Cookies for breakfast? I’m thinking yes!

Super sugary treats aren’t usually my thing, but add a touch of sweetness to any ordinary meal, and I’ll be downing it in no time. Instead of fighting my preference for sweet as I have often done in the past, I’ve decided to start using it to my advantage. Take these cookies, for example. The whole batch has only 1/3 cup of sugar (well, actually, it’s coconut palm sugar, but more on that in a moment), and it relies heavily on the natural sweetness of medjool dates. Between the steel cut oats, unsweetened coconut, and eggs, I’d say this certainly makes for a nutritious start to the day.

Chopped Dates and Steel Cut Oats

Coconut palm sugar was something I hadn’t heard of until I received a free sample of it at the BlogHer Food conference back in June. I’ve used it in several recipes since then, and I’ve found the sweetness to be subtle and somewhat reminiscent of brown sugar. Turns out that this unrefined sweetener is both high in nutritional value and low on the glycemic index, making it a smart alternative to cane sugar.

In addition to being good for you, these cookies are also delish! I’m digging their dense texture, and they are perfect for grabbing on the go. Dan’s been taking them to work for an easy breakfast, and it’s been so convenient to have them on hand for Eowyn. Each batch I’ve made has been devoured in no more than a couple days, so while we haven’t had the need for it, I have a feeling they would freeze quite well.

Steel Cut Oat Breakfast Cookies 02

Steel Cut Oat Breakfast Cookies

Makes: about 20 cookies

Steel Cut Oat Breakfast Cookies


  • 2/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup room temperature coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped medjool dates
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, then place the steel cut oats on a rimmed metal baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil for 30 seconds until smooth. Add the coconut palm sugar and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beating again until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder with a fork or whisk, then pour the mixture into the mixing bowl. Beat until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
  4. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the toasted steel cut oats, chopped dates, and shredded coconut, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. The dough is fairly stiff, so you may need to use clean hands to get all of these ingredients fully incorporated.
  5. Use a cookie scoop (mine has a 1.5 tablespoon capacity) or spoon to portion the dough onto a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Note that the cookies will rise somewhat as they cook, but they will not spread and will essentially keep their same shape, so it is good to form the dough nicely before baking.
  6. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes until they are just starting to become golden. Allow them to cool briefly on the pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

Tips and Tidbits

  • Toasting the steel cut oats prior to baking not only adds a nutty layer of flavor, but it also precooks them to ensure a more tender bite. And here’s a time-saving tip if you like to make regular steel cut oatmeal for breakfast: toast the oats in large batches, then store them in a sealed container until you are ready to prepare them. This will allow the oats to cook in about half the time!
  • The mix-ins I used in this recipe are some of my favorites, but if they aren’t your cup of tea, feel free to do some experimenting. Chopped dried cherries, raisins, or cranberries could be used in place of the dates (though you may need to add more sugar depending on the sweetness/tartness of the fruit), chocolate chips or cacao nibs could be an alternative to some of the coconut, or you could try rolled oats instead of steel cut. To convert these from a breakfast cookie to a dessert cookie, drizzle them with a little bit of melted dark chocolate. I think I need to try that, stat!
  • Interested in a vegan option? Just mix 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons of hot tap water and let sit for 20 minutes or so to thicken. Stir the mixture briefly (the consistency should resemble egg whites) and add it to the dough in place of the eggs. The flavor of the flax detracts slightly from the sweetness of the cookie, so I’d recommend increasing the sugar to ½ cup if you go this route.