Feel-good cookies

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are more like a granola bar, so you know they’re good for you.

Every once in a while I execute a stroke of genius in the kitchen, and I’ve apparently passed the gene down to my daughter, Cate, because she’s the one that came up with this gem: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Balls. I just made the name up. But that’s pretty much what they are.

I was texting with Cate a few weeks ago when she told me about her ingenious discovery: She could create an oatmeal-based cookie without flour, and then throw just about anything in, and they come out great. She uses dried cherries and blueberries, but I, of course, decided on chocolate chips in my version. I’ve been baking them once a week ever since.

I threw this batch together on a 20-minute lunch break, and they’re literally the most popular thing at my house right now. There are two best parts of this process: a) I barely measured anything, and b) I almost always have the ingredients on hand without going out to the store in the middle of July.

Whenever a cookie recipe contains more than a cup of oats, I feel pretty good about it. Doesn’t matter if there are two sticks of butter and a cup of chocolate chips, I still feel like that’s a healthy cookie. With this recipe, though, what you make is really more like a granola bar than a cookie — even more reason to consider it healthy.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Balls
Makes 16 golf ball–size cookies.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (can use gluten-free oats)
1 cup peanut butter
1 squeeze of maple syrup
1 egg
⅓ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the oats in a mixing bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together for a couple of minutes (you can use a large spoon for this — no need to get out the mixer).

When it starts to stick together and form a mass in the bowl, you’re ready to roll the “dough” into balls and put them on a cookie sheet. (This is a sticky process, so if you mind things like that, you may want to coat your hands with coconut oil or butter first.)

Bake for 10 minutes, and let them cool before enjoying them (this part is harder than you might think).