Back to school baking

It’s the first day of school for my fourth grader and second grader. (Little Four has a couple more weeks before Pre-K begins.) You might be under the impression that their lunches are lovingly crafted, homemade works of art, but you would be mistaken. Today their lunchboxes contained applesauce, orange juice, animal crackers, and a thermos of spaghetti and meatballs from a can. They had goldfish crackers and water for snack. Not the best, but not the worst, either.

But hey, now that they’re out of my hair for 6.5 hours each day, I can take a little time to bake something healthy. Our school district has banned all peanut and tree nut products from snack time (which is eaten in the classroom), so I need to pay a little more attention to what we pack. I used up some bananas in banana-chocolate chip muffins (using half whole wheat flour, half all-purpose flour, and a good dose of wheat bran), and then tried something called “breakfast cookies.” I was going to make granola bars, but Miss Seven has a mouthful of orthodontic appliances and shouldn’t be eating sticky foods.

These cookies are 100% whole grain, mildly sweet, nut-free, and full of fiber. I think they are little more like tea cakes or hearty scones than cookies, but they’re yummy. If you can’t find quinoa flour (or don’t want to pay the outrageous price for it here in the U.S.), just use a cup of cooked quinoa and omit the milk (as in the original recipe).

Whole Grain Breakfast Cookies

adapted from Dinner: A Love Story

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup quinoa flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and milk and beat until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.

Mix flour mixture into butter mixture 1 cup at a time. Stir in oats, sunflower seeds and raisins. With your hands, roll dough into balls about golf-ball size and then flatten into 1/2-inch thick disks. Arrange 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

Does your child’s school have a ban on nuts to protect those with allergies?