Back in the saddle…with cookies.
Dear readers, I’ve been remiss. I went and vanished on you. But I have a very good excuse…his name is Jean-Luc, and he’s stolen my heart, as well as much of my spare time.
Not surprisingly, my life has become a little more oriented toward the Sesame Street crowd, and you may see a different kind of emphasis on this blog (to some extent – I’m not going all crazy-mommy on you, and if I do, call me on it!). So, instead of giving you just any cookie, I’m giving you a tried-and-true Lactation Cookie recipe.
The idea is that you make and eat a batch of these to help with issues of low supply if you’re breastfeeding. Do they work? Maybe, but even if they don’t, they’re totally yummy, and full of good stuff like folic acid, fiber, protein, iron, and more. When you’re making them, just call them oatmeal-raisin cookies, though, or the menfolk in your life might not want to try them. Actually, what am I saying? Call them lactation cookies, and you’ll get to keep the whole lot of them for yourself!
I’ve written out the recipe exactly as I made them last, including my quirky penchant for using multiple flours and oats, never quite bothering to measure the vanilla, and only stocking the house with salted butter. The recipe is an amalgam of two that are out there on the web: Cooks.com’s Oatmeal Cookies – “The Best” and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies, by Noel Trujillo. The elements that make it beneficial for lactation are the oats, the brewer’s yeast, and the flax seed meal, which you can add willy-nilly to any old oatmeal cookie. Here’s the resulting recipe:
makes 4 dozen cookies
3 eggs, well beaten
1 c. raisins
1 generous tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. ground flax seeds (flaxseed meal)
2 Tbs. water
1 c. salted butter at room temperature (if using unsalted, add 1 tsp. salt with dry ingredients)
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. wheat germ
4 Tbs. brewer’s yeast
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. all purpose white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. extra thick rolled oats
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1/3 c. chopped pecans
notes on ingredients: For flax meal, you can’t beat grinding fresh flax seeds yourself – I use a clean coffee grinder and get great results. If you’d rather get pre-ground meal, be sure your meal contains the flax oils that contain most of the nutritional benefits. (thanks to reader Kulow for bringing this to my attention!) Brewer’s yeast can be found at Whole Foods or natural food stores; it’s similar to but different from nutritional yeast, and the original lactation cookie recipe recommends not substituting. You can omit the wheat germ if you don’t have it (although it’s full of folic acid, good for sharing with pregnant friends). I like to use a mix of white and whole wheat flour, but 2 1/2 c. of white flour would be fine. Likewise, I love Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats for texture, but you can use 2 1/2 c. total of whatever oats you like. I use walnuts and pecans, but other dried fruits, seeds, nuts, or chocolate (I recommend a good dark chocolate) would all be great, just fold in at the last step! The flax, brewer’s yeast, and oats are the “lactation” elements, but they’re tasty for everyone!
- In a small bowl, combine eggs, raisins, and vanilla. Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour; can be kept in refrigerator overnight. This is the secret step that makes them awesome. Don’t skimp on the vanilla!
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water; allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl (or stand mixer) cream together butter and sugars. Add in flax seed mixture, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, salt (if using unsalted butter), cinnamon, and baking soda. Gradually add in flours until completely incorporated.
- Incorporate raisin and egg mixture. Stir in oats and nuts.
- Spoon out in heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes (do not overbake, cookies will just have started to brown at edges), allow to cool. Enjoy!