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Jam Dot Cookie from Golden Door Spa


jam dot cookie

The jam dot cookie is one of the most requested recipes from Golden Door.

Golden Door Spa
This healthy jam dot cookie is one of the most requested recipes to ever come out of Golden Door, a destination spa in Escondido, California, 45 minutes north of San Diego. It was created by Dean Rucker, who was executive chef from 2005 to 2011, but still a popular dessert.

This cookie has the same amount of calories as an Oreo -- about 75 -- but with healthy ingredients that make you slow down and savor the flavor. And for me, they don't have those childhood "comfort food" memories that make eating just one Oreo impossible.

At Golden Door Spa this jam dot cookie is usually served on a small plate with a fruit garnish, and provides a sweet, satisfying end to lunch or dinner. This makes it look and feel more special. The recipe makes about 36 cookies, and they freeze well. So enjoy! One at a time.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, ground into a coarse meal in your food processor
  • 1 cup oats, ground into a coarse meal in your food processor
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • fruit jam or spread, any flavor you like, preferably organic


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with vegetable spray and set aside. You can also use a silicone baking mat (buy now) and skip the vegetable spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine sifted whole wheat flour, ground almonds, ground oats and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl combine grapeseed oil, maple syrup, orange juice, and vanilla.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix well.

Drop 1 tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto baking sheet. Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make a well in the middle of the cookie batter. Fill the well with 1 teaspoon of fruit jam or spread for each cookie.

Bake for ten to 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.

These cookies are fast and fun to make and can be filled with your favorite kind of jam, fruit spread or chocolate drop. To make a wheat-free version, omit the wheat flour and double the almonds and oats.

Some people -- including Dean Rucker, the executive chef at Golden Door from 2005 to 2011 who created this cookie -- actually like the wheat-free version better.

For me, Oreos are a childhood comfort food, and it's hard to have just one. Five or six is probably my minimum, should I stumble across them. (This is not something I keep in the the house.) So now you're talking 375-450 calories versus 75. Oreos are a good example of a "hyperpalatable food" -- an easy-to-eat blend of fat, sugar and salt designed to go down easy, and make you want more. Lots more. Read The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by the former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, MD, if you've ever wondered why certain foods have such a hold on you.

The book is worth a read, especially if you struggle with your weight. At Golden Door, they say the secret to losing weight and keeping it off is to choose healthy foods in the first place -- lean protein, grains, vegetables -- and then eat about the amount that can fit in your two hands, side by side. That's portion control. Sweets like this jam dot cookie can provide a satisfying end to the meal if you like dessert.

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