Please do not be dismayed by the title of these cookies. They are absolutely amazing cookies and you could just as easily call them Power Cookies or Energy Cookies (if you are not nursing). (You can also use wheat, eggs, dairy and sugar if you want!)
These cookies have literally saved me, these last 6 weeks, since Fiona was born. I eat at least 4 of them during the middle of the night feeds and they help keep me going. Janet Feirin, author of Basic Spelt recipe book and owner of The Spelt Bakery, created these cookies when she was nursing her youngest child. She says,
“When I was nursing my children, I found I had a desperate need for a nutritious and delicious snack during those late night feeding sessions. I also needed something which I could keep close to the bed so it was easy to grab. Thus I invented the nursing cookies. But they are also great for snacks anytime and good for hikes and packed lunches.” (page 34, Basic Spelt)
This recipe is posted with Janet’s permission. It is an incredible cookie because I have been able to change so many of the ingredients and it still holds together and tastes delicious! Along the side of the recipe is how I change the cookie into a gluten free, dairy free, egg free and sugar free cookie.
NURSING COOKIES recipe
1 1/2 cups margarine (or shortening if you are dairy free)
1 1/3 cups brown sugar (or 1 3/4 tsp stevia instead of the brown and white sugar, for sugar free)
2/3 cups white sugar (see above for sugar free)
2 eggs (or 3 tsp egg replacer mixed with 4 TB water for egg free)
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose spelt (or wheat) flour (or 3 cups rice flour or gluten free flour mix for gluten free)
2 tsp baking powder (or 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups oats or kamut flakes (or quinoa flakes)
1 cup nuts/coconut (or flax meal, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds)
1 cup of dried fruit – cherries, raisins, apricots, peaches, pineapple, papaya, mango, etc.
1 cup of chocolate chips (optional)
Melt margarine in large mixing bowl. Stir in sugars, add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add flour, then baking powder and soda. Blend until all flour is moistened. Add oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate chips and stir. Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 F for approximately for 15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and cooling rack for 20 minutes more. Makes 2 dozen large or 3 dozen smaller cookies.
****Special note**** Spelt flour is an ancient grain that is similar to wheat and has gluten in it. However, many people can tolerate spelt flour who are sensitive to wheat.
Making these cookies gluten free (with rice flour or a gluten free flour mix) works well, but makes the cookies a little bit more crumbly. Make sure to cool them completely and then move them very gently.
Janet makes a killer Breakfast Cookie that she sells at her Spelt Bakery which is similar to the Nursing Cookie. Stop by there if you’re ever in Vancouver!