Evolution of a Recipe – Everything Cookies

I’ve had enough people ask for this (and seen enough similar things on the web) that I figured I’d put this up for posterity.

A few years ago when I worked at the Edward Kemble Elementary School Library they had a special book sale for the staff. Among other books, I purchased Christmas Cookies – Classic Recipes.

I love oatmeal peanut butter cookies, but didn’t have a recipe for them in any of my cookie recipe books. This one did however have a recipe for Oatmeal Scotchies that looked good.

I switched half the butter for peanut butter, one cup of oats for nuts, and added a cup of chocolate chips (I hate cookies that are just a lot of dough and a little stuff. And yet I love sugar cookies, butter cookies, spritz cookies, etc. I guess I just want there to either be a LOT of “stuff” or none.

After some friends watched me bake these once, and asked what they were called. I didn’t have a name, and they weren’t really oatmeal scotchies anymore, so they came up with “Everything Cookies” since I seemed to put everything (but fruit! I don’t like fruit in cookies) in them. Seeing them in dough form they were amazed that the cookies stayed together which how much stuff was in them.

These are pretty flexible, I use whatever nuts I have on hand, and whatever chocolately bits. I’ve even chopped up Hershey Kisses when we didn’t have chocolate chips.

Jenny’s Everything Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (I usually soften it in the microwave)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I usually use chunky for extra nuttiness)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs (I almost always use liquid eggs when baking, easier and healthier)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I swap half or all the vanilla for almond extract)
1 cup chopped/sliced/slivered nuts (I prefer almond)
1 to 2 cup chips (I usually mix milk & dark/semi-sweet & butterscotch chips)
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
Raw sugar to roll them in (optional)

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. I’m lazy and always skip this – one less messy dish to clean!
  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a larger mixer bowl. I love my KitchenAid!
  3. Gradually beat in flour mixture. I just toss in everything but the flour, then add the flour 1/4 cup at a time.
  4. Stir in oats, then nuts and chips.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. I usually just eyeball it and roll them into balls, but even if I use a tablespoon I always roll them into balls to help them stick together.
  6. This year I had raw sugar left over from rolling other cookies, so I rolled these ones into it and it gave them a nice crunch on the outside.
  7. It’s ok to flatten the cookies also if you like how that looks better.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 375°F. oven for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies; 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.

It’s supposed to make about 4 dozen cookies.

So far everyone has agreed with me that the chewy taste best, but even if I overcook them and get harder ones, they still all get eaten. Be sure to preheat or you won’t be sure about the timing! Chewy ones won’t look done with they come out of the oven, but just let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 to 10 minutes, once them come off easily with a spatula without smooshing then they’re ready. Though I’m happy to eat them hot and smooshy/crumbly. The perks and hazards of being the cook!

The recipe also had an option for pan cookies, and after looking at how much sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) was in the Nature Valley granola bars I loved, I decided to see if I could doctor this into a granola bar recipe.

Round 1 Everything Granola Bars
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (I almost always use liquid eggs when baking, easier and healthier)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I swap half or all the vanilla for almond extract)
3 cups oats
3 teaspoons ground flax seed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Most of the fruit/nut/chip amounts were based on what I happened to have left in the cupboards.

Mix the same way as the cookies.

  1. Spread dough into greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 jelly-roll pan. I used my 10 x 13 (4qt) glass baking pan.
  2. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  3. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

It’s supposed to make 4 dozen bars. I don’t recall how many pieces we cut that one into. Everyone really liked it, but I think it had room for improvement. I’m not sure if it just needs way more fruit and nuts, or if the other parts need tweaking. The flavor was good, mostly it was the texture I wasn’t satisfied with. It was in between crunchy and chewy, and I want one or the other. I just haven’t decided which.

I’m working on round two of the recipe today.