Christmas is just two months away. Hold on, I didn’t mean to alarm you…. yet! The stores here have been stocking Christmas stuff ever since the beginning of September. I actually did not intend this to be a Christmas post. I set about making a batch of (healthier) oatmeal cookies and ended up thinking of Christmas.
Ever noticed the nifty little recipe printed on a carton of oats? Yes, the utterly delicious one that makes even oatmeal taste decadent? I’ve made those. Just a couple of times though. Two whole cups of sugar for a cup of flour and three of oatmeal, though delicious, is not my idea of healthy. So I decided to make a healthier version, that is still yummy and does not end up tasting like the carton the oats came in.
And I think I hit the jackpot. I made a small batch of cookies. Whenever I try to use more than a cup of flour, I end up swimming in cookies for a while, which is good if you are thinking of baking for Christmas. These oatmeal cookies are good enough to gift others. Yes, I know the holidays are all about fudge and brownies, toffee and caramel-coated delicacies. But, oatmeal cookies? Why not? I would like some. And so would most moms. You see, if it came from some other place, kids are more likely to eat them.
And, you could always dress them up with chocolate chips (though the added sweetness would not make them much healthier), nuts, raisins or even dried cranberries. I’ve actually tried it with dried cranberries, and will post a recipe the next time I make them.
You will need: (Makes 15 cookies, you can double the recipe for 2 1/2 dozen cookies)
- Butter – 1/4 cup, softened slightly
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup, not tightly packed
- Egg – 1, use just the white if trying to reduce calories further
- Vanilla extract – 1/4 tsp
- All purpose flour – 1/2 cup + a little extra (if the dough seems super sticky)
- Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp (I like my cookies with a touch of salt, use just a scant pinch if you don’t)
- Oats – 1 1/2 cups, regular or quick-cooking variety
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 deg.F and prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for at least 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till nice and fluffy, a minute or so.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients on top and mix well.
- Add the oats and mix till nicely incorporated. Ditch the mixer and use a spoon or ladle if you want. Dust a little flour if the dough seems too sticky. But remember, it is supposed to be sticky and messy, so just go with it.
- Make little balls from the dough, flatten them ever so slightly and place on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake (on middle rack) for 12-14 minutes for medium-sized cookies or 10-12 minutes if you are making smaller, thinner ones. The bottom and edges should be golden and the centers just set.
- Cool in the sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
Next time, I am going to try further reducing the sugar to 1/4 cup.
Dress up these cookies with a small handful of chocolate chips or chopped nuts or raisins. You could even drizzle a little melted chocolate or caramel on top, if you feel the need to fancy them up for gifting. But we love them plain and I am sure you would too!
Enjoy with a glass of milk stirred with a candy cane and dream of Christmas already!
So tell me, do you love oatmeal? Have you tried it in cookies? Do whip these up and let me know how you like them.
You may also like these amazing Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. Please stock up on crunchy PB, they work best in cookies.
Or how about some bite-sized, cloud-like Vanilla Meringue Cookies.
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