The Pantry Cookie

March 25, 2015
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

A couple of notes: 1) This recipe calls for melted butter, partly for reasons of convenience (no waiting for butter to soften) but mostly because melted butter makes for a chewier cookie that spreads more. If you want a more cakey cookie with some height, don’t melt the butter; cream it along with the sugars and the egg. 2) My version of this cookie includes toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. But your version may be different. Try almonds and dried apricots, or walnuts and dried cherries, or pistachios and dried figs. Or sunflower and pumpkin seeds in place of the nuts. Or a heath bar in place of the chocolate chips. It’s an accommodating host of a recipe. —Nicholas Day

  • Makes about 20 cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup white or whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (or other toasted nuts or seeds)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit, chopped if large)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or other chips, or chopped chocolate)
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Lightly butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment.
  2. Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave. Set it aside briefly to cool. In a bowl, mix together the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Set it aside too.
  3. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl and a whisk, thoroughly beat the egg with the sugars and the vanilla extract, ideally until it thickens slightly and begins to form a ribbon. Add the melted butter and stir. Then add the flour mixture and stir until it is just combined. Gently mix in the pecans, dried cranberries, and chocolate. (If you want to stop at this point, you can refrigerate the dough for a week or freeze for longer.)
  4. On the prepared baking sheet, place small mounds of dough, about two tablespoons worth (just a bit larger than a ping-pong ball). Flatten very slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden, rotating the baking sheet midway. Let the cookies sit for a minute and then remove them from the baking sheet and let cool. If they survive the day, pack away in an airtight container.

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I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is nicholasday.net; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.