Fruit & Oat Cookie Bites: So Easy a Four Year Old Could Do It

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When I heard you could make cookies using nothing but fruit puree and oats, I had to try it.  It turns out, it’s true.  You can make cookies using only fruit and oats, but trust me, nobody wants to eat those things.  The fruit and oat base, however, can be jazzed up with a few add ins to create a cookie that your whole family will enjoy.  Since there is no flour or sugar added, they’re even healthy enough to serve for breakfast.  My girls feel like they’re getting a huge treat when we give them these in the morning, but they’re really not so different from our regular oatmeal.  If you tell them, I’ll deny everything.

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I know people frequently claim that recipes are “easy”.  This time it’s true.  The ingredients and mess are minimal and they take so little time you’ll wonder if you skipped a step.  Just to prove to you how easy these are, I had my four year old make them.  This is not meant to downplay her insane cooking skills.  She can make a pot of sand and leaf soup that would definitely hold up in a Bobby Flay throwdown.  Nonetheless, if she can do it, it must be easy.

The short version of this recipe is:  Mix together equal parts fruit puree and oats and add mix-ins.  Scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.  Done.  Easy Peasy.

Now, here are the details that you need to know to avoid a few trial and error batches.

1)  Make sure you don’t add so many mix-ins that the cookies won’t stick together.  They should stick together when you drop them on the cookie sheet.  I made 1 cup fruit and 1 cup oat batches and would recommend no more than ¼ cup total of mix ins.

2)  You can use quick oats or whole oats.  I preferred the texture of the quick oat cookies, but the girls didn’t seem to have a preference.

3)  Make these in small batches.  They are best warm and fresh.

4)  Mix-ins can be dried fruits, seeds, spices, or anything you might put in a cookie.  I added some agave nectar because I wanted them to be sweeter than the fruit/oats alone.  The nectar also helps a little with binding.

5)  Be sure to spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Use parchment paper if you have it.  Do not skip this step unless you have some steel wool you have really been wanting to break in or you think hard crusties add character to your bakeware.

Elena’s version is the Cinnamon Raisin Banana Cookie Bite.

Ingredients:

2 medium bananas (very ripe)
1 cup oats (Regular rolled oats in this batch)
¼ cup raisins (or less)
¾ tsp. agave nectar
ground cinnamon (taste test for desired amount)
cooking spray

Remember, you can taste test this at any point because there is nothing in these cookies that would not be safe to eat raw.  In fact, you can just go ahead and chow down without cooking it at all if you would like, but I recommend waiting.  They do come out nicely.

Since we used bananas, there was mashing involved.

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Although I usually just use a fork, Elena prefers a potato masher.  It really gets the job done.

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Just add the mix-ins and stir it all together.  If the batter doesn’t bind well, you can add a little more fruit puree or agave nectar.  If you need it to be more solid, add more oats.

Spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray and drop cookies onto sheet using a cookie scoop.

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They don’t change shape much in the oven and we decided we wanted them a little flatter, so we pressed them down with a fork.  This step is completely optional.

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Pumpkin Apple Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup oats
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
⅛ cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
1 ½ tsp. agave nectar

Mix fruit purees, spices, and agave nectar.  Add oats and mini chocolate chips and stir together.

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  Drop onto prepared cookie sheet (don’t forget the spray) and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

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These were crazy good!