Cookies of Power

Cookies of power 2 Cookies of Power

Those who lived in Calgary in the 90s might remember a coffee shop on a corner in Sunnyside called the Heartland Cafe, in the space that now houses Vendome. One of the most popular baked goods on the wooden rack behind the cash register, along with hefty raspberry yogurt muffins, were big, grainy cookies loaded with nuts, seeds and dark chocolate chunks – they called them Nutri-Cookies.

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The term nutri applied in a very 70s manner; anything loaded with seedy, grainy things or served with sprouts or yogurt earned that label. When I acquired the Heartland Cafe Cookbook from a friend’s mum, the recipe called for a cup of margarine and as much brown sugar – decidedly not nutri, but definitely delicious, with a wonderfully fine texture. And yes – loaded with good things.

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This is the type of cookie that could easily pinch-hit as breakfast, rounds out a lunchbox well and fills the gap in that late afternoon lull between school and dinner. You could, of course, add any number of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and the like, but this particular combo brings be right back to the cafe, pre-coffee addiction, mid-cookie addiction.

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The dough is very thick – it will give your stand mixer a workout. Drop big scoops onto your cookie sheet – I broke one ice cream scoop doing this – and then flatten each with your hand into a small pattie. I imagine these would freeze well, if you don’t want to bake them all at once.

Cookies of power 1 Cookies of Power

If you don’t already know these, I’m certain you’ll want to make their acquaintance.

Cookies of Power

Adapted from The Heartland Cafe Cookbook

1 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2 cups oats
1/3 cups bran or oat bran
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup sunflower, sesame and/or pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325F. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. It may look separated – that’s OK.

Add the flour, oats, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir or mix on low speed until almost blended. Add the chocolate, nuts and seeds and stir just until combined.

Drop 1/3 cup scoops onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet; flatten each to 1/2-inch thick with your hand. Bake for 20 minutes, until pale golden around the edges and set, but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen large cookies.

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January 17 2013 01:59 pm | cookies & squares and snacks

32 Responses to “Cookies of Power”

  1. Sheila on 17 Jan 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Thanks! I was looking for a recipe like this. I need healthy snacks for the kids in the evenings when we’re driving between activities.

  2. Goldy on 17 Jan 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I used to live in sunnyside years ago. I would go early for the day old stuff and zip home, if I had the dinero I ate fresh. Sadly I lent my heartland cookbook to some ratbastard that did not return it! Thanks for the recipe!!!! The raspberry yogurt muffins made me a muffin man.

  3. Roslyne Buchanan on 17 Jan 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Nice one, Julie!
    I remember those cookies well. Definitely a hardy and hearty recipe to add to the collection.
    Thank-you.

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on 17 Jan 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    What hearty and delish looking cookies. Love all the texture!

  5. Erica B. on 17 Jan 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    OMG we lived in Sunnyside in the 90s. These cookies and the raspberry yogurt muffins were my fave back then! There’s a Heartland Cafe Cookbook?!!

  6. Margaret on 17 Jan 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    I used to go to Heartland all the time – my sister lived just down the street.

    We would laugh about the ‘Nutri Cookies’ being as nutritional as the ‘Ginger Snaps’ were snappy! Loved all their baking.

  7. Susan on 17 Jan 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks again for a great recipe, you’re my favourite blogger! Just wondering about the oats…does it matter if they’re old fashioned or quick oats?
    Thanks, these will make a fabulous after school snack for the boys!

  8. SarahP on 17 Jan 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Loved Heartland! Loved those cookies and the raspberry yogurt muffins. Thanks for the recipe and a trip down memory lane!

  9. Jane on 17 Jan 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Thanks so much for the cookie recipe! Any chance the raspberry yogurt one is close behind? Love your blog–keep up the good work!

  10. Carolyn on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    I love when you post cookie recipes!

  11. JulieVR on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    OK, so it appears I need to post more cookie recipes! :)

  12. JulieVR on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Jane – that could be arranged!

  13. Lyn on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    My mom used to make something like these.. We called them kitchen sink cookies because they had everything but the kitchen sink in them.

  14. Sujata Patel on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    I loved that place; I went searching for it only to discover it was no more. I have the recipe book and love the vegetarian chili recipe in it.
    Julie, here is a challenge for you. I love the fruit bars from Glamorgan Bakery. I have hunted online, through cookbooks, etc. but without success. Can you help?

  15. JulieVR on 17 Jan 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Susan – I used old-fashioned, but you could use either, it would just be a texture issue!

  16. Kimberley on 17 Jan 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I used to go to Heartland Cafe all the time when I was a U of C student in the mid-90s – I don’t live in the city anymore so didn’t realize it was no longer! So sad. Thanks for the memory and for the recipe, I’m making these tomorrow! :)

  17. Ann on 18 Jan 2013 at 8:27 am #

    I loved the Heartland Cafe! And like many others, I really enjoyed the raspberry yogurt muffins, too. It would be wonderful to get the recipe!

    I moved from Calgary several years ago and I was so sad to hear the Heartland Cafe was no more. I have a lot of fond memories meeting with dear friends over coffee in that sunny coffee shop on the corner. I loved walking on the creaky floors, too.

    Thanks for the recipe and the trip down Memory Lane.

  18. Misty on 18 Jan 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Vendome is great but I miss Heartland–The Cafe and the Country Store. I may be a bit biased though, I worked at the store and had breakfasts and lunches at the cafe and I have very fond memories. Funny, the nutri-cookies were never something I sampled but I guess it’s never to late to try them. :)

  19. Jan @ Family Bites on 18 Jan 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    I don’t know the cafe, but I sure do want to become familiar with these cookies. It’s going to be -25 or so next week – I think I need these in the house to help to keep us warm!

  20. Alicen on 18 Jan 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Do you think this recipe would tolerate the substitution of 1/2 cup of butter for 1/2 cup of applesauce? I make this sub fairly often, it works really well for muffins and cake, but I’m not sure with the cookie texture? What do you think?

  21. JulieVR on 18 Jan 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I think (OK, I know) that subbing in 1/2 cup of applesauce will give them a cakey texture, like muffin tops. Applesauce is a liquid, and so is best in cakes, muffins and things that have a springy, cakey texture. I have subbed canola oil for some of the butter with great results – so you could do that if you’re trying to cut back on saturated fat, but it won’t affect calories.

  22. Avery on 18 Jan 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I feel like these should have an exclamation point or two on the end of their name (“Cookies of POWER!”)

  23. Jenn on 18 Jan 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    So I was wondering if you would be able to post the stats (calories,fat,carbs,protein,etc) these sound great I’m definetly going to be baking up a big batch :)

  24. Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies on 18 Jan 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    These are cookies I wouldn’t feel so guilty about giving to the kids! Cookies are their favorite thing to have for dessert and this would be a great option! Thanks for sharing….

  25. Sherri Zickefoose on 19 Jan 2013 at 12:24 am #

    Julie, another dynamite post! Made this tonight for tomorrow’s snowshoe adventure. I chopped up two Lindt dark chocolate/orange bars, and it turned out great. Thanks for the great snack idea!

  26. Rosey on 19 Jan 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Just made these cookies and they are outstanding! Mine spread out a lot- a problem I often seem to have with cookies- so I know it wasn’t your recipe.
    I’m so glad I saw these on Pinterest and discovered your site. I look forward to trying out several other recipes very soon!

  27. Laura on 20 Jan 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Yum! Pinning now! I love this kind of cookie!

  28. Sandra on 21 Jan 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I remember these cookies from Heartland! They were awesome. I’m going to try making these using gluten free flour. Pretty sure my kids will love them as much as I do.

  29. ashley on 22 Jan 2013 at 9:39 am #

    i made these yesterday and i am obsessed!!!! they’re so delicious. i usually don’t go for cookies with nuts/seeds in them but these are just perfect.

  30. margo on 22 Jan 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Wow ~ what a fantastic cookie. Huge, yes, but honestly you’re going to want to eat a whole one. And another! Great taste and texture; one of the best ever! Thanks, Julie!

  31. C. Olsen on 31 Jan 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Super yummy! I used a mix of flour-rye, oat, whole wheat and they were fabulous!

  32. Brandy on 01 Feb 2013 at 6:28 am #

    What a great score on the cookbook! Now I want it too especially that someone mentioned the really good veggie chili recipe. I almost bought that cookbook many times but never did as it didn’t have the recipe for a salad I used to get there all the time with chick peas and little chunks of cheese – it was so simple but yummy. And i loved these cookies too. I think there’s a Heartland Cafe in Bridgeland now… I haven’t been in a while but I’m assuming it’s still there. I’m definitely going to make the muffins as well.

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