Cookies > Hot cereal

photo by Ngoc Minh & Julian Wass via getty images

You’ve once again found yourself with a cup or so of oatmeal at the bottom of the pot, but  you can’t stomach one more bite. Can you save it for tomorrow’s breakfast? Of course, but wouldn’t it be more fun to instead make cookies? Duh. By adding leftover oatmeal to a standard cookie dough, you’ll get something similar to an oatmeal cookie, but a little puffier, a little more moist—and there won’t be a raisin in sight (unless, of course, you like those things). As for mix-ins, the possibilities are endless: Add chocolate chips, dried fruit, even crushed pretzels or potato chips if you’re feeling like cleaning out the pantry. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ½ teaspoon baking powder until combined. If you’d like, add 2 tablespoons cocoa or espresso powder.

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or an electric mixer to cream together ½ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup softened butter until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time. 

Mix 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of leftover oatmeal into the sugar mixture. 

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in 2 additions and mix until barely combined. At this point, you can also fold in up to 1 cup chopped chocolate, nuts or seeds, raisins, or dried cranberries (a mixture of everything works, too).

Scoop the cookies out into tablespoon-sized balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between the cookies. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and chill the cookies for 1-2 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until puffy and slightly golden. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.