Flu-Fighter Cookies

Last week Therese sent me the perfect recipe for this dark and rainy day – “Flu Fighter Cookies” from Food Network magazine. I hadn’t received my issue at that point, but it arrived yesterday, so with the original copy in hand, I made a batch.

According to the magazine, these cookies will help fight off the flu. How?

— Ginger has antiviral compounds.

— Cranberries have antioxidants which help your body fight off cell damaging free radicals.

— Oats are rich in selenium, which also helps “fend off” free radicals.

— Walnuts have zinc that will help keep those viruses from reproducing in your body.

— Yogurt has active cultures that will boost your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Now what’s stuck in my mind is the Amy Poehler/Seth Meyers Saturday Night Live sketch called “Really?” Really, Food Network Magazine? These cookies will help fight off the flu???? I kept looking for winks and smileys or signals that they were joking within the text, but couldn’t find any. Still, really? There’s 1/4 cup of yogurt in the recipe. Divide that by 30 and you get less than half a teaspoon. Is half a teaspoon of yogurt or a tiny pinch of ginger that’s been baked for 12 minutes going to boost immunity? What a bunch of hooey….but clever, nonetheless.

More importantly, the cookies were really good. They’re fat, soft, not rich – but not dry, either. Use the measurements as a guide and stuff them with as much dried fruit and nuts as possible. I think some dark chocolate chunks might even be good here as well. I’ll bet chocolate has some property that staves off the flu too, right?

Make these cookies because they are excellent, but wash your hands often and cough into the crook of your arm.

flu fighter cookies


Flu-Fighter Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Don't Cancel Your Flu-Shot Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10.1 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I used ½)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar (220 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk molasses
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 raisins (golden or regular)
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a bowl and stir well; set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the molasses ginger and lemon zest, scraping sides of bowl, then fold in the sour cream.
  3. By hand or with lowest speed of mixer, stir in the flour mixture.
  4. Fold in oats and half of the raisins, cranberries and walnuts. Mix the remaining dried fruit and nuts in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Top each with some of the reserved dried-fruit-and-nut mixture and
  7. chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Bake the cookies until dark golden but still soft, 10-12 minutes; cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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  1. says

    That’s also why I never quite understood the ‘deceptively delicious’ type recipes that had say, one tablespoon of pureed carrots for Vitamin A in a meal that was supposed to feed 8 people.

    However, the nice sticky dried fruit and molasses means you have to wash your hands after eating the cookies=less flu germs.

  2. Judy says

    LOL! At first I thought it was a take-off on the group the Foo Fighters!!! I was going to send the recipe to my son, as he knows Paul from the group!

  3. Therese B. says

    Hi Anna!

    Wow…thanks for mentioning me! This recipe is awesome. And our minds are thinking
    on the same line. I added dark chocolate chips. And another thing worth mentioning,
    I just used regular yogurt..not the Greek (a little pricey). But I would use fresh lemon
    zest and fresh ginger…it makes a huge difference.
    You are funny!
    I feel so honored that you mentioned me…i!!
    I haven’t seen that SNL..but, I LOVE Amy Poehler…Parks and Rec. Hilarious!

  4. says

    Thanks for today’s laugh and good lookin’ cookies! Seriously, too funny. RIGHT! Do NOT let Food Network Humor (dot com) see this, they will go to town with this one!

  5. says

    Oh, I LOVE cookies with oats and the cranberry/walnut combo… must try. Even if I don’t even have the sniffles. Dark chocolate chips would add antioxidants, which will also help ward off all kinds of things, including free radicals and Mean Mommy Syndrome.

  6. says

    Ha! Clever marketing – I bet a lot of people will try it out to keep the flu away…good to know they’re tasty – cookies that were really medicine wouldn’t be good anyway, right? 😉

  7. M says

    I found out today there’s a possibility I have swine flu. This is literally the only thing I found amusing today. 🙂 Thank you for this. I doubt I’ll be making these anytime soon (how can I keep down flu-fighting cookies when I can’t keep down solid food of any kind?), but I was amused to see them nevertheless.

    Also, dark chocolate is supposedly high in antioxidants. That’s reason enough, I suppose, using Food Network’s logic. 😉

  8. says

    Excellent! I usually make a weekly batch of homemade granola bars for my hubby to snack on all week, but I may try these. He’s a school teacher so he’s around all kinds of kids who don’t sneeze into their arm. Actually, I’m not sure my husband would sneeze into his arm either…

  9. Martha says

    Can’t wait to try these “healthy” cookies. LOL. When I owned a restaurant, I had a customer who was addicted to my carrot cake. She justified her almost-daily purchases, especially during her pregnancy, because it contained veggies (carrots), dairy/protein (cream cheese & eggs), fruit (raisins), grains (flour).

  10. hulagirl247 says

    hi anna~

    okay – i don’t know about you but i would MUCH rather eat a ton of cookies than get a flu shot.

    oddly enough my doctor INSISTED i get a flu shot – i did (it was my second one ever) and
    had an allergic reaction to it! i am now known as polka-dot girl as i have various sized very itchy
    “polka-dots” here and there from the stupid shot! (needless to say i will not be rrequied to get a flu shot ever again!)

    i will make certain i make a batch of these before my next doctor appointment and ask him if HE’D rather eat these than get a shot!!!!!

  11. Doris Ruth says

    Hey Anna,

    This is just the cookie I was dreaming about. It is something to look forward to making next week.

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