Abigail Cahill O'Brien

Ken Meissner’s Famous & Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

In Food on March 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

Cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, have a special place in my heart.  I like to eat one slowly with a huge frothy glass of milk, and woe to anyone who sneaks a crumb off my plate or makes a pass at the milk.  When you grow up in a big family, you learn to share and hoard in equal measure.  I’ll gladly lend you clothes, but if you touch my milk and cookies, I will slap you.  On the hand.

Recently a whole other category of cookie caught my eye: The Healthy Cookie.  It all started with Ken Meissner, a yogi with a serious cookie habit.  Or perhaps a cookie lover with a serious yoga habit?  Either way, he’s dedicated.  And balanced.

Ken brings a bag of oatmeal cookies to almost every yoga classes he attends, and gives them away.  For free.  So you do yoga, you’re starving and sweaty and blissed out, and then someone says, “Here, have a free and delicious and healthy cookie.”  It’s pretty much heaven.  These cookies are solidly packed with oats, flax seeds, and dried fruit.  Yes, there’s butter and sugar in there too, but they deliver a whole lot more nutrition than the average cookie.

Of course I had to ask him, “Do you sell them?”

“Nope. I make two hundred a day and ship ’em to friends all over – California, D.C., Texas, Peru.”  Naturally, he has friends in the Peace Corps in Peru.  It’s a good feeling knowing there’s someone out there who makes cookies everyday for other people.  Just because.

So here’s his recipe. Make them, give some away, and raise a glass of milk to Ken.

Oh and I made mine extra large, with an ice cream scoop, and they come to 250 calories each.  I consider them a small meal and have been eating them when I’d normally have a Clif Bar.  Of course if you made them the recommended size they’d be half  as large.

Now I know for a fact some of you have amazingly healthy cookie recipes.  Ahem, you know who you are.  Come on, spill the beans in the comments!

Ken’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose or whole wheat or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup oat-bran
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds (Ken uses ground, I used whole)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raisins or cranberries or dried cherries or dried fruit or all the above
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease 1 or more cookie sheets, or use baking paper
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together, butter, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture is light in color.
  5. Add buttermilk.
  6. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture.
  7. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, dried fruit blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are light brown and no longer soft. (Mine were so large they needed more like 20-25 mins.)
  8. Put on a drying rack to cool.
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  1. I was so happy to have these on hand this morning, the boys had them for breakfast! I bet they’d be killer with a cup of tea, too. Kudos, they came out great!

  2. This recipe makes me smile a little because Ken Meissner seem to have countered the not-so-great ingredients with fabulous heart-healthy ingredients so you get the best of both worlds: taste and healthy. These look so good, chewy and chunky big, fat cookies!

    • @ fattydumpling: so true! when you make these, the volume of healthy ingredients is pretty darn impressive – they really bulk up the butter and sugar and make them go a whole lot further.

  3. Healthy (kinda) Oatmeal cookies! A swimmer I met at UCLA, Leslie is the creator behind this recipe. Makes a lot!

    1/2c butter
    1/2c plain lowfat yogurt
    1c firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2c white sugar
    1/2c egg beaters/egg substitute or 4 egg whites
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 tbl skim milk

    1 1/2c flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    3c oats
    1c raisins

    1. Preheat 350*
    2. Beat together sugars, yogurt and butter. Add eggs and vanilla.
    3. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together
    4. Gradually mix flour mixture into wet ingredients
    5. Toss in oats and raisins
    6. Bake 10-12mins
    7. Eat!

    • ahhh Mariss you knew I was talking to you, The Amazing Healthy Baker! thanks for sharing.

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