I thought I knew a lot about breastfeeding. While visiting Caroline in the summer of 2016 I found a bag of “Lactation Cookies” that she had ordered from Amazon.com on her kitchen counter. I didn’t even know lactation cookies were a thing. I stole one of Caroline’s cookies and despite the long list of healthy ingredients on the side panel of the bag, the cookie wasn’t so tasty. So the challenge was on: could we make a better lactation cookie?
It’s important to point out the scientific fact that eating lactation cookies will not really increase anyone’s milk supply. Supplements, herbs, foods however wholesome and organic–“galactogogues” so beloved of web sites–have never been shown to increase milk supply significantly. When I started searching the web for lactation cookie recipes, there were heartbreaking comments from moms who had tried various lactation cookies and yet their milk supplies hadn’t increased.
I do know one thing: giving a new mother some delicious cookies with healthy ingredients is the right thing to do.
We adapted a recipe from Jessica Merchant’s blog How Sweet It Is. I recommend Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips, since the chips are larger than Nestlé’s (not to mention the sins of Nestlé). You can also use butterscotch chips for some or all the cookies.
The cookies were pretty good! We soon discovered that you do not have to be a lactating mother, or even female, to enjoy these cookies. Grandpa, Dan (butterscotch variation), Adam, Rob, Davis, Caroline’s brawny washer-and-dryer installation guys, Daryl, and David have all endorsed the cookies for their delicious taste. So we changed the name to Superfood Cookies since they include chia seeds and flax seeds.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon ground chia seed
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips)
(1/2 cup pecan pieces)
(1/2 cup raisins or dried cherries)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: oats, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, ground chia seed, ground flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in pecans and raisins or cherries if you are using them.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add the eggs, beating until combined, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
Scoop the dough into 2-3 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.