If you’ve been wanting to make cookies with your kids but are nervous about your kids eating the dough, try egg-free cookies.  You can find lots of recipes on-line, but be fore-warned: eggs are an important chemical component of baking, and most egg-free cookies and cakes have a slightly weird or crumbly consistency.  That said, you can find some really yummy egg-free cookies that are worth experimenting with.

Donovan loves licking the spoon after making egg-free cookies!

My sister-in-law, Katie, and nephew, Donovan, recently sent me a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods by Cynthia Lair.  Katie loves this cookbook–both the author’s philosophy about introducing healthy foods to young children (the author doesn’t make separate meals!) AND the recipes.  Katie has loved almost every recipe she’s tried.  If you’re new to whole foods cooking, it simply means using unprocessed or minimally-processed foods whenever possible, such as whole grains, raw nuts, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.  It means keeping your food as healthy and as natural as possible.  If this seems a little “too healthy” for you, you might try adding more whole foods to your menus as a way to add extra nutrition, not necessarily as an entire lifestyle change.  Katie is a regular mom who succumbs to boxed macaroni and cheese and fish sticks on the nights she needs to get out of the house early for her book club meeting (and feels guilty later . . .).  Luckily, Cynthia Lair’s cookbook allows Katie to “balance out” her son’s nutrition and to feel good that on average she’s doing just fine.

Donovan mixes the dough all by himself.

Donovan made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for his play date friends last  week–a fun, self-esteem building activity that he could do (mostly) by himself.  He measured, poured and mixed all the ingredients.  He even spooned a few cookies onto the cookie sheets himself.  Best of all, Donovan got to lick the spoon when they were finished because the dough was egg-free.  The only problem: he and his friends ate all the cookies in one day!  My boys and I had the same problem, but for a very different reason.  I foolishly announced that these cookies were special because they could eat some of the dough at the end, and my boys took this as an invitation to eat all the dough they wanted (silly mommy).  In fact, they were really upset when I took enough dough to make three measly cookies just so I could see how the finished product turned out (I have to admit the dough was really good . . .).   Our verdict: a yummy, easy recipe that parents can feel good about!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foodsby Cynthia Lair)

Look at me!

1 1/2  cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the oats, flour, and salt  in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the maple syrup, butter, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to dry mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. With moist hands form dough into 3 inch cookies and place them on lightly oiled cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until edges are brown. Enjoy!
Makes 1 dozen 3 inch cookies