I love baking because the same few ingredients can make endless possibilities. That’s why it’s important to stock the pantry with essentials. Then you can whip up cookies on a whim. Actually, it’s probably a bad idea because then you have to eat all the cookies. But we’re all stuck inside right now. All we have are cookies and Netflix.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I did a pre-grocery shopping pantry inventory to see what I already had on hand. And it was quite a lot. I felt like a hoarder. A hoarder of random pantry items. Luckily it’s really easy to just a bunch of ingredients in cookies. Oatmeal cookies are my favorite. I usually avoid baking them because I end up with too many. Luckily, my husband loves oatmeal cookies too and he ate most of them.
The base of the cookie is simple and standard: butter, sugar, flour, egg, and oats. But it’s the add-ons where you can get really wild and use whatever you can find in your pantry. There’s always chocolate chips, the good old classic. I urge you to use your imagination though! Dig deep in the pantry to find what’s hiding alllllllllllll the way in the back. The pantry is your oyster.
I found a half bag of goji berries and some toasted pistachios I had leftover. As I was looking for my good vanilla extract (I’ll come back to that later), I found a bag of marshmallows I’ve had since Christmas. You know, for those hot chocolates. Light bulb moment! I made kind of an oatmeal tart and nutty fluffernutter cookie with all three add-ons. Absolutely delish.
Back to that vanilla extract. I’m addicted to bourbon vanilla extract. Yes. Bourbon. I highly recommend it. I’ve tried a few brands but Nielsen-Massey makes the best one. Don’t be surprised when the extract seems a bit thicker, it is. It’s so fragrant and the flavor is almost creamy. This vanilla extract has definitely elevated quite a few of my baking projects.
Pantry Cleaning Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or any extract you have)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup flour
- Between 1 to 2 cups of add ons of your choice
- Step 1 Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add oats. Toss frequently until oats are golden brown. Set aside.
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 375F and line two half sheets with parchment paper.
- Step 3 In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale in color. Scrape down sides as necessary.
- Step 4 Add egg and extract and mix on medium until fully combined.
- Step 5 Sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the bowl. Starting on low speed, slowly mix in the flour to avoid a flour bomb. Before flour is fully mixed in, add toasted oats and finish mixing.
- Step 6 Mix the add ons by hand with a spatula.
- Step 7 With a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, shape dough balls and place onto the half sheet with about 2 inches of space between each dough. Do not flatten the balls!
- Step 8 Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Step 9 Cool before eating.