Power Packin’ Sunflower Seed Oatmeal Cookies

     There was a day when companies would provide “free” materials to schools. Suppose it was a way to promote their brands but much of the information was good and really helpful. One of my favorites was a publication titled “Quaker Quotes.” These notebook inserts, provided by The Quaker Oats Company, were full of nutritional information, ideas and recipes.
     One issue (No. 3/80) included one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes. Quaker Oats® called them Power Packin’ Oatmeal Cookies and they could be made with either sunflower seeds or chopped peanuts. I’ve made them with sunflower seeds so many times that I’ve renamed the recipe.
     Interesting enough, the recipe contains no wheat flour so they should be gluten-free. However, that may or may not be the case – often times oats are grown in former wheat fields, or harvested with equipment used to harvest wheat so there is a possibility of cross-contamination. So, if you are gluten intolerant, be sure to check the label – it should say “gluten-free oats”.  (Bob’s Red Mill® is an example of a gluten free brand) 
Just to be on the safe side, I did check and confirmed that sunflower seeds are also gluten-free . (The Celiac Sprue Association provides a very helpful helpful chart @ Gluten-Free Diet: Grains and Flours)

Sunflower Seed Cookies  (gluten free if you purchase gluten free oats)
Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (canola oil)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups ground oat flour* 
½ cup instant non-fat dry milk (this boosts the protein content of the cookies)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
½ cup raisins
1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or spray cookie sheets.
2.  In mixing bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
3.  In another bowl, combine oat flour, non-fat dry milk, baking soda and salt; add to the oil and egg mixture and mix well. Stir in oats, raisins and sunflower seeds.
4.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets; bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
5.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack.

Quaker's Nutritional Information for 2 cookies:  143 calories; 3.2 g protein; 17.2 g carbohydrate: 7.1 g fat; 45 I.U. Vit A; 0.04 mg Thiamine; 0.05 mg Riboflavin; 0.43 mg Niacin: 34 mg Calcium; .87 mg Iron.

*Ground Oat Flour
1. Place about 2 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) in blender or food processor.
2. Cover; blend about 60 seconds. Makes 1 ½ cups+ of ground oat flour. (It will resemble coarse meal.)
Flour can be made ahead and stored in tightly covered container in cool dry place up to 6 months.

Click here for  Cookie Making & Baking Tips 

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