‘Tis the season for cookies! The holidays are right around the corner, which means so are parties, special get-togethers with friends and family, and other holiday traditions. That can mean LOTS of food and lots of delicious desserts. I am never one to pass up treats, especially on a special occasion, but I do my best to make healthy swaps in my own baking so that I don’t dive deep into hole of sugar, butter, and simple carbs that can be difficult to climb out of. I’m in an especially odd situation this holiday season because I’m just about 8 months postpartum so I’m still trying to get back in pre-baby shape, but I’m also nursing, which for me means that I can take in a LOT of extra calories without putting on extra weight. It’s a blessing and a curse because it’s nice to be able to be more flexible with my eating right now, but I also know I can’t eat this way forever and I don’t want to form bad habits. While weight loss isn’t a goal of mine right now, I DO have a goal to strengthen and tone my muscles because I do feel that I lost a lot of strength, especially in my lower body, with pregnancy. That being said- cookies don’t build muscle. Enter: cookie swaps that are delicious, but better for you.
For these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies, I modified a very traditional and simple chocolate chip cookie recipe. These are the changes I made:
– Replaced the butter with a mixture of coconut oil and peanut butter. This makes the cookies dairy-free and also uses fats that are a little healthier for you than butter. Also adds great flavor!
– Cut down on the sugar. That’s healthier for obvious reasons.
– Used gluten free oat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Oats are higher in protein and healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates. Bonus for moms who are nursing– oatmeal is great for boosting milk supply. I also love the taste of oats and usually prefer oatmeal cookies over others. Using oat flour instead of traditional rolled oats keeps the texture of a more traditional chocolate chip cookie.
I also want to make sure you know that oat flour is NOT something you need to run out to the store and pay an arm and a leg for like so many other gluten free flours. You literally just make it yourself by throwing rolled oats into a blender and blending it up until it is the texture of flour. If you’re not gluten free, just use any brand of regular oats. Super easy!
***IMPORTANT TIP: Do NOT skip chilling the dough before baking. This is important! It helps to firm the coconut oil back up so that you don’t get flat cookies!
If you make these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, let me know by leaving a comment below! As always, make sure you’re following Busy Girl Healthy World on Instagram for frequent updates and healthy eating inspiration.
Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 15 servings (one cookie per serving)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I like Enjoy Life brand for dairy-free)
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the peanut butter. Add the brown sugar and mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.
To the bowl, add the oat flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until completely combined. Mix in the dark chocolate chunks.
Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. I usually get about 15 cookies total.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown slightly on top.
Allow to cool completely then store in an air-tight container.
Nutrition Information per serving (1 cookie):
Calories: 159 Fat: 9g Carbs: 17g Protein: 3g Sodium: 106mg Sugar: 10g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.