Posts Tagged ‘triathlon food’

A couple of years ago, I created a training cookie for our old friend Marty, who had decided in his mid 40s to start competing in triathlons.

This new recipe was inspired by Dan Lepard’s blueberry and chocolate chip cookie, and is packed full of goodies, including dried fruit, chocolate, spelt and hazelnuts.  It makes a hearty breakfast or lunch box cookie, and because of all the other ingredients, there ends up being only four grams of butter and just under six grams of  brown sugar in each cookie.

Marty has some very specific requirements for his cookies.  They have to be chewy rather than crunchy, otherwise they shatter when he eats them on the run. They must contain a mix of low and high GI ingredients, including chocolate.  Finally, they have to taste good, and be easy to pack into the little box on the handlebars of his bike.  He’s pretty happy with these!

Marty’s Triathlon Cookies II
(makes approximately 30 cookies)

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 175g dark brown sugar
  • 1 large (59g) egg
  • 200g wholemeal spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 75g rolled spelt
  • 100g chocolate chips (see note)
  • 75g dried blueberries
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 50g finely chopped candied peel
  • 50g blanched roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  •  Any combination of fruit and nuts can be substituted for the ones listed above.
  • Dan Lepard’s original recipe used rolled oats and wholemeal wheat flour, so either could be substituted if you can’t find spelt.
  • If I’m baking these cookies for our own consumption, I use 70% dark chocolate, but if I’m baking them for Marty, I use Callebaut baking sticks (44% cacao), broken up into pieces. The latter keep their shape when baked, and are much less likely to melt in the heat of competition.

1. Preheat oven to 170C or 150C with fan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sifted bicarbonate of soda, and salt.  Add the rolled spelt, chocolate, hazelnuts and dried fruit, and stir to combine.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until combined, then beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

3. Roll the dough into 4cm balls, and place them on a parchment lined baking tray.  Flatten each cookie slightly and bake for  15 – 20 minutes. I find that 20 minutes gives a harder, chewier cookie which is how Marty prefers them.

4. Allow to cool on a wire rack.  These cookies will keep for quite a while in an airtight container, or they can be sealed in thick plastic bags and frozen until needed.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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We have a lot of mad friends, but our mate Marty is by far the most bonkers. His latest passion is triathlons and, true to form,  he’s become completely obsessed with them.  I sent some cookies home for him last week and subsequently received this email: “Awesome cookies, trialled them at a tri last Sunday. Felt so good at the end of 1.5/40/10 that I went to the gym to burn off the excess energy”.

He has a big event coming up soon, so I’ve baked another batch for him.  His brief is pretty simple – the cookies have to be hard and chewy (not brittle or crunchy, otherwise they tend to shatter when he’s eating on the run) and they have to be easy to pack in the little box on the handlebars of his bike.  I felt the original batch was too sweet, so I’ve been tinkering with the recipe tonight (and as a result baked over 70 cookies). The final cookies are based on a heavily modified applesauce oatie recipe, which I overbaked slightly to give them a chewy texture.  A disclaimer – I don’t run marathons or triathlons, so these are just a cookie that our friend enjoyed and requested more of.  Please don’t write to me and tell me they’re not balanced or have too much sugar – as long as Marty’s happy with them, then I am too!

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup traditional oats
  • 1 & 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup apple butter (we used homemade)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup slivered almonds

Note: I used almonds and raisins because they were in my pantry, but I think you could probably use any mix of dried fruits and nuts that you have on hand.  Having said that, I think the chocolate is non-negotiable!

1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F).

2. Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl, and stir well to mix.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugars and butter to form a grainy paste, then beat in the egg and apple butter.

4. Add the flour mixture, choc chips, raisins and almonds and mix on low heat to combine.

5. Drop by large tablespoons onto a tray lined with Bake (parchment paper).  Wet your hand and gently flatten out the cookies a little.

6. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the tray(s) and bake for an additional 8 – 10 minutes, until well browned (keep an eye on them near the end to make sure they don’t burn). Transfer to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will still be a bit soft to touch, but will harden as they cool.

EDIT : A follow up – here’s the sms I received from Marty today after his big event on the weekend .. “Cookie Power!  Thanx 2U.  13.19 + feeling great.  Luv m”.  Makes it all worthwhile!

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