Recon Cookies (or Almost-Scout Cookies)

These cookies, OH MY GOODNESS!

Recon Scout Cookies from In Johnnas Kitchen

I am over-the-moon crazy about these cookies and I’m pretty darned sure you will be, too.  I should mention all of the good stuff about them, like they are almost free of refined sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, grain-free, packed with superfoods (at least five by my count), vegan with a simple swap…

But what I really want to tell you is that these cookies are SO very good.  Like favorite-cookie-ever kind of good.  Not kidding!  And they are pretty close to the famous Scout cookie sold by Watercourse in Denver.  I’ve mentioned those divine Scout cookies a few times here on my blog.

I’ve named these cookies Recon Cookies because I feel like I’ve been on a few reconnaissance trips to the bakery, always asking, “What’s in these?”  I was convinced there was some super secret ingredient and perhaps there is in the original.  I’m still convinced there’s something exceptional about the original version that mine will never completely embrace, perhaps it’s the altitude in Denver.  Every time I go to/thru/near Denver, I buy those cookies.  I’ve begged friends in Colorado to ship them to me.  I’ve bought them myself at least five times in hopes of getting them home and having a good look at them to try to figure them out on my own, but I never quite make it home with them.  I’ve told myself repeatedly it is a good thing they are only available 600 miles away from home.

Until now.  I’ve come up with a pretty good fill-in for the 363 days of the year when I’m not in Denver to buy my favorite cookies from one of my very favorite restaurants.  The texture isn’t quite as coarse as the originals but they are still a very soft, almost cake-like, cookie in the center, slightly crunchy on the edges.  I’ve got the key ingredients covered (sweet potato, walnut and coconut) but really have no idea what other ingredients are used in the original.  I was going for flavor here and nailed it.  I think I did pretty good on the appearance, too.  The original from Watercourse is on the left, my version on the right:

side-by-side scout and recon cookie

Have I sold you on these yet?  I hope so!  They remind me a bit of a Girl Scout cookie, but yet aren’t anything like those cookies in a box.  These are the size of my palm, chocolate-y, a hint of caramel, cake-y but still crunchy.  There’s really nothing like them unless you visit Watercourse.  Make these and then swoon, would ya? 😉

Big thanks to Peace by Pastries for her version of the Scout cookie.  It gave me a really terrific starting point for my version!

Recon Cookies (or Almost-Scout Cookies)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9 to 10 large cookies

Recon Cookies (or Almost-Scout Cookies)


  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweet potato (uncooked, unpeeled if organic is fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I use Let's Do Organic)
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid or liquified is fine
  • 1/2 cup honey (substitute with agave nectar to make vegan)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 T. flax meal in 3 T. hot water (Flax slurry, egg replacement)
  • 1 T. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate (non-dairy and you can use chocolate that is dark enough to have no refined sugar added)
  • 1 t. coconut oil (to be added to chocolate)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grate the sweet potato using either a box grater or food processor. I grated mine using the larger of the narrow sides on a box grater. This is the second smallest option. Place in large mixing bowl.
  • Add remaining dry ingredients.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients (except for chocolate and remaining 1 t. coconut oil) either by hand or with a wooden spoon. I prefer to get my hands in it to incorporate all of the ingredients completely. The warmth of your hands will also melt the coconut oil if you used it in its solid form.
  • Once well combined, use a biscuit or round cutter to shape into 3" patties, well compacted. Turn out onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. You will have 9 or 10 patties.
  • Pat down just a bit with your hand to make a rounded top.
  • Bake for 27-30 minutes. Top and edges will be slightly browned when done. Center will still be moist but not doughy.
  • Move to cooling rack.
  • While cooling, melt chocolate and 1 t, of coconut oil either in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  • Once cookies are cool to the touch, place a sheet of parchment paper on countertop. Dip the flat bottom of each cookie in chocolate and place on the parchment. Once the bottoms are all dipped, drizzle remaining chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving.
  • These freeze very well. I would like to tell you they store well in an airtight container, but we eat them all if we don't freeze them so I don't know how well they store if not frozen. Enjoy!

I am sharing these in Linda’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays.  Click over there and check out all of the goodness, so many terrific recipes!



    • says

      Hi Sherry! Thanks for dropping by. I see text beside each numbered step in the recipe, 1-11. Step 6 is “Pat down just a bit with your hand to make a rounded top.” Please let me know if that helps. I’d love to hear if you try these cookies!

  1. Barb says

    OMG – these are seriously addictive!! I used an egg instead of the flax slurry, otherwise made exactly according to recipe. Love them!! Thanks! Next time (will definitely be a next time) I will probably cut the honey just a little and make them a little smaller. They are awesome right out of the frig – you will need to hide them somewhere. lol

    • says

      I’m excited to hear you like them as much as I do! Great to hear they work well with an egg. I’m making a batch that are about a quarter of the size of what’s shown in the post which works great for me as I love the crunchy edges best. :)

  2. Jen (yup, another one) says

    When you made the ones that are 1/4 the size, did you reduce the thickness or leave it about the same?

    • says

      Hi, Jen! When I made the smaller ones, I reduced the thickness just a bit, making them about 1/2 to 2/3″ thick. (Yep, I took a ruler into the kitchen to measure for you.) I neglected to make a note on the baking time though. Darn! Next up, I’m trying them in the dehydrator. Love these cookies!

  3. says

    omg, THANK YOU!!! whenever i have to go to denver, i try to figure out how i can swing by watercourse to grab a scout cookie. i dream about those cookies. these are pretty dang close! if they were a little more solid & cakier they would be perfect imitations, but they are awesome as is. made them last night to bring up for closing weekend of ski season, but ski weekend got canceled so now i’m home alone with these beauties — scary! fyi: i live at altitude & usually have to increase oven temp & decrease sugar & make a few other adjustments. increasing oven temp 25 degrees got me charred bottoms by 25 min. i did not adjust sweeteners. gonna try dehydrating these next time. thanks, johnna, for your due diligence in your kitchen lab!

    • says

      I love hearing this! And I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one who tries to find a way to swing by Watercourse just for a Scout cookie. :)

  4. Stephanie says

    Watercourse is my favorite restaurant in Denver and we don’t live there anymore so I’m SO thankful for this recipe!!! I made them just yesterday and we can’t keep our hands off them! I used oat flour instead of coconut flour since that’s what I had and I think they told me that once when I asked. Anyway, these made my week! Thank you!

  5. Emily says

    I used to live a few blocks from City o City…needless to say I was on the “scout cookie a day” diet for a while! I’ve been wondering how I can create them myself now that I live across the country. Can’t wait to try these out!

    • says

      Oh, what a mess I would be if I lived close to City o City! Regardless of where I am in Denver when visiting, I seem to drop by at least once a day just for a Scout Cookie. I hope you’ll give these a go!

  6. Emilia Cabeza de Baca says

    Hey there!
    I live in Denver and have eaten at Watercourse 1bajilion times, sell them in my coffee shop and know some of the bakers.
    While most of your ingredients and process are right, you’re missing some key stuff. Oats, like the amount you’d put in oatmeal raisin cookies. Sweet potatoes are small cubes or tiny rough chunks, this keeps them intact and suspended throughout the cookie rather than meldes into the dough.

    I LOVE this recipe and am totally trying it!

    • says

      Hi Emilia! Thanks for dropping by. I made my version grain-free, so no oats. Thanks for the tidbit on sweet potato size. I may give that a go. I hope you’ll try my version, although I would be at Watercourse or your coffee shop everyday buying the real deal if I lived in Denver. :)

  7. lauren says

    I live in New York and my heart aches for these Denver beauties. they are just the best cookies. so excited to have found a recipe to try. THANK YOU!


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