Whole-Grain Snack: Animal Tracks Cookies

Whole-Grain Snack: Animal Tracks Cookies

Remember that moment in Big when Josh raises his hand and says, “I don’t get it.”?

I love that scene. (You can watch it here.) It so perfectly captures the 1980s, and the genius of a child’s mind.

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I had my own Big moment here at home the other day.

Jack had asked to make cookies, and so we found a recipe for Lemon Raspberry-Jam Thumbprint Cookies from our Feeding the Whole Family Cookbook. We modified the recipe based on what we had in the pantry, and came up with a nice, soft whole-grain dough.

And as I was dutifully showing Jack how to form a bit of dough into a ball, flatten it into a circle, and then use my thumb to make an indention for the jam, he was politely ignoring me.

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Meanwhile, he was forming his own bit of dough into a large, uneven pancake shape. He proceeded to make several indentions with his fingers all over the dough. And then, after staring at it quietly for a few seconds, he announced: “Look Mom: Animal tracks.”

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Which is positively genius. Only a child could take something as Martha-Stewart as thumbprint cookies and turn them into animal tracks! Or fossilized dinosaur footprints! Or birds’ nests!

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Which is why I so heartily agree with Einstein’s advice that “if you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”

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So take a cue from Big and have fun with this dough! And then enjoy these lightly-sweetened, whole-grain buttery cookies with a big glass of milk.

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Animal Tracks Cookies

Makes 20 cookies

(UPDATE: You can also make these with my easy homemade graham cracker dough! The graham dough is a bit sweeter and not quite as “healthy,” so your kids may like it better :)

Ingredients:

1 cup + 1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/4 cup ground chia seed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

5 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup almond butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

For filling: jam, dark chocolate chips, or dried fruit

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, flax, chia, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add syrup, butter, almond butter, egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. Use your hands to knead it gently into a soft dough.

Form dough into little balls and then flatten to make circles. Indent each cookie with your thumb or fingers. Place jam, dried fruit, or dark chocolate chips in the indentation.

Bake 15 minutes, or until edges turn golden.

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