As a new mom, I am all about mommy things. Not in an annoying “all I can talk about is mommy-ing” kind of way (right?! please say I’m right…), but I do enjoy dabbling in a good childrearing discussion every now and then. But when you’re around new moms the topic of breastfeeding comes up a lot. I’ve discussed breast milk 101 here and milk boosting oatmeal here, so obviously I have a lot to say on the topic. But what about lactation cookies?! A favorite topic of conversation for many a mommy-group, lactation cookies are revered as milk-boosting wonders. If breastfeeding is important to you, you are likely doing everything that you can to be successful at it. Its long been thought that certain foods can help to produce more milk (water, oats, flaxseeds and brewer’s yeast), so most lactation cookie recipes have a combination of all three. But if you have tasted these ingredients (especially brewer’s yeast which has that delicious stale beer flavor), you will know that it will take a little bit of creativity and experimentation to find something that makes milk which you want to munch with a glass of milk.
Anyway, I’ve made a few batches in my almost 7 months of being a mother and some were good, some were bad, some were bland, and some were so overloaded with butter and sugar. They all contained oats but not the same amount and not the same type. My friend Aly – who, btw is hilariously funny – told me you MUST use steel cut oats to get the best result. So I started experimenting with recipes and what I’ve come up with is below. Basically it’s the crunchy and chewy trail mix version of lactation cookies.
Ingredients for 26+ servings:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
6 tbsp brewer’s yeast
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine water, flaxseeds and brewer’s yeast, set aside
- In a large bowl cream butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and peanut butter
- Once the butter and sugar are combined, add the flax and brewer’s yeast mixture and stir well
- In another bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, cocoa powder and both types of oats
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well to combine
- Fold in dark chocolate chips and cranberries
- Using an ice cream scoop, place dough on a cookie sheet lined with a non-stick, silicone mat
- Bake about 16 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown
*Note: The cookies might not seem done at first, but they will stiffen as they cool.
It’s worth noting that the best way to increase your milk supply is to nurse or pump frequently. And water is great – always drink to thirst. Do these cookies work to boost milk supply? I’m not sure. But they are tasty, and in those wee hours of the morning when you’re nursing (or pumping for) your special little guy or girl, these cookies may help to curb that insatiable hunger so many nursing moms feel. Plus they freeze well and are great gifts for new mommies!
Have you ever made lactation cookies? What’s your favorite add-in?