I have long been a fan of the breakfast cookie (or any cookie, really). Many of us enjoy scones or muffins for breakfast, so why not a very near cousin made more morning appropriate thanks to whole-grain flour and natural sugar? I've done many riffs on this recipe; this one is warmly spiced and tailored for crisp, cozy fall mornings.
I did a version of a breakfast cookie in my cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings, that was really loaded with nuts and had millet for extra crunch. I used that recipe to come up with this new version, packed with fragrant apples, soft raisins, and toasty pecans.
The first time I baked up a batch, the apples weren't fully cooked; and while the cookie itself tasted delicious, I wished the apples were softer and more integrated. So this time, I cooked them down with a little brown sugar and lemon juice until they were soft and resembled apple pie filling. Then I folded them in towards the end to give the dough great flavor and texture.
The dough for these cookies is definitely on the wetter side, so never fear if you feel you did something wrong: you likely didn't. They also don't spread much on the cookie sheet, so feel free to place them relatively close together.
These cookies freeze beautifully and are easily adaptable (use your favorite nuts and fruit instead if you'd like). If you make any adaptations or changes that you're particularly excited about, I'd love to hear about them!
Apple Pie Breakfast Cookies
1 1/4 cups diced apple chunks (from 1 small apple, no need to peel)
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Place the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook down until apples soften, about 5 minutes; set aside.
Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place both flours, oats, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
Place the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla in another medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cinnamon-apple mixture and fold to combine.
Add to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the raisins and pecans and fold to combine. Set aside and let and rest 10 minutes.
Using between 2 to 3 tablespoons of dough, scoop balls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten the cookies until about 1/2-inch thick.
Bake until the cookies are firm on the outside but still slightly soft in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool at least 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Storage: With the generous amount of cinnamon-y apples, these cookies have quite a bit of moisture, so they're really best enjoyed the day you bake them. That being said, you can certainly cover and store leftovers for 1 day at room temperature.