I’d never object to eating a regular cookie for breakfast. But I’d always thought a breakfast cookie for dessert would make me sad.
Packed with good-for-you ingredients like whole grains, nuts and seeds, a breakfast cookie is meant to be healthful and substantial, something to fill an empty belly rather than a whimsical sweet to tempt a full one.
Then I brought home some breakfast cookies from Frenchette Bakery in New York, and I saw that I was wrong.
Decidedly not dainty, the cookies were saucer-size pucks — craggy with oats and seeds, flecked with coconut and chewy from dried cherries. Their centers were soft and yielding, but the edges crisped delightfully and even became a little buttery, which is all too rare for a confection of this kind.
Satisfying but not heavy, the first one was perfect for breakfast, dunked into my tea. Then I nibbled on another throughout the afternoon, finally finishing it after dinner, when it made a not-too-sweet dessert along the lines of oatmeal raisin cookies, but with a deep almond flavor from the nut butter mixed into the dough.
And if they were a little more wholesome than our usual after-dinner treats, then all the better for me and my family. Keeping a supply around the house seemed like a very smart thing to do.
So, I emailed the bakery for the recipe, which was a collaboration between Michelle Palazzo, the pastry chef, and Peter Edris, the head baker.
It turned out to be both gluten-free and highly adaptable. You can take the basic formula and play with it, substituting raisins for cherries or peanut butter for almond butter, Mr. Edris told me.
“It’s a lot like granola,” he said. “Sometimes, in the morning, after the cookies come out of the oven, I’ll crumble them into milk and eat them like cereal.”
Since I adored the cookies as they were, I left the recipe pretty much alone. My only tweak was pressing the dough into a 9-inch square pan to make bars. It was slightly easier than forming individual cookies, and I liked the softer texture they took on. The bars will also stay fresh a little longer, up to a week rather than a few days.
But then again, since they’re just so easy to snack on from breakfast to bedtime, their keeping qualities may be beside the point.
Recipe: Breakfast Bars With Oats and Coconut
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