Something Sweet for Valentine’s Day

3 Great Ways to Enjoy a Little Something Sweet this Valentines’ Day

PHOTO: Lauren O'Connor |

Whether you’re craving something indulgent, an energizing treat or just something a little sweet, this basic Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat cookie can be just what you need. Simply choose your option to make your Valentine’s Day treat as intense or subtle as you desire.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. You may have challenged yourself this New Year to bump up the exercise and decrease the calories, status post Holiday splurge. But once again we surrounded with the temptation of sweets, particularly chocolates. I can certainly go for a small bit of dark chocolate any given day. Often times Valentines strikes a stronger chord in me. Allowing myself a fine treat to celebrate is certainly not off-limits. But if I’m feeling I want to keep my diet a bit cleaner (with a minimally sugared treat) I may just want to treat myself to this basic Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie. And then again, I may just want something to refuel my Valentine Day workout, a fun, energizing snack such as an energy bite (or two). But if I’m hankering for something more gooey and sweet, you can tailor this basic cookie recipe for S’more indulgent yum! Check out three great options from one basic cookie recipe.

 Feeling A Little Sweet

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   Enjoy this simply sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Gather your ingredients: 2 cups raw whole oats (not quick oats), 1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth-style, all natural, just peanuts and salt – oil often rises to top so be sure to stir well), 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce, 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1⁄4 cup mini chocolate chips (+ 2 Tablespoons  for topping), 1⁄4 cup walnut pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, applesauce and egg until well combined. In another bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, oats, salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet until well combined. Mix in 1⁄4 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/4 cup walnut pieces. Using a 3/4 ounce mini scoop, portion cookies onto lined cookie sheet placing a thumbprint in the center of each. Add 3-5 mini chocolate chips or 3 dried cranberries into the center of each. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just golden. Cookies should come out crisp. Makes 36 bite- sized cookies. This crisp cookie is perfect for dipping into your favorite type of milk.

 Nutritional info. per one cookie: 65 calories, 3g fat, 5mg chol, 55mg sodium, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein

Craving that Quick Energy Bite

Here’s an alternative recipe option for a fun, on-the-go, energy bite. Refer to the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie. Omit the egg and baking soda; and substitute the flour for almond meal. Simply use the 3/4 ounce mini scoop to portion into bites, seal in a Tupperware and refrigerate. Option: For a “fresh out of the oven” appeal, simply a couple of these bites in the toaster oven for a minute or two.

  • 2 cups raw oats   
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, all natural (just peanuts and salt)
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons applesauce, unsweetened                       
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla                           
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips                                   
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
PHOTO: Lauren O’Connor |

                        Want S’more Sweetness – a little more indulgence

To make this a more indulgent treat, layer cooled Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat cookies each with 1/2 large toasted marshmallow and a small 1/4 ounce square of dark chocolate for a “PB Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie S’more” treat! Simply toast until marshmallow soft and chocolate starts to melt.