Lactation Cookies (or really great oatmeal chocolate chip cookies)
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
I had a baby! Hence why it’s been since January 2 since my last post. Though my son wasn’t born until mid-March, the last couple months of pregnancy were pretty exhausting, and life certainly hasn’t gotten any easier since. But - of course - he’s the best thing I’ve ever “baked”, for sure!
Between feeding him, feeding myself, trying to keep up with personal hygiene, changing a gazillion diapers, and somehow sleeping, I can’t say there’s much time for baking right now. As he grows and falls into a bit more of a predictable schedule, however, I’m sure I’ll get back into the kitchen with more regularity.
For now, I’ve mostly been baking Lactation Cookies. I have no idea if the various galactagogues in this recipe are doing anything for my milk supply, but these cookies are SO DELICIOUS I don’t really care. Breastfeeding is hard work, and I get to eat a cookie every day and not feel bad about it. They’re also a super convenient “breakfast" item to grab and stuff in my face when I’m exhausted at 6am and feeding him and I need to go back to sleep as soon as possible but also I’m starving.
If you’re looking for a really good and interesting oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, this is also that. You could certainly leave out the brewer’s yeast, flax meal, and substitute molasses for the barley malt syrup (or a mix of that + light corn syrup if you don’t want so much of the molasses flavor), and I bet these would be just as good. I really can’t impress upon you enough how delicious these are. Let’s get to the good stuff now, shall we?
Adapted from Serious Eats / Stella Parks
Makes 25 cookies
INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES
200g Old fashioned rolled oats (7oz / 2 cups - not instant oats)
9oz Chocolate chips (255 / 1.5 cups - I like to use a mix of semi, bitter, and milk of various brands)
5oz Pecan pieces, toasted (or a nut of your choosing; toast in a 350F oven for 10 minutes)
85g Oat flour* (3oz / 3/4 cup + 1TB)
3oz Brewer’s yeast* (85g / 2/3 cup)
70g All-purpose Flour (1/2 cup + 1TB)
55g Flax meal** (2oz / 1/2 cup)
30-60g Sweetened flaked coconut (1/4 to 1/2 cup; optional)
2 Sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
200g Sugar (1 cup)
2oz Barley malt syrup*
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1.25 teaspoons Baking Soda
1.25 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 large egg
Large mixing bowl
2-3 large cookie sheets & parchment paper
Kitchen scale or cookie scoop (optional)
*These ingredients may be slightly challenging to find. I managed to find oat flour, brewer’s yeast, and flaxseed meal all at my local Wegmans. I can’t remember where I bought the barely malt syrup, but I know that a few of my local specialty grocer/baking shops carry it.
In the large mixing bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients together (everything on the list above until the butter).
In your stand mixer with the beater attachment, cream (beat on medium-high) 2 sticks of room temperature butter and 200g sugar (1c) until fully combined and a little fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the mixer bowl.
Add 2oz barley malt syrup, 2TB vanilla, 1.25tsp baking soda, 1.25tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ginger, and 3/4tsp kosher salt, and mix on low for a moment, then medium-high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the mixer bowl.
Add 1 large egg, and beat on medium-high for 4-5 minutes until the mixture gets light and fluffy.
Add your dry ingredients and mix on low for 20-30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the mixer bowl (this is especially important here so you don’t end up with a bunch of unmixed batter on the bottom!) Mix again on low for another 10-20 seconds.
In order to make the cookies look uniform, you need to scoop the batter either with a cookie scoop or by weight - I use a 2” (3TB) cookie scoop. Scoop the dough balls onto a wax paper or parchment lined cookie sheet - it’s okay if they’re close together; you’re not going to bake them yet.
If you want to bake them soon, wrap the sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, preferably two, or up to overnight. If you want to save the dough to bake another day, put the cookie sheet in the freezer (you don’t need to cover it) and 1 hour later transfer the dough balls to a freezer ziplock bag. The dough will keep for up to 6 months, possibly longer.
When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 350F.
Take out one tray’s worth of cookies and arrange them a minimum of 3” apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If frozen, let them sit about 5 minutes but no longer.
Bake for 12 minutes if the dough has been refrigerated, or 14 minutes if you’re baking them from frozen. Don’t overbake! You want the cookies to be just barely browning on the outside/edges, but still thick and chewy in the middle. Or…at least, I do.
Repeat steps 9 & 10 for one sheet of cookies at a time (i.e. don’t take cookie dough balls out of the fridge/freezer until you’re ready to put them on the tray and into the oven.)
Cool the cookies completely on their baking sheets, and enjoy!