Friday, March 25, 2011

Lazy Cookies

When I was little, my family bought packages of half-cup squares of Parkay Margarine. At one time, I'm ashamed to say, I used to eat it straight up, by the spoonful.

My parents have long since converted to buying actual butter and I thankfully no longer eat margarine (or butter) by the spoonful. My stand-by cookie recipe comes from that Parkay box and if I'm creating a new recipe for a cookie, it often originates here:

Last week, a group of ladies were coming over for coffee and I decided to bake cookies. Getting the boys ready and off to school as well as tidying up around the house left me with little pre-9:00 time to actually drop 2 batches of this dough onto cookie sheet after cookie sheet. 

The solution?

Line the tray with parchment paper, dump on all the dough, and squish it flat-ish and roll with a rolling pin.

There are a few modifications I have made to this recipe and it follows:

1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 cup butter (can substitute 1/2 the butter with apple sauce)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder (not soda)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips (my family does not like raisins)

> cream the butter and sugar
> if using applesauce as well, throw that in next with the eggs and vanilla
> dump in the oats
> mix the rest of the dry ingredients together before tossing them in
> if you are using real butter instead of margarine, bake these at 375ºF (190ºC) because butter has a lower smoking point and your butter cookies will burn at 400ºF (I burnt them for years before I figured that out!) 
> bake time at 375ºF 8-12 minutes, depending on how large you make the cookies; the full double batch pan took 20 minutes

This is where the fun comes in...

> omit chocolate or raisins and add in ground green cardamom to make the cookies chai flavoured

> add 1/2 tsp ground ginger instead of pumpkin pie spice and the zest of one lemon for a bright yellow flavour

> add craisins and orange zest instead of raisins

> add 1/4 cup cocoa powder instead of pumpkin pie spice for chocolate oatmeal cookies

> for the 1 1/2 cups flour, you can use up to 3/4 cup ground oats instead

> add nuts and seeds for a really healthy cookie - I have added pecans, peanuts (great with milk chocolate chips), walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, and pumpkin seeds... and possibly others as well!

> cook 1/3 cup quinoa (with 2/3 cups water, bring to a boil, turn to low, cover with a lid for 20 minutes) and add that straight to the dough for another healthy addition

When flattened out and baked, this also makes a VERY simple cookie crust, all you do is make the dough, flatten it, bake, and carry on with the recipe! 

If using the "lazy" all on one pan method, slice the cookies while they are warm.


  1. This is great, I love the varieties! Oh, I so remember the parkay! I have my mom's few pages she saved (yet most of her recipes were in her head) the same receipe taped! Thanks for the memories! :)

  2. Kathy - thanks! I'm glad we could share that memory!