The first trial of motherhood I have encountered is suckling my child. Pregnancy and delivery were cake compared to breastfeeding. One of the challenges is maintaining an appropriate supply — apparently all kinds of subtle cues can throw it out of whack. And while undersupply is an obvious potential problem, I also learned that oversupply can be a frustration all its own.
Somewhere in my history of surfing the interwebs, I had come across lactation cookies. At the time, I thought, “Ummmm, weird.” How foolish and naive of me. Undersupply can be such a source of anxiety for moms, so what better way to address it than a baked concoction that both soothes and treats it?!
Below is a recipe I found at The Progressive Parent and adapted to my own preferences. I cannot attest to whether the cookies do statistically increase milk supply. I can attest only to their nutritionally dense yumminess.
— with oatmeal and whatever goodies you like — my favorite is craisins and white chocolate/dark chocolate chips! For one 9″ x 13″ pan of bar cookies* (because I don’t have time to drop them into individual cookies — if you prefer normal round cookies, see variation below**):
- 2 oz (4 tbsp) water
- 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (3 minutes on 20% power works for me, and then I use the wax wrappers to grease the pan)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1.75 cups flour**
- 4 tbsp brewer’s yeast
- 1 tsp baking soda (or 4 tsp baking powder)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups thick rolled oats
- 1.5-2 cups mixed chocolate chips/white chips/craisins, in whatever proportions you like — I do 1 cup craisins, 1/3 cup chocolate chips, and 2/3 cup white chips
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F. In a small bowl, stir together the water and flaxseed. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and beat in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flaxseed mixture from step 1 and stir.
- Stir together the flour,** yeast, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this dry ingredient mixture into the large bowl to form the cookie dough.
- Combine the cookie dough with the oats and craisin/chip mix. This step requires biceps or a stand mixer — the dough will be thick.
- Spread in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but not more than 2 days.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are brown and inserted knife comes out clean. Don’t bake for too long or the cookies will crumble.*
- Wait for the cookie pan to cool, cut it into bars, grab a glass of milk, and enjoy!
*If you double the recipe to make two pans, they will take about 25 minutes to bake. You’re welcome!
**If you prefer the usual individual round cookies rather than bars, add an extra 0.25 cup of flour (total 2 cups flour). Chill the dough for 2 hours (up to 2 days) as above. You can then drop teaspoonfuls — or, for the perfectionists who aim for pi-worthy circles, roll into balls — and bake 10-12 minutes. This is still too much work to me, so I prefer to spread the dough on a greased sheet of wax paper (cooking spray is quick and sufficient for greasing), roll it into a log about 2″ diameter, wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 2 hours. Let thaw about 20 minutes at room temp and slice 1/2″ thick. Since they are frozen, they bake for 11-13 minutes.
- I don’t always have flaxseed on hand, so I replace the water and flaxseed with 2 tbsp milk.
- I generally prefer to chill the dough, but if there isn’t time to do so, I switch the 2 cups of rolled oats for 3 cups of quick oats.
- Butterscotch chocolate chip oatmeal cookies:
- I prefer the 3 cups of quick oats instead of 2 cups rolled oats
- decrease brewer’s yeast to 3 tbsp
- increase salt to 2 tsp
- replace the chips/craisins mix with 1 cup butterscotch chips plus 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips