Cowboy Cookies (A More Healthful Version)


You need a treat every now and then. We are trying to eat a more healthful diet, but find it hard to forgo all sweets. After trying various packaged products, I found that the best approach is to make my own lower sugar, lower saturated fat, higher fiber snacks. These cookies have a bit less sugar than the usual, plus they use oil instead of butter. Using dark chocolate instead of chips means more more anti-oxidants from cocoa.

Healthier Cowboy Cookies
Adapted from Cookingthehardway, in turn adapted from Moosewood’s dessert cookbook. I replaced the butter with oil, used just light brown sugar instead of the mix of dark brown and turbinado(because that is what I had on hand), replaced the oat flour with spelt flour (because I was too lazy to grind the oatmeal into flour and I had the spelt flour on hand), left out the dried cranberries, increased the amount of chocolate and vanilla, and raised the baking temperature.

3/4 cup safflower oil (any oil will do, I suppose, and coconut oil would be especially nice; and I’ve seen a version of these cookies that uses applesauce instead of oil)
2 Tbl. water
1 cup light brown sugar (6 ounces)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour (7 ounces) (I didn’t have whole wheat flour, but I would use that with these cookies next time)
1/2 cup spelt flour (2 ounces) (can use 1/2 cup of oat flour or 1/2 cup white or whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. salt (I used 1/4 tsp. sea salt, but I might try the full 1/2 tsp. next time)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cup old fashioned oats (6 ounces)
7.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used a mix of Callebaut 835 and Schmerling Noblesse 55%)

Combine the oil, water and sugar in a mixing bowl until evenly combined and starting to look emulsified (you know, like shaken salad dressing). Stir in the eggs and repeat the mix until emulsified thing. Add in the vanilla and stir well.

In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (except the dark chocolate) and then add them to the bowl with the oil/eggs/sugar. Mix well to combine. Stir in the chocolate.

Using a spoon or a #70 cookie scoop, drop tablespoon-sized blobs of dough on cookies sheets lined with parchment, about 20 cookies per sheet (five rows of four cookies). Bake at 375-400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown (I baked the first batch at 400 degrees, and they were done at 10 minutes; the next batch at 375 degrees and they needed 12 minutes).

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Note: the original recipe called for baking at 350 degrees, but I find that oil-based cookies need a higher baking temperature than butter-based. It could be my imagination, but I think butter-based cookies brown more readily.

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2 Responses to “Cowboy Cookies (A More Healthful Version)”

  1. Mrs. S. Says:

    That’s very interesting about needing a higher baking temperature for oil-based cookies. Of course, our oven is so poorly calibrated that I often find myself changing a recipe’s baking time and/or baking temperature even without changing any of the ingredients! 🙂

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      I know exactly what you mean . . . . Been there, done that. Can you get an oven thermometer? I find it so useful. I go by what my oven thermometer says the temperature is, not by what my oven says is the temperature.


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