useless manufactures were forced to add B-vitamins back to the flour to help prevent illnesses like beriberi and even blindness due to nutritional deficiencies back in the 1940’s.

Why are whole grains better for us anyway?

According to the Whole Grain Council…

  • Studies show whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

  • People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios.

  • Lower cholesterol levels.

  • Due to the phytochemicals and antioxidants, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%.

Shazam, can’t argue with the power of whole foods right?

All these benefits come from eating whole grains –popcorn, brown rice, oats, corn, wheat, etc rather than their highly processed red headed step children. I have red hair, I can say that and it’s ok.

And yes, popcorn counts as a whole grain. Heavily buttered, sugared and/or salted “counts” as a whole grain but it gets deleted when piles of goop that are not so worthy adorn it.

Consider what gets eaten for breakfast at your house. Is it whole grain? Can you pronounce the ingredients? High fructose corn syrup? Artificial colors and flavors? Fiber? High in saturated fat? Heavily caffeinated, sugared and creamed?

About 10 years ago, our friends at Quaker came out with a prepackaged “breakfast cookie.”  It was made with whole grain and a list of other stuff I couldn’t pronounce but I bought them because they were supposed to be good for me.  Then I tasted one and knew I could do better. Much better.

I had a family recipe for Oatmeal Applesauce cookies and I started to experiment. Over time I was able to create a cookie that is so good for us, I let my kids eat it for breakfast.


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100% whole grain, made with healthy fats, most of the sugar is from fruit and they are just stinking soft and yummy. Which means my picky people eat them without really understanding why it’s good for them.  Evil genius without the evil? Bwahahahaha, point for the mama bear.

Oatmeal Applesauce Breakfast Cookies

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups regular oats
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

Cream sugar, canola oil and eggs. Add milk, applesauce and vanilla. Blend in whole wheat flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add oats and chocolate chips. Once everything is all blended let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes. Whole grains need more time to absorb the liquid so you can enjoy a soft, moist cookie.

After the 30 minutes has passed, preheat oven to 350 and scoop with a 1 ½ Tbsp (#40) scoop. I always bake on a silpat too.  They take 14-15 minutes per batch. Yields 3 ½ dozen. I usually double the batch and freeze everything. The kiddos pull out 2-3 at a time for breakfast (microwave 25 seconds) with a glass of milk. 

Hubby and I take them in baggies or containers in our pouches hiking and cycling. We eat these in place of energy bars. Yes, they crumble and smoosh but I can pronounce the ingredients, the ingredients are awesome for us and they are way cheaper than energy bars.

Our oldest ran track for the first time as a 7th grader this year. She would eat these after early morning hurdle tryouts, if she was still hungry after lunch and before her meets to ensure she had the proper fuel in her tank to run like the wind.    

Promise your littles something special for breakfast. They will love that they are allowed to eat something typically forbidden for breakfast. They will think they are filled with power and awesomeness to have forced you to cave to feeding them cookies for breakfast.

Little do they know you still have the power as they are eating something amazing filled with the love and power of whole grains.

Happy Baking!