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These cookies. Oh, these cookies.

I worked at a coffee shop during university, and they had cookies brought in by an outside bakery – they called them Kitsilano cookies. The coffee shop is in the Kitsilano neighbourhood in Vancouver, which is basically the Haight-Ashbury of the North, as Canada’s hippie central. Kits folks wear Lululemon head-to-toe, Monday-to-Friday; divide their saturdays between sunrise yoga on the beach, the farmers market, and their community garden; and crunch hardcore on (organic, vegan, gmo-free) granola.

So the name befits the biscuits – these cookies are loaded with oats, rolled barley, whole millet, flax, sunflower seeds and dried fruit. I won’t go tossing about the word “healthy”, because let’s face it – the’ve still got their feet firmly planted in delicious butter-and-sugar territory. But they’ve definitely got a leg up, for all their whole grains and seeds.

I’ve dreamed of them lots since those coffee-grinding college days, when – at the start of a bleary-eyed 6 am shift – I’d scarf one down chased by a shot of espresso and call it breakfast.

This recipe is my riff on the bakery’s version. They’re crunchy-chewy, with lots of interesting texture (I especially love the popping of millet), and morsels of chocolate to take things over the top.

The recipe makes a big batch, so feel free to freeze unbaked dough-balls for another time, or freeze the baked cookies – either works beautifully.

Kitsilano Cookies

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 48


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (or 3/4 cup rolled oats 3/4 cup rolled barley
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/3 cup millet
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. With mixer speed on low, gradually incorporate into creamed butter mixture. Beat in oats, sunflower seeds, millet, currants and chocolate chips. (Depending on the strength of your mixer, you may need to stir by hand).
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets (no need to grease them, but I like to use parchment paper for easy removal and cleanup). Bake cookies 12 minutes, or until lightly golden but still slightly underdone.
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