Monday, September 9, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

On a regular basis, I read a fair amount of blogs. Mostly food-related blogs, but there are a few lifestyle, photography, travel and miscellaneous mixed in too. (side note: if you’re a reader and have your own blog, I’d love to add it to my list! Let me know your url!) When a post from Amanda at I am Baker about “lactation cookies” showed up in my feedly last month, I was very intrigued. I pinned the recipe on Pinterest, knowing I’d definitely revisit the recipe!

At first glance, one might think that “lactation cookies” means cookies that include breast milk, but that is NOT the case! No, these are cookies that contain specific ingredients that are supposed to help increase a nursing mother’s milk supply.  Those ingredients are things like Brewer's Yeast and Ground Flaxseed and they also include other good for a nursing mother’s general nutrition ingredients like oats & a small dose of cinnamon.  Some moms follow a dairy free lifestyle to help with potential colic in their new little ones, so that is why these cookies use shortening instead of butter.

Growing up in the midwest, it was simply a given that when one of my parents’ friends or a fellow member of our church had a new baby, the people around them provided dinners for the family as they adjusted to their new life. These meals were especially important if the families didn’t have extended family visiting. It was a way to not only show love for the family, but also to help the family through a potentially challenging time of learning to care for their own first baby, or of having to care for a new baby while also taking care of other kiddos.  I very distinctly remember my mom making spaghetti pie & blueberry dessert (two of her specialties) on more than one occasion to take to a family with a new baby.

Two of my friends have had babies this summer. While I’ve only had the chance to make dinner for one family, I did deliver some of these lactation cookies to both ladies. Anyone in their families can eat these cookies (men or other children won’t magically start lactating if they eat them), but they were especially intended for the new moms. The cookies are not supposed to be any sort of a miracle item, but I figure tasty cookies are bound to “help” a new mom regardless of if they dramatically increase her milk supply.

via I am Baker 
yields 72 small cookies,
recommending serving: at least 4 per day for the nursing mom 

1 1/2 c / 6.35 oz  AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder

3/4 c / 4.9 oz Vegetable Shortening
1.5 c / 10.5 oz Granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 c / 5.25 oz Rolled Oats
1 Tbl Ground Flaxseed
2 tsp Brewer's Yeast
10 oz Dark Chocolate Chips 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper (I try to line 4 pans, if I have them available). 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening with the granulated sugar on medium speed until the mixture is well combined & fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs & vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape the bowl again. 
  4. Add the prepared dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients have been incorporated just halfway. Stop the mixer. 
  5. In the dry ingredients bowl that was just used, add the oats, flax, brewer’s yeast & chocolate chips. Pour those ingredients into the stand mixer bowl & mix on low speed until everything is just incorporated. 
  6. Use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop  to portion the cookie dough. Pan 3 rows of four cookies on a standard half sheet size baking pan.  
  7. Bake at 350 F for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the edges are just barely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan. Store cookies in an airtight container. Leftovers may be frozen, if necessary. 


  • The original recipe called for adding a tsp of allspice to the dry ingredients. I didn’t have any, so I just omitted it. 
  • The original recipe also called for dairy free chocolate chips. With my limited access to grocery options, I could not find any dairy free chocolate chips, so I instead opted to use dark chocolate chips, which will have a lower dairy content than milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
  • In the future, I would like to try substituting the shortening for coconut oil, but it isn’t something I’ve tried yet.... 
  • I also recommend baking these cookies right after the dough is made. I refrigerated part of the dough & it did not seem to bake as well the following day. 

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  1. What an interesting idea...and you're absolutely right, I did assume that they had breast milk until I read your post :D They look really yummy, I'll have to tag this for the future!

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the introducing a new concept about how to increase or to produce breast milk. It’s also good for the 3 year old baby child. Lots of ingredients are used to make Lactation Cookies
    and no harmful things are used. It’s safe for both the mother and child.

  3. I have used coconut oil and they were delicious!! Def try it out :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know Coconut Oil works in place of the shortening. I've wanted to try that variation (and I know other readers wanted to replace the shortening too). :)

  4. Made these tonight for a friend who had her baby this morning.. I used coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening, to take advantage of coconut oil's many health benefits... My cookies weren't as pretty as yours, they spread out and were flatter.. Don't know if it was that or if I need new baking soda and powder... Still though, they taste great! When I make these again I will sub another tsp of cocoa powder instead of the cinnamon, to try to make them more of a double-chocolate flavor... Thanks for sharing!!! Out of all the lactation cookie recipes I found all over Pinterest yours was the one that really got my attention!!

    1. Substituting Coconut Oil can be tricky sometimes, which may be why your cookies turned out flatter. Using less of the oil might help? (though I can't give you an exact amount). I love the idea of adding cocoa powder. Glad you liked them :)

  5. If you refrigerate the dough for an hour or so before baking, it allows the coconut oil to re-harden just enough to keep the cookies from flattening. I do this no matter which oil product I use, and the cookies stay fluffier.

  6. 3 Studies PROVE Why Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    This means that you actually burn fat by consuming Coconut Fats (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medical magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world around!