No, never did I ever think I would be typing “lactation” and “cookies” in the same sentence and especially not on my blog.
Here is my take on lactation cookies: I don’t know if the COOKIES really work, but I do believe that the key ingredients (oats, brewers yeast, coconut oil, flax) work. I sort of think that the cookies are an excuse to… eat cookies? But in a good way! Also, this is why I think they are so great – in those first few weeks, and heck, even now, I was so freaking hungry, like had never been so hungry in my life. Having something quick to grab, like something even quicker than a banana and almond butter, was imperative while in survival mode. Especially in the middle of the night.
Even since having Max, I’ve developed this hangry hunger every morning, to a point where if I don’t eat something very soon after waking, I feel physically sick. Most likely because he is taking calories from me at night? I’ve never dealt with that before. So having one of these as a snack in the middle of the night or even right when I wake up is a complete LIFESAVER.
Now, these are cookies. Like actual taste-good cookies. I tried a few recipes in the last couple weeks that tasted like cardboard and were drier than dirt. I wanted to make actual enjoyable cookies, ones I wanted to eat, ones I’d be happy to grab twice a day, maybe three times.
The texture: These are thick cookies, not cakey at all, slightly crunchy, but not in a bad or stale way – they are crunchy from the crazy amount of rolled oats inside. I wrote the recipe exactly as I’ve been making them – meaning mostly organic ingredients. Feel free to use non-organic ingredients and what you have on hand.
I know you’ll probably have questions on what you can substitute, what you can leave out or add, what you can change and so on, so I’ve added some notes below the recipe. These will taste best written EXACTLY as is. But I know that sometimes you gotta make some changes! I really, really suggest leaving the amount of fat/butter in the cookies – it adds to the calorie value and new moms need those calories! It will also help the cookie to be a more filling “snack.”
If you want to gift these to a new mom, I would make a batch and bake them, then make a batch and freeze them. Or bake half a batch and freeze the other half. Deliver both. Making a freshly baked double batch isn’t great because the cookies aren’t super soft and moist and that number of cookies will dry out before eaten. Unless of course their family will eat them too. If you’re a mom-to-be, you can totally make these ahead of time – scoop the dough into rounds, flash freeze it then place them in a ziplock bag. My friend Julie has a great tutorial on freezing cookie dough!
Do you have an awesome lactation cookie recipe? If so, share below!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks (I like ghirardelli)
feel free to add: unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped almonds, 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
1. You can easily freeze this dough - scoop the rounds on a baking sheet, place the sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, then place the dough rounds in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Bake at the same temp - they may or may not need an extra minute or 2 - your preference!
2. You can use all butter if you don't have/can't find coconut oil. If you swap any butter amount for more coconut oil, the cookies will spread a bit more. If you decrease the fat (butter/oil) amount in total, these cookies will be drier. It's up to you!
3. You can use 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour with similar results - any more and the cookies with be drier and grittier.
4. You can probably decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup without issue.
5. I do not have experience in making these vegan, so I can't say what it would be like without the eggs or with vegan butter. I also am not sure how the consistency would be with gluten free flour.
6. I personally think you can increase the brewers yeast amount by 1 to 2 tablespoons.