Is it very obvious that my family considers first meal of the day their favorite? Even with all of the breakfast recipes that I have up my sleeve (Almond Butter Smoothies, Pear Honey Pocket, Baked Oatmeal, Breakfast Polenta, Granola among many others) the demand for additional ideas simply refuses to taper off. So, every week or so, I keep coming up with the new alternatives.
Our newest breakfast obsession – cookies! Yep, you heard me right. But don’t think that Cucee has gone off the deep end with a cookie – these are super healthy and the only kind allowed in our house before noon.
The final version of this simple recipe stands on the shoulders of multiple failed attempts. If you’ve tried making your own breakfast granola cookies or bars, then you too probably ended up with a fair share of misshaped, cracked pieces of granola bark. Even David Lebovitz gave up on these. But I was determined to keep trying until a Cucee-fine breakfast granola cookie came into an existence.
Almost like a fairy tale, it all came together one fine day when, defeated and frustrated, I was standing in the middle of the kitchen, licking the crumbs off of the very knife that caused yet another granola bar massacre. Suddenly an oven light popped in my head. How about a cupcake pan as a baking and shaping tool?!
Success! Individual-size granola bars (ahem – cups), each as perfect as a billboard photo of a Big Mac.
The recipe is disappointingly simple: combine the base with a mixture of your favorite nuts, dry fruit (even chocolate.) Pop these suckers into the oven, sit on a couch with a nice glass of Zin, relax and let the vanilla aroma fill every nook and cranny of your house. In fact, the process is so simple that I normally make not just one but multiple flavors – one for every member of our family: chocolate-chip for my son, cherry for my daughter, and Grey Goose & Red Bull for my husband (well, only in his dreams Does not e know that Red Bull is so not good for him?!)
Crunchy Granola Cups
Inspired by me
- 2/3 cups thick rolled oats
- 1/3 cup coconut flour (or oat, wheat or all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cups dried fruits, nuts and seeds (our default combo is sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds and dry cherries)
- ¼ cup coconut flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (or another nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- ¾-1 cup honey
- 2 eggs, beaten (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat cupcake pan with a non-stick spray
- Bowl 1: stir together the dry ingredients
- Bowl 2: whisk together egg (if using,) vanilla, melted butter, honey and sunflower seed butter
- Mix the ingredients from all 2 bowls together until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Fill the cupcake pan, pressing the mix firmly into each cup
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are nicely brown
- Cool completely on a cooling rack before removing from the pan. Store in a large cookie jar on the counter or in the refrigerator. They freeze really well too
- Seeds and nuts: flax seeds or ground, chia seeds, sesame seeds
- Dried fruit: cranberries, apples, apricots, blueberries, raisins, chopped dates
- Nut butters: tahini, almond butter
- Sweeteners: date sugar, maple syrup
- Extras: rice cereal, chocolate nibs, buckwheat groats, toasted wheat germs