Apr 11, 2013

D85: Milk & Cookies

These are Lactation Cookies.  They are for making breastmilk, not made with breastmilk.  Subtle distinction.

The recipe looks pretty familiar, except for the key ingredients, then at the end it blithely chucks in 'Makes 6 dozen'.  O_o  Hmm, I wondered, shall we be weaning later than I thought? But in the end it was closer to a mere 4 dozen (minus the several Hub stole).

I used the recipe from bellybelly.com.au.  It's very easy, once you hunt down the special ingredients.  We found the flaxseed meal at our local supermarket, and the brewers yeast at a health food store although not all health food stores have it.  Some supermarkets keep it in their brewing section (down the soft drink aisle) and there are actual home-brew shops around too.  On the upside, one pack goes a long way.

Here is the recipe with a bit of extra info to help.  I didn't find the recipe crumbly at all - almost gooey in fact - but I left that text in case your batch is different.  I beat the butter and sugar till it was creamy and had changed colour and added an extra half-a-cup-ish of sultanas coz you just cannot get enough of them, especially if they caramelise on top.  I also went easy on the yeast, just in case it works really well: My supply only needs a bit of a boost, not a complete resurrection. (Fenugreek tea has been working well, but I don't like the taste very much.)

One generous tablespoon of dough gives a reasonably sized biscuit in 8 mins.  There's no need to shape the dough on the tray.  I made a few large ones (6 to a tray) thinking I'd use them as breakfast cookies, but then changed to small (12 to a tray) in case I didn't like them!

For the most part, they taste like regular oat-and-sultana style cookies, but there is definitely a background flavour of yeast and the flaxseed meal gives it an almost peppery after-taste*.  I'll try to report back on the their effectiveness too.  I've had one so far...

Lactation Cookies

  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • Half an apple, grated
  • 1 cup (250g) butter or margarine
  • 1.5 cups (270g) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 2 cups (300g) flour
  • 1 tspn baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 2-4 tbsp of brewers yeast (be generous)
  • 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
  • 1 cup or more of 'stuff' - chocolate chips/sultanas/almonds/macadamia nuts (whatever takes your fancy)
Preparation time is around 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
1) Mix together the apple, flaxseed meal and water. Set aside.
2) Cream (beat well) butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
3) Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the butter mix. Beat until blended.
4) Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and 'stuff'.
5) Add to butter mixture. Stir in oats then 'stuff'.
6) Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment. 
Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies (1-2 tbsp).
Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

Jaffa variation: Substitute the water and apple with the juice & zest of one large orange, and use dark chocolate chips as 'stuff'. Oh my goodness.

These are excellent cookies.  Do not use raisins - they're too big and the cookies breakup too easily.
*The apple is an addition with this update and counteracts the peppery aftertaste.  


  1. The yeast in the homebrew shop/area of the supermarket is alive & only sold in very small amounts (5g per packet, maybe). It's not the same as this stuff, which is dead (inactive) & sold in much larger quantities, 500g in this case...

    1. Good to know. No one needs 72 massive, unlactatey lactation cookies :)

  2. Also, I've heard you could replace some liquid with orange juice and add some rind to mask the aftertaste a bit.

    I might try and see if they help, because my supply has dropped a lot due to the new pregnancy. And I really want cookies!

    1. Thanks for the tip! Orange juice wasn't mentioned in the webpage I used (I don't think) and it wouldbe good to skip the aftertaste. Adding one or two tbsp of apple puree apparently moistens and flavours the dough nicely, which was my other hopeful option. There are lots of variations though - and it could probably do with twice as many sultanas (can never have too many) in this version.

      Well done for persisting with nursing while pregnant - what a job! You're a star! :D Good luck with the supply boosting too. I'm finding it very hard to locate some more Nursing (fenugreek) tea. What I have was donated by a pregnant-again friend and I'd like to replace it for her at least, but its proving tricky! If you find some though it does work. Wishing you much rest and food :)