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Lactation Cookies

A dear friend of Mennonite Girls Can Cook, Rosella, shared this recipe for cookies that are a packed with good ingredients and especially good for mom's who are breastfeeding their infants. I made them for our daughter in law during her first week home after delivering our first granddaughter. We didn't have enough whole wheat flour on hand so I made them with a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour. You can use 1-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour instead if you'd like. Thank you Rosella for sharing this recipe.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons brewer's yeast
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl of mixer beat peanut butter, butter, sugars, vanilla, brewer's yeast, ground flax seed, and water till creamy.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time till incorporated.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Slowly mix in the oats.
  7. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chips.
  8. Place 1 tablespoon sized balls of the dough onto greased cookie sheets.
  9. Press down with fork.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used a larger than 1 tablespoon scoop for the cookies I made and my yield was 2 dozen large cookies. Besides my daughter in law enjoying these cookies, my son and husband enjoyed them, too. We found the brewer's yeast in the bulk food aisle of the grocery store.


  1. As a person who is due to start lactating again next month, I'm curious as to what is in these cookies that is supposed to help with milk production. And why? I'm also assuming that brewer's yeast is not the same as regular bread yeast. Do you know what the difference is?

    1. Brewer's Yeast is supposedly a good supplement for nursing moms. These cookies are also a great nutritious snack to quickly grab for a busy new mom. Here is a link regarding the brewer's yeast benefits. Hope this is helpful.

    2. Thanks for the link Rosella!

  2. You are correct in thinking brewer's yeast is not the same as regular bread yeast. I don't know the difference between the two types of yeast. This recipe was sent to me by a friend in anticipation of the birth of our granddaughter. The only way this recipe stands out from other cookie recipes is the addition of the Brewer's Yeast and the ground flax seed...

  3. I have been making these for lactating moms for awhile. My original recipe is from an Australian woman. Brewer's yeast is the yeast used in beer brewing. I soak the flax seed for about 10 min in warm water to release more nutrition (I use a bit less water). I don't use peanut butter- but can see that it would help in the protein count. My dil likes to go a bit lower in calories and eliminates the choco chips after the first few weeks. My daughter loves them. We have also tried different kinds of dried fruits in them. The oatmeal and butter help get them "regular" again. Although we don't use cinnamon, it helps with the immune system.
    You are correct, the rest of this recipe is like a normal cookie. Those first few weeks are so important for keeping mom's strength up. I make a batch and freeze the dough (in cookie size portions). My family takes them out two or three at a time as a snack for those crazy nighttime feedings. (I also make a non brewer's yeast batch for non lactating members. The yeast tends to be the most expensive ingredient).
    One of the women my daughter gave our recipe to now sells these in local baby stores---a dollar a cookie....

  4. I think I would like these - just for snacking. No babies involved! How would I replace the
    1 cup ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons brewer's yeast if I didn't want to purchase these ingredients?

    1. I think the cookies would still work out well without those ingredients. You could add 1/2 cup more flour instead of the flax seed and 1/2 cup more oats.

  5. Tongue in cheek, Ellen ... any 'interesting' side effects for your son and hubby??
    Your cookies look great! wish I had had this recipe 'in my day', but I can pass it on now to expectant moms! thank you ...

  6. I was told brewers yeast was good for lactating mothers, and so I consumed my share. When I shared this with my doctor, he just laughed at me. Apparently the brewers yeast that is referred to comes from alcohol. the idea is that the alcohol would help a mother relax and therefore aid in the "let down"

    1. Brewer's yeast does not come from alcohol. All yeasts consume sugar and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol cooks off during the bake.


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