These cookies originated from the 1980’s Quaker Oats box. My mom would make those cookies regularly and they were a family favorite. Over the years Quaker has changed the recipe on their box and I’ve tweaked the original recipe to make cookies that are even more delicious. I never alter or create recipes. I love to create in the kitchen and I’m pretty decent; or so says my picky husband. But my strength in the kitchen relies on knowing what a good recipe looks like and following it precisely. So altering Quaker’s original recipe–several times–is a big deal for me. I have made these cookies about a million and one times and have tried simple changes and watched and tasted how each modification has improved or diminished the deliciousness of these cookies. The surprising result of all this experimentation is not only a tasty treat but an increase confidence in the kitchen. I love that I feel more comfortable to test little changes in recipes now. I understand food and the science of it just a little bit more. This increased knowledge and confidence is so freeing. And I’ve noticed it beginning to spill (pun intended :)) into other recipes and concoctions in the kitchen.
My family loves these cookies and I hope you do too. We make these often enough that I finally taped the recipe inside a kitchen cupboard door. I have the recipe memorized, I’m sure. But as a mama of little busy bodies, running in and out of my kitchen constantly, I get distracted and forgetful. A quick glance at the handwritten recipe, on bright orange construction paper, is a helpful crutch.
After years of tweaking, trial and error, and finally remembering to write down my favorite alterations, here’s the recipe. These can easily made gluten free, and I do it about half the time. Just use oat flour instead of wheat flour. If you want a healthier version use whole wheat flour.
Fabulous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour (all-purpose, oat, whole wheat, what ever suits your fancy)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats (quick works too!)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but delicious)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt. Next, stir in the old-fashioned oats. Last, mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. (I love parchment paper–less dishes! Use it if you have it!) Bake in hot oven for 12-15 minutes. I prefer chewing cookies (12 min), but Bradley loves his cookies firm and crunchy (15 min) so we always have both!
Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Unless you like big cookies, then you’ll only get 3 dozen!