Since having the babies I’ve been snacking on lactation cookies. I can’t remember how I first heard about these supposedly magical cookies that supported milk production, but in my (at the time) heavily pregnant state they sounded like a great idea. I googled to find a lactation cookie recipe (every recipe is pretty much the same), and my mother made a batch for me when Hattie and Joe arrived.
Since then, I’ve made many batches for myself, and a couple of batches for friends with newborns, and we’ve all happily munched a few of them each day. My friend Michelle, the most recent recipient of my cookie gifting, reckons that her milk production trebled after snacking on a few cookies! The supposedly active ingredients – or lactogenic foods, as they’re apparently called – are oats, brewers yeast, and flaxseed meal (also known as linseed meal). You can buy flaxseed/linseed meal and brewers yeast at health food shops.
While these cookies were, at worst, a delicious snack for a breast feeding mother, they were also a bit of a faff to make – particularly if you’re trying to do so while juggling two newborns. I decided to see if I could modify the cookie recipe to turn it into a slice, neatly eliminating the two most time-consuming elements of the process: creaming butter and sugar, and rolling out cookies (particularly fiddly when the dough is sticky, like this one is).
My first attempt to make a lactation slice didn’t work out: I tried too hard to cut down on the butter, and the resulting slice was too dry. Also, the brown sugar of the original recipe makes a toffee-like substance when combined with melted butter – delicious, but not good for binding together the dry ingredients. And I’d messed around with the proportions of some of the other ingredients. The result was a very crispy slice that didn’t cut easily and was more like a crumble topping (it was still delicious, though, so I’ve been eating it on top of stewed fruit). For my second attempt, I stuck close to the original recipe for the most part, with just a few tweaks (Such as using white sugar, rather than brown sugar). And it worked!
This lactation cookie slice tastes exactly the same as the cookies, but it’s so much quicker to make. You could make life even easier by measuring out all of the dry ingredients (excluding the sugar, which is added with the wet ingredients) and storing the dry mixture in a container until you want to bake the slices – you could then whip it up in the time it takes for your oven to come up to temperature.
LACTATION COOKIE SLICE
Added goodies: these are the yummy bits. I’ve tried to strike a balance between taste and value – I did some research to see if any fruit or nuts were considered lactogenic, and found out that almonds and apricots were on the list. When I made the slice pictured in this post, my two cups of added goodies consisted of:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two slice tins with non-stick baking paper.
Sieve the flour, baking soda, salt, and brewers yeast into a large mixing bowl.
Add the rolled oats, flaxseed meal, coconut, and added goodies, and stir to combine thoroughly. The combined dry ingredients will look like this:
Crack the two eggs into a small bowl, and beat with a fork.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar. Stir in the beaten eggs. The combined wet ingredients will look like this:
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir well to combine. This will take a couple if minutes, as there will be a lot of dry stuff to moisten. The combined mixture will look like this:
Divide the mixture between the two slice pans, and use your hands to press it into place:
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden:
Leave the slices in their tins for five minutes after taking them out of the oven, and then carefully lift them out (by holding the overhanging baking paper), and leave to cool on a wire rack. Cut when cold. It should look like this:
Eat and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.