There are very few boxed treats I will buy to throw into my kids’ lunch. I find that what I would consider the healthier alternatives are not appropriate for lunches because of the nut-free thing and well, let’s face it most are little more than candy bars anyway.   I prefer to make my own when I can.

One brand I used to buy often (and sometimes still do for just-in-case) is Dare Bear Paws.  There is nothing special about these little cookies but they are kid friendly, soft, trans fat and peanut free.  When my kids were younger I bought lots of these and we unanimously decided the Molasses flavour was the best.

So you could call this a happy accident. After the issue of the muffins last week, I found myself in the kitchen one night trying to come up with something school and kid approved for the lunch box. Quick. These little cookies are so much like the BearPaws you could wrap them up and fool  my kids.  Except that I threw in some oatmeal – and of course my daughter called me out on that – but other than the oatmeal, they are pretty darn close. Better, they are vegan and although the nutrition facts on these cookies are not stellar, they do slightly better than the boxed variety in less calories, sat. fat and more fibre per cookie.

I used Nutri-blend flour in these cookies with good results.  Given the soft texture I would be tempted to try whole wheat pastry flour next time I can get my hands on it.

Oatmeal and Molasses Cookies

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 molasses
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cups large flake oatmeal, not instant
  • 2 cups all-purpose, or nutr-blend, flour

Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment.

In a stand mixer or by hand, whisk together oil, brown sugar, molasses and hot water until well mixed and smooth.  Add vanilla, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves. Whisk briefly to incorporate.

Remove from stand mixer, add oats and flour and fold gently until completely incorporated.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough, in round mounds onto cookie sheet. Flatten with fingers if necessary. Cookies will spread as they bake, leave 1-1/2 inches between them.  Bake 8-10 minutes.

Makes approximately 2 dozen medium-sized cookies.