First, while we’re on the subject of “healthy”, don’t forget that the healthy living challenge and sweet slow cooker giveaway is available through next Monday (April 8th), so go here to enter to win—super easy, no personal info or signing up for anything required.
So, cookies. Cookies are the perfect fast, easy dessert, something you can just whip up if company comes over unexpectedly. And my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is endlessly adaptable. You can add any kind of chips, make the cookies regular or peanut butter or chocolate, add oatmeal or nuts, or pretty much tailor them to your exact specifications. We’ve also made a lot of small tweaks over the years to make it as healthy as possible.
I am all for dessert, but if I have the opportunity to make it healthier, I’ll totally take that bet. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have a fair amount of diabetes and such in my family, so we started making a lot of healthy swaps when I was a kid, like honey instead of sugar, whole wheat flour instead of regular, that kind of thing. But interestingly, our cookie recipe stayed mostly the same until only five or so years back, when we started playing around with substituting oil for the butter-flavored Crisco it called for. It’s taken some experimentation, but it’s a lot better for us and I think we’ve got it down!
Bookmark this baby, because this recipe will be your new best friend.
Stir together the oil and sugar. I always use my lucky wooden spoon for cookies.
Add in the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter and cream everything together.
Start adding the dry ingredients, starting with around a cup of flour and the baking soda and salt, then stir that in. Add the rest of the flour a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring vigorously. What we’ve found with the oil-based cookies is that you need to stir them really well, it somehow helps the oil and flour to bond.
We used about half whole wheat flour, half regular.
Stir in the oatmeal. If the texture is such that it sticks to your hands, add a little more flour.
Add in your chocolate chips, and we threw in some peanut butter ones too. Double peanut butter flavor!
Spoon or drop balls onto a non-stick baking sheet, making sure they have some room to spread.
Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden and done. They could be done in as little as 7 or 8, but both my mom’s and my ovens currently take 12-15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them!
I hope you enjoy this particular version of these cookies—they’re one of my favorites! And you can feel good about about the oats, peanut butter, oil, and whole wheat flour…might just be an excuse to have one more!
Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- Scant 3/4 cup of oil (canola, vegetable, etc.)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, your call)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups of flour (about half whole wheat, half regular)
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups of chips (we used mostly semisweet chocolate chips, with some peanut butter thrown in)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream together the white and brown sugars and the oil, then stir in the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter. Add a cup of flour with the baking soda and salt, and vigorously stir in. Then add the remaining flour, really stirring it hard. If the batter is sticking to your hands, add a little more flour—what we’ve found with the oil-based cookies is that you’ll reach a certain point when the batter texture kind of changes, it’s like the flour and oil take a minute to become friends. Finally, stir in your chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Place balls of cookie dough on the baking sheet, a couple inches apart because they will spread. Bake until golden and done. I wish I could be more specific than that, but we’ve found that ovens vary drastically. In our old ovens, it took 7-8 minutes, but in both my mom’s and my ovens (one gas, one electric) it takes 12-15 minutes total. So start checking around the 7 minute mark, just to be sure. Definitely don’t over-bake, I like them a tiny bit under-done, and they’ll cook a tiny bit more once you pull them out of the oven. Let cool, then pull off the cookie sheet to cool further.