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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not a chef by any means. In fact, I'd barely call myself a cook. I've only been doing said cooking for about 3 years, and I've barely branched out beyond Alton Brown recipes. 

However, I've come into possession of a lot of instant banana oatmeal, with walnuts on the side. I love me some oatmeal, but instant really isn't the best thing out there. I wanted to do something with it, and my husband suggested cookies. But, being the science-y type thanks to Good Eats and AB, could you really make oatmeal cookies from instant oatmeal? I knew subbing instant oatmeal for rolled oats would be a mistake. Instant oats get really gummy when hydrated, and the texture would be way off. Also, the oatmeal comes with brown sugar etc mixed in, which would throw off any recipe.

But then, it came to me. Alton's Oatiest Oatmeal Cookies. I've made his recipe a couple times, and it calls for oat flour instead of wheat flour. A-ha. But his recipe, while good, is not perfect. I know someone at work that's been cooking for many many years, and knows her way around the kitchen by experience. She once told me that if you want chewier cookies, you can sub out half the butter for shortening. Or possibly even all the butter for butter-flavored shortening. So that is one of the modifications I made here. His oatmeal cookies are very crispy/stiff/fall apart; because there is no wheat flour in it. I've modified a lot more than that though, which is why I included his original recipe above if you'd like to try it. It is gluten free! (This recipe, however, probably isn't. The ingredient list on the instant oats says it contains wheat.)

· 8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats
· 8 ounces of packaged, instant banana oatmeal
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· Pinch kosher salt
· 5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 5 ounces shortening
· 6 ounces dark brown sugar
· 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
· 1 large egg
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 4 ounces chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grind the 8 ounces of instant oats in a food processor until the consistency of whole wheat flour, about 2 minutes. Add the baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Set aside.
Combine the butter, shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment until light in color, about 3 minutes. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest speed and add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining oats and the walnuts. Stir to combine.
Scoop the dough with a tabelspoon disher onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, leaving 2 inches between each mound. Bake until the cookies begin to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking. Cool on the pans for 2 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Compared to the original recipe, I made a few more modifications. I did not toast any of the oats. Well, I wouldn't toast the instant oats anyway, but I don't toast the rolled ones either. I don't much like the taste, and I think it makes the cookies drier and less chewy. Your choice, though. I'm also only using a tablespoon disher because that's all I have. It makes perfect-sized cookies. I couldn't tell you what # size that is, as mine says nowhere on it. I only put 9 on a sheet, and cook them for 10 minutes because they are smaller. 

Now watch me un-sell my own recipe. 

Are they perfect? Probably not. But then again, I'm not a chef, or a baker. I'm not much into "wasting" ingredients in order to make them perfect. I followed this, tried one, and they came out pretty darn good. The banana flavor is very minimal, but it does taste like your eating banana oatmeal, which is pretty cool. Feel free to tinker around with it, and let me know in the comments how they turned out for you!

I could have layered them on a plate all nice and pretty but I'm lazy, okay?


  1. I just found you on Thoughts From Paris and you said no one ever comments on your site. So I came over here to comment, because I hated it when I never got comments and I'm excited to see you have a yummy cookie recipe here! Everybody wins!! I like your blog title - I'm a Seussian. Where is the "join" button so I can follow you? Huh? Where? ;) I started in March too, so happy 6 month blogaversary!

    1. Lol Okay, I added a heading for my twitter info. But if you don't use twitter, you can subscribe via email near the top. Thanks for commenting :) I'll read your blog when I have a moment after work lol

  2. I haven't had oatmeal cookies in so long. That sounds good, especially with the banana in them!! It's cool you like to experiment in the kitchen, that's kind of what I'm into right now too. It's all about the trial and error.