Catastrophic Cookie Fun – Should oatmeal cookies be dribble-y?

How badly can a person screw up making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies?  Try upwards of three hours worth of bad!

The saving grace?  They eventually turned out edible and, dare I say, yummy…and the experience lends itself to an utterly ridiculous, yet awesome, blog post!

Click here for the recipe I used or scroll to the bottom of the post but please NOTE:
The recipe at the bottom of this post has been insanely altered due to my mistakes.  It would be best if you start with the original recipe, found here, if you would like to try making them.

A couple of weeks ago, I meant up with a friend and she had brought along a bag of oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies.  They were deliciously oat-y and buttery, so of course, I asked for the recipe!

It seemed pretty straightforward…but three hours later, 6 cookie experiments later, my dribble-y inedible batter had become edible, while I still had no clue what I had done wrong!

One thing I have noticed since that Ultimate Cookie Challenge day, is that the recipe called for grinding 8 ounces of oats into a flour consistency.  I didn’t have a food processor and skipped that part.  THEN, I found I eventually had to add flour to the batter to hold the cookies together.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So, dear readers, if you see something in this entry that I have overlooked and that may have contributed to my cookie catastrophe, feel free to point it out!


I began by mixing the butter, white & brown sugar, egg and vanilla. If you’re thinking, “Holy crap, that’s a lot of butter!”  I agree.  That was the main problem, as you will see, with my batter.  The original recipe was in ounces, which I converted to cups.  I have checked and rechecked my conversion…1.25 cups of butter is what I keep coming up with.

Mixing up the butter and the sugars

Wet Ingredients Mixed

In another bowl, I mixed the few dry ingredients:

Dry Ingredients Mixed

While doing this, I also roasted the rolled oats at the same time.  I’ve never roasted oats before but I have to say, even if you don’t *have* to, roast them anyway.  They made my kitchen smell so good!

Rolled Oats ready for the oven

Baked Oats

Here is where I go off track from the original recipe.  I don’t own a food processor, so I didn’t have the means to grind the oats into flour as the original recipe required.  I also don’t have a stand mixer, rather I have my two hands and a wooden spoon or my little electric hand-mixer to choose from.

So, at this point, I mixed everything together, wet/dry ingredients and oats, using a wooden spoon and ignored the ‘flour’ grinding.  My first mistake.

I noticed the batter was quite runny so I used a tablespoon, scooped some batter onto a piece of parchment paper and popped it in the oven.  I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t work, so I figured experimenting with one was the way to go.  I was right.

Cookie #1 - Def Too Much Butter!

Obviously, based on the above pictures, I was right!  I baked it for 6 min, then turned the tray for another 4 min (they were supposed to bake 12 minutes total but it started to burn). The butter ran across the parchment paper and the resulting cookie looked like this:

Cookie #1

The edges were burned and breaking…inedible…all the way.

I had a bowl of failed batter and a free afternoon ahead of me, so what did I do?  I decided to experiment and see if I could fix them!

Moving on to Cookie #2…I scooped another tablespoon of batter and added two teaspoons of oats to it.  Cooked it for 6 min, turning the tray and continuing for another 2 minutes before it looked burn-y.

Cookie #2 - Added Oats

Cookie #2 fell to pieces.

Cookie #2 - Crumbled

Next up, Cookie #3!  To this dollop of batter, I added ½ tsp of flour, thinking that the batter needed something more to hold it together.  Baked 6 min and then flipped tray, baking for an additional minute.  The resulting cookie looked quite similar to the original cookies my friend had made.

Cookie #3 - Added flour

For Cookie #4, I applied both additions from Cookies #2 and #3: ½ tsp flour and 2 tsp oats to the dollop of batter.  Cooked 6 min and then another. 2.5 min.  This cookie turned out to be the best of all of them so I decided to go ahead and alter the whole batch.

First 4 experiments

Here’s where I make it even MORE complicated.  This is the Capricorn coming out to play so if crazy in-depth (possibly pointless) details annoy you, or if you just don’t like math, skip this part! *wink*

I’d been altering a tbsp of batter at a time.  Now I had decided to alter the whole bowl but how much batter was in there?

I used a cup to roughly measure and it appeared I had approximately 2 cups of batter, which I figured would be about 24 tbsp/cookies.  So, half a teaspoon of flour to each and 2 tsp of oats to each would equal an additional 12 tsp flour and approx 24 overflowing tablespoons of oats (better than having to add 48 teaspoons which was my first measurement!)

So, I went ahead and added 12 teaspoons of cake/pastry flour and, since the added oats hadn’t seemed to make a great difference, I cut the number in half to start and added 12 overflowing tablespoons.  I again put a sample in the oven and placed the remaining batter in fridge.

While Cookie #5 was baking, I called a friend to share my cookie experimentation and have a good laugh.  He made a good point when he asked, “Have you tasted any of the experiments so far?”  Um…no.  THAT got a laugh and he encouraged me to try them!

In hindsight, I definitely should have been tasting my creations but I was so caught up with the experimenting part, plus…they didn’t look all that yummy.  So, I tried cookies #3 and #4.  They didn’t taste all that bad but they were quite greasy and brittle.

At this point Cookie #5 was ready.  I had baked it for 6 min and then flipped the tray for an additional minute.

Cookie #5 - Altered batch

It actually tasted fine but it was still brittle and falling apart.  By this point, I was getting the sense that the flour was necessary to hold everything together…plus, the more flour I added, the less the edges seemed to burn.  So, I decided to add a little more.  (Don’t worry!  Cookie #6 is the final product! lol)

For the final batch alteration, I added 2 tsp more flour to the mix, refrigerated dough for 20 minutes, then popped a whole tray of cookies into the oven. Baked 6 minutes, flipped the tray and continued for another 2 min.

Cookie #6 - The Final Product

Finally! A tray of cookies!

So, in the end, I followed a modified version of the recipe.

I added 12 teaspoons of pastry flour and 12 tablespoons of oats and, hours after I began, I had two batches of yummy cookies!! Whew!


The Oatiest Oatmeal Cookies

Finally! Cookies!

(Recipe taken from

NOTE: Due to a number of problems I had making these cookies, see above, I have altered the recipe to reflect what finally worked for me in the end.  If you want to try these cookies (and you should! because they’re yummy!), you may want to start with the original recipe at the link above and see how it works for you.

I repeat, the recipe below is NOT the original recipe!

  • 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 (a little less than 1/2 cup) ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ – 3/4 cup chocolate chips


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread the oats into a single layer on a half sheet pan. Bake until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes. Cool the oats in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Mix butter, sugars, egg, vanilla in one bowl
  4. Mix your dry ingredients: baking powder, salt, cinnamon, flour in another bowl.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, mix lightly and then add the baked oats.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches between each mound.
  7. Bake until the cookies begin to brown around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Cool the cookies on the pans for 2 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

(Original, unaltered recipe found here:


About Amanda Pants

A bit odd, a bit eccentric, a bit loud. Kinda goth, kinda alt, kinda geeky. Crochet/cooking/reading/writing/big stompy boots/journals and a Cheshire grin! All recorded on Wordpress ;) Learning to cook with a Dash of Daring and a Pinch of Panic: Sewing and fibre arts, creations made by moi: Random rants and other bits and pieces: View all posts by Amanda Pants

3 responses to “Catastrophic Cookie Fun – Should oatmeal cookies be dribble-y?

  • Teasing the Yeast…Oh, and making Honey Whole Wheat Bread! « Edible Noir

    […] my previous post (Check out the Dribble-y Cookies post), this time I did my best to follow the recipe […]

  • Rachael

    Ahhh. I see where you went wrong on a couple of things. They still look tasty though!!

    1. Ounces in the recipe was weight, not volume. I would suggest investing in a cheap scale from….what’s that store that used to be Radio Shack? I got one there for $20 that is digital and awesome.

    2. Also, the grinding of the oats would be critical. The starches released and then rehydrated from that would solidify the dough quite a bit bringing it together. If you want to try it again, the do sell oat flour at Bulk Barn which you can also toast (very carefully) and substitute.

    3. Because you don’t have a stand mixer, I would use your hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together. Getting it “pale and fluffy” is key for any and all recipes that include this step. The tiny sugar crystals trap in air between themselves and the butter, which is what gives cookies and cakes that “light and airy” texture. Always do this step first before adding anything else. Once pale and fluffy, add the eggs (room temperature) one at a time and combine completely before adding any other eggs or liquids. Then add the vanilla.

    I would HIGHLY recommend getting a book called “In the Sweet Kitchen” by Reagan Daley. Here is her blog too:

    She’s a Toronto pastry chef who is awesome! The book is a baking bible! More thank 1/2 of it is reference and she is such an awesome writer that I kept reading it page by page like a regular book. She explains the reasoning for everything down to all the base ingredients. It is by far the best cook book/baking book I have ever read and I learned more from it than in any of my baking/pastry courses.

    Happy baking and I’m loving the blog so far!

    • Au Contraire

      Thanks for your comment!

      1. Ahhh, that makes much more sense! I actually have a digital scale I bought at Canadian Tire…just didn’t think to use it. Didn’t realize I *should* use it in this case! lol I was also confused when converting due to British vs US measurements. When do you use one or the other?

      2. I like the oat flour idea. I also like the idea that the recipe gives me a reason to buy a food processor! *wink* In hindsight, I don’t know why I thought the flour wasn’t so important.

      3. This makes total sense. Will be making a note in my new cookbook about this!

      And thank you so much for the book recommendation! I’m always looking for new books that would help me in the kitchen. I have already put a hold on it at our public library to take a look!

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