Five-star Cookies

These nutty and moist cookies will definitely cheer up mid-morning coffee, or even an afterschool snack. They are satisfying and fully packed with healthy ingredients that restore flagging energy levels, without being too sweet. The barley flakes, which are crisper than oat-flakes, can be bought from most health-food shops. But be rest assured that the cookies are useful source of copper.

Ready in: 35min (Prep: 20min, Cook: 15min)
Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • Hazelnuts (finely chopped) – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Sunflower seeds (finely chopped) – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Ready-to-eat dried apricots (finely chopped) – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Stoned dried dates (finely chopped) – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Light muscovado sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Barley flakes – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Self-raising whole-meal flour – 50 g (1¾ oz)
  • Baking powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Sunflower oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Apple juice – 4 tablespoon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to about 190ºC (gas mark 5). 
  2. Mix the chopped sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, apricots and dates together in a bowl. 
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and barley flakes, and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Mix the apple juice and sunflower oil together, and then pour over the dry mixture. Stir it until the dry ingredients are completely moistened and clump together.
  5. With dampened fingers, scoop up large teaspoon of the mixture, and lightly press it into a ball – about the size of a large walnut.
  6. Now press it into small, thick cookie of about 5–6 cm in diameter, and then neat the edge with your fingers. 
  7. Place it on a greased baking sheet, and repeat same process with the remaining mixture.
  8. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes or until slightly risen and browned on the top. 
  9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow it to cool. 

TIP: You can keep them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
You can use unsalted cashew nuts instead of the hazelnuts.
Also in place of the apricots and dates, you can use ready-to-eat dried peaches and figs.
Again, substitute oat-flakes or wheat-flakes for the barley.

NOTE: Sunflower seed is an excellent source of the antioxidant, vitamin E, which helps to protect the cell membranes from.
Sunflower seed is also rich in polyunsaturated fats, and it provides good amount of vitamin B1 and other minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorus and zinc.
Barley is rich in starch and it contains the type of dietary fiber called Fructoligosaccarides (FOS).
FOS is believed to stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the human gut while inhibiting the growth of other harmful bacteria.

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