Kitchen Confessions: Empower cookies

Anyone who’s addicted to Pinterest will know that a quick search for any recipe with the adjective “healthy” in front of it will yield an unlimited amount of hits … some recipes will be healthy and some will not. Recently at a community event, I tried a cookie and was completely blown away at how delicious, filling and seemingly charged with loads of energy-potent ingredients. After a few Google searches, I found the recipe and was shocked with the amount of sugar in it.

They were damn delicious too, so the thought of having just one is completely insane. Anyone who has had this miracle cookie pass through their lips will know what I’m talking about. After looking over the recipe, I convinced myself to forget about it and chalk it up as a once in a lifetime cookie experience; I would never bake something like that because me + sugary cookies = overeating disaster.

Yet for about a week, I obsessed over this cookie. Clearly I have a cookie addiction problem.

But then it hit me, I could probably bust out some changes and create a similar treat, which would be just as delicious and even more healthy.

This weekend, I bit the bullet and crafted said recipe, which I’ll call the “Empower Cookie” because I want to empower you all with the confidence to make your own versions of whatever it is that you’re craving. As with all recipes you find in Kitchen Confessions, you can add whatever ingredients in quantities that make you and your others feel good.

This recipe can be slightly adaptable to the gluten-intolerant by purchasing gluten-free baking ingredients, and can be made dairy-free by using a plant-based fat instead of butter (such as coconut oil). I’ve been told that there are some really good vegan egg substitutes on the market now too. I will leave the kitchen alchemy to you so use this recipe as a base and go from there.

I decided to make these cookies smaller, using about two tablespoons of dough per cookie, and this gave me 10 dozen cookies (that’s 120 cookies that you can gift to your homies if you’re worried about having that many cookies laying around).

These also freeze awesomely, so consider that, too.

If you make them this small, each cookie comes in at around 75 calories and are filling and healthy; not entirely guilt-free but definitely healthier than a lot of other options.


  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 ½ chopped dates
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat your oven 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric beater until smooth. One at a time, add the eggs and continue beating. Now add the applesauce, bananas and vanilla. Once combined, add the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until combined and no dry/powdery ingredients remain.

This is a major upper body workout that you will get for free.

Space out two tablespoons of cookie dough on your prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or your fingers if you want to bond with your creation. Bake for 13-15 minutes – watching for the edges of cookies to get nice and golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before packaging or freezing – remember this makes a mega batch so leave enough time to crank these cookies out. They are super filling and packed with a ton of power, so enjoy as a healthy snack on the go.

Shannon Yacyshyn is a recovering food blogger (the original Red Deer Foodie) who is passionate about trying new ways of cooking healthy foods in her kitchen. Find Kitchen Confessions Red Deer on Facebook.

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month