Ballerina Energy Cookies

Remember Abigail, whom I mentioned in my post detailing the wonderful weekend that was YAGP semi-finals? I met Abby online on Dance.net some time before the competition, and we met in person at YAGP when I walked into the same dressing room as her.

While everyone was in the dressing room transitioning from the competition itself and into the awards ceremony – the relief of which was evident in the more relaxed atmosphere brought on by sounds of discussion and laughter that replaced the more focused, everybody-keep-to-themselves  aura of just a little while before – Abby excitedly offered me a cookie that she had made! I rarely eat cookies, but I do like them (…who doesn’t?). And the cookies Abby had made were really good! But what made them even better was that they were healthy cookies! As someone who is very aware of what goes into my body, I certainly make an effort to eat as healthy as possible. That’s not to say I don’t eat anything unhealthy – I do, in moderation – but it’s always just an added bonus when a treat you decide to indulge in is not completely devoid of any nutritional value!

Anyway, Abby shared the recipe and allowed me to post it on here. I made these cookies today and took some pictures of the finished product. What do you think?

Here is the recipe:

Ballerina Energy Cookies
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend (sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets or use a nonstick cookie sheet.
  2. Beat applesauce, sugar substitute, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until they are frothy and begin to firm up. Fold egg whites into applesauce mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold into the egg mixture. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. Drop by heaping teaspoons on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake cookies in preheated oven until set and lightly browned, about 10-18 minutes. Remove immediately to wire racks to cool. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.

I will admit, I made a few minor changes.

  • I used Splenda instead of Truvia – it’s what I had at home
  • I accidentally got salted pumpkin seeds at the store, so in the spirit of not ruining the cookies I omitted the pumpkin seeds completely and increased the walnuts to 1/2 cup
  • Instead of using dried cranberries, I used a mixture of various dried fruits
  • The cookie dough seemed too dry to be able to mix in the oatmeal/chocolate chip/nut/fruit portion, so I added a tablespoon of coconut oil and a small, undefined (1-2 T, maybe?) amount of extra applesauce

The cookies came out great! The coconut oil added a nice, very-vague-yet-still-there coconut flavor (my mom asked me if I had put in shaved coconut – which is actually not a bad idea and would have worked well in this recipe), and coconut oil supposedly has several neat health benefits (although, with only 1 T of the oil in the entire recipe, the amount you get actually eating a cookie is probably not very significant – which works to our benefit as well, though, since it means that at the same time, we are getting less fat!)

There is no white flour in this recipe; it is all whole wheat flour, and oats. This does make for a denser cookie [you could describe it as somewhat ‘rubbery’, but that makes it sound bad, and they’re not bad at all]. I am quite fond of the heaviness – it makes for a nice, light breakfast when complimented with a cup of coffee or tea! And that’s exactly the type of cookies these are anyway; they’re more of a ‘food’ type cookie rather than a dessert. That’s really all it is, is breakfast (oats/whole wheat flour, fruit, nuts, healthy fats, protein from egg whites…) crammed into a small cookie form; ideal for someone like me who can only eat small volumes of food at a time, or for anyone who needs a snack before ballet that will give them energy without leaving them to suffer the consequence of a food baby!

On that note, I don’t understand how some of my peers (and, quite frankly, what seems like the entire ballet community aside from me) can manage to eat right before class! I see it all the time at my own studio and I saw it again at YAGP, and it makes me a little jealous. I cannot eat before class – I would have trouble eating even just one of these small cookies before class, regardless of if I did or didn’t eat much before. It can get a little tiring sometimes to have to be ever so cautious! But, it is what it is, I suppose…! 

Will I make these again? Maybe, in the future. If I do, it probably won’t be for a long time. But then, that has nothing at all to do with the success of this recipe and everything to do with me trying to avoiding cooking or spending time in the kitchen as much as possible (for my own personal reasons, although even if I wanted to cook more, I would be hard-pressed to find the time to do it in)!

Thanks, Abby, for the recipe, and for allowing me to share it on here!

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