Classic Lunch Box Cookie Makes the Grade

By Kathryn Matthews

Kids love these bite-sized munchables, a tribute to a beloved trifecta: butter + oatmeal + chocolate chips.  But I’ve got to give credit where it’s due:  this is my mother’s recipe.  It was a huge hit with her friends and colleagues, precisely because it was not too sweet.  Long—and I mean long(!)—after I had graduated from college, my mother would send me (and my husband) a care package—typically, a brown paper-wrapped shoe box—bursting with ziplocked baggies of these cookies.

They never lasted long.

I’ve updated my mother’s recipe only slightly, using all-natural unsalted butter, bittersweet chips, and as little sugar as I can get away with…  Happily, they’re a healthy, not-too-sweet treat, easily made in 30 minutes, or less.  And great for munchkins: pack into a lunchbox, or have on hand as an after-school snack with a glass of organic milk.  P.S.: It’s been kid-tested and passes muster!

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (for breakfast)

Grown-ups, too, will enjoy this virtually guilt-free treat.  We love eating these cookies on chilly fall mornings—at breakfast.  I have mine with a steaming mug of espresso—black, straight-up—like a real woman(!)…  A touch of sweet paired with a deep and savory bitter bean (a local, organic French roast)…is the best serotonin boost a girl can have to face the rest of her writing day.

Two FYI’s: I use a hand-held electric mixer for the dough—which works just fine for this recipe—but feel free to use a standing mixer.  These cookies are petite: I literally drop cookie dough by the teaspoonful onto the baking sheet.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 40

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted all-natural butter

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup all-natural bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cube the butter into a large mixing bowl.

Beat butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, or until pliable.

Add the brown and granulated sugars.  Cream together until well combined.

Beat in egg.  Then add vanilla and blend well.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.  Then add to the butter mixture.  Beat together – on medium speed – until ingredients are just blended.

Use a wooden spoon to fold in the oats and chocolate nibs.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake on the center rack about 8-10 minutes, or until bottoms are browned.

Note:  About halfway through (4-5 minutes), turn the cookie sheet around so that cookies bake evenly.

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1 Response to Classic Lunch Box Cookie Makes the Grade

  1. Monica Kuo says:

    These cookies are everyone’s favorite. You cannot eat just one!! With these healthy ingredients, no need to worry about your waistline.

    Thanks for sharing.

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