Tighten up your apron strings dear readers, you’re about to meet your new favorite cookie on the planet. It is a healthier oatmeal cookie with walnuts, apple and white chocolate chips. They have just a touch of cinnamon, sweet butter and they are sweetened with unrefined maple sugar!

Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings on a serving platter

Why We Love This Recipe For Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are the essence of autumn! I cannot help but swoon when I think of these cookies. They are the best I have ever made. Period. And that’s saying a lot coming from me.

Back in August a friend asked if I had a healthier oatmeal cookie here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes, and I was sort of shocked to realize that I didn’t have one. Shocked because oatmeal cookies are my absolute favorite cookies on the planet. How could this be?

I knew that when the fall crept in, it was time to get going on that oatmeal cookie recipe. But I wanted to make sure it was worthy of being my first and only oatmeal cookie. I mean… no pressure. So when the nights got cooler, the days started getting really annoyingly shorter… I knew it was time for that oatmeal cookie to happen.

I’ve been tinkering on them for weeks. I added in chewy bits of dried apple, crunchy walnuts and sweet creamy white chocolate chips. They reek of fall. (I mean that in a good way.) What I mean friends, is tell your ovens to buckle up… they’re about to get a cookie baking workout!

Healthy Apple Cookies on a serving plate and cutting board

Key Ingredients for This Recipe

Walnuts

I decided to use walnuts in the flour mixture too. I ground them up with the flour to replace some of the flour. They add a nutty richness that really goes well with the maple. I tried it both with roasted unsalted walnuts and raw unsalted walnuts. Either is great, though the roasted walnuts have more nutty flavor.

Whole wheat flour

I also knew I wanted my oatmeal cookies to have whole-grain flour in addition to the oats. (Rolled oats are also whole grain.) I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. It’s more mild in flavor than regular whole-wheat so it doesn’t detract from the flavor of the cookie.

Old fashioned oats

Oats is an obvious must when making oatmeal cookies. I like using the regular old fashioned oats from Quaker. I’d stay away from instant or quick oats as they might change the texture of the cookies.

White chocolate chips

White chocolate pairs really well with anything maple. Use any standard white chocolate chip from the grocery store, or chop up a white chocolate bar. If you don’t like white chocolate, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead.

Dried apple and applesauce

I used a bit of applesauce to stand in for the extra butter, and they still stayed nice and chewy. They puffed up in an unexpected way in the oven, but then when they cooled, they looked more like a traditional oatmeal cookie.

I found the apples for these at two local health food stores, but a lot of large supermarkets carry them as well. Like these. Chop them into pieces about the size of a dime.

Butter

And then comes the butter!!! It had to happen. I wanted to make sure that these were really chewy and lately, I’ve been noticing that coconut oil and I don’t really get along that well. So I decided that one stick of butter wasn’t going to be a bad thing. Especially when divided among 4 dozen cookies.

Maple Sugar

I knew I wanted to sweeten them with granulated maple sugar- which is such a truly magical unrefined sugar– that tastes of the essence of maple. I’m not just saying that because I wrote an entire cookbook about maple, and we have a craft-made maple syrup business. I am telling you all, if you like the flavor of maple (believe it or not there are a couple of people on the planet who don’t) you must try this ingredient!! If you can’t get your hands on it, substitute with ¾ cup brown sugar plus ¾ cup white.

I’ve been meaning to show you all how to make it from scratch. It’s so simple I just have to film it some time. In the meantime, you can buy it online. I like this one from Republic of Vermont. Basically, it is pure maple syrup that has been cooked until it reaches the hard ball stage, then stirred as it is cooled. The water evaporates out of it in the process, and it turns to granulated sugar. It is a dream to bake with because it doesn’t add liquid- which really helps with texture in a cookie. I hope you try it!

After the first test, the cookies weren’t sweet enough and they did not have enough pan spread. So I did end up needing to increase the amount of sugar. I settled on 1 ½ cups. Which sounds like a ton for a healthy recipe, but when spread out over 48 cookies, isn’t so bad. I mean, keep in mind it’s a cookie folks. In case you’re new here, here’s why I think you should eat cookies.

One more note on the sugar: I also experimented with subbing in sugar for the granulated sugar. Using all brown sugar worked- kinda. But they were too wet. Instead, I discovered that you can sub in ¾ cup light or dark brown sugar, and ¾ cup granulated white sugar for the 1 ½ cup maple sugar. The flavor isn’t as completely awesome, but they are still majorly good. I think you’ll agree!

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted unsalted walnuts, divided
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, preferably white whole-wheat
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup applesauce
overhead image of Oatmeal Walnut Cookies on a cutting board

Step-By-Step Instructions to Make These Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Step 1: Preheat & grease baking sheets

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray.

Step 2: Grind walnuts

Grind 1 ¼ cups (3.75 ounces) walnuts in a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment until it looks like coarse meal. Add the white whole wheat, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and process 10 seconds.

Step 3: Chop walnuts

Chop the remaining ¾ cup walnuts.

Step 4: Make butter mixture

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the applesauce and beat until completely combined (it is okay if the mixture looks broken).

Step 5: Combine dry & wet ingredients

Beat the flour and walnut mixture into the butter mixture on low. Add the oats, the remaining ¾ cup chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips and dried apple and stir by hand with a silicone spatula until completely combined.

Step 6: Form cookies & bake

Drop heaping tablespoons onto one of the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Moisten finger-tips and press the dough down slightly. Bake in batches, 1 sheet at a time until the cookies spread and set, 8 to 10 minutes. For a crisper cookie bake up to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet 3 to 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack with a thin metal spatula.

Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies on a serving plate

FAQs and Expert Tips

The perfect baking time:

I like these cookies on the under-baked side. I recommend only 8 minutes. They will seem like they aren’t quite done, but let them sit, and they’ll shrink down into their craggy goodness, and set nicely. Try it! My cross-tester baked them until they were more visibly set- at 12 minutes, and she liked them really well. So it’s more of a preference thing.

How to grind walnuts without a food processor:

If you don’t have a food processor you can use a regular blender or Nutri bullet instead. You can also place the walnuts in a large sealable bag and smash/roll them with a rolling pin until coarsely ground.

Why to finish mixing cookie dough with a spatula:

Always finish mixing cookie dough with a spatula or a spoon so that you don’t overman the cookie dough. Doing so can result in denser cookies and more air in the cookies.

How to store these cookies:

Once cool, place them in an airtight container or sealable bag at room temperature. You can also freeze for up to one month.

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 dozen 1x

Description

Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups roasted unsalted walnuts, divided
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, preferably white whole-wheat
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 ½ cup granulated maple sugar (or ¾ cup brown sugar plus ¾ cup white)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped dried apple rings

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Grind 1 ¼ cups (3.75 ounces) walnuts in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment until it looks like coarse meal. Add white whole wheat, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and process 10 seconds.
  3. Chop the remaining ¾ cup walnuts.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add applesauce and beat until completely combined, it is okay if the mixture looks broken.
  5. Beat the flour and walnut mixture into the butter mixture on low. Add oats, the remaining ¾ cup chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips and dried apple and stir by hand with a silicone spatula until completely combined.
  6. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto one of the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Moisten finger-tips and press the dough down slightly. Bake in batches, 1 sheet at a time until the cookies spread and set, 8 to 10 minutes. For a crisper cookie bake up to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet 3 to 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack with a thin metal spatula.

Notes

Baking Tip:

I like these cookies on the under-baked side. I recommend only 8 minutes. They will seem like they aren’t quite done, but let them sit, and they’ll shrink down into their craggy goodness, and set nicely. Try it! My cross-tester baked them until they were more visibly set- at 12 minutes, and she liked them really well. So it’s more of a preference thing.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 56 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 9 g

Keywords: apple oatmeal cookie,maple oatmeal cookie,walnut oatmeal cookie

Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster
Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster
Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster
Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster
Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster
Chewy Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate chips, walnuts and chunks of dried apple rings added in for a fall twist! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster