The morning after Thanksgiving, let them eat … cookies

  • Easy to assemble Holiday Breakfast Cookies are perfect for a post Thanksgiving morning.

    Easy to assemble Holiday Breakfast Cookies are perfect for a post Thanksgiving morning. Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

By Ellie Krieger
The Washington Post
Updated 11/20/2017 6:47 AM

A handful of fresh cranberries, part of a can of pumpkin puree, extra chopped nuts and a lone apple that didn't make it into pie - after hosting a holiday feast, it's inevitable that you will wind up with tasty odds and ends like these. But instead of throwing them out, contributing to the shocking 27 million tons of food wasted each year (as per a new study from the food waste coalition ReFED), why not spin them into something irresistibly delicious?

These fragrant breakfast treats are designed to use up the remnants of a holiday meal, but they are far from your average leftover concoction. They are an utterly enticing way to start the day or energize an afternoon. Something of a cross between a muffin and a cookie, they are chock-full of healthful goodies: fresh chunks of apple, tangy bursts of cranberry, crunchy nuts and chewy dried fruit. A pumpkin-spiced, lightly maple-sweetened mix of whole-wheat flour and hearty rolled oats binds them together.


They are also easy to assemble, freeze well and … hey, they are cookies (for breakfast!), so they have an inherently fun and festive essence. Once you try them you'll want more soon, and since they are made with ingredients you'll most likely have on hand throughout the entertaining season, you won't have to wait for leftovers to make them.

Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author who hosts public television's "Ellie's Real Good Food." She blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at

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