A Sweet, Spiced Cookie to Help You Sleep
These sweet, spiced cookies have two all-star ingredients, tart cherries and chamomile, that promote better quality sleep.
If you often find yourself craving something sweet after dinner, here’s some good news: While it’s not a great idea to eat a big slice of cake just before bedtime or polish off an entire pint of ice cream in the
middle of the night, there are some sweet foods that help you sleep.
In fact, a nutrient-rich bedtime snack that contains between 100 and 200 calories might even boost metabolism, muscle growth and heart health, according to a review of the evidence published in the journal Nutrients.
But, it’s important to choose the right foods. Tart cherries are one of several foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood, and then into melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep cycles. The review in Nutrients also found that eating cherries regularly can promote quality sleep and muscular recovery, as well as metabolic health.
Chamomile is another all-star ingredient when it comes to sleep. A meta-analysis published in Phytotherapy Research found that eating or drinking chamomile regularly can improve sleep quality and may help manage generalized anxiety disorder. While the easiest way to take advantage of chamomile’s sleep-inducing properties is with a cup of tea, you can also steep chamomile flowers or leaves in butter to use in baked goods.
If you’re looking for a sleep-promoting bedtime snack that’s simple and nostalgic, all of us at Sleep Number want to help. These tart cherry and chamomile oatmeal cookies fit the bill. The cherries are a nice alternative to raisins, and the chamomile-infused butter plus a little bit of cinnamon adds a real depth of flavor.
Tart Cherry and Chamomile Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
Total time: 1 hour
- 4 chamomile tea bags
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Cut open the chamomile tea bags and pour the dried chamomile (that is, everything inside the teabag) into the saucepan with the butter. Turn the heat down to low and let steep for 30 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to separate the butter from the dried chamomile, then discard the dried chamomile. (The butter will still have flecks of chamomile in it, which is fine.)
2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat until light brown, about 1 minute. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating after every addition until just blended. Add the oats and cherries and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended.
5. For 24 cookies, use a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to drop dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing each scoop 2 inches apart. (On most cookie sheets, you can fit 8 cookies.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are just starting to turn light brown at the edges. Repeat until all of your dough is gone. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy in the evening to promote quality sleep.
Nutrition per cookie: 175 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 140 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
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