Cookie Wars

Deciding what to bake every week can be a difficult task:  I scour my recipe books and other food blogs for ideas, and find so many mouth-watering options that I would become exceedingly fat if I tried them all.  To allow for some variety without being too much of a gluttonous pig, I sometimes bake several variations on one recipe all in one go.  Last summer I frequently did that with cupcakes, making up a basic batter then dividing it into four and adding different flavours to each – that was a good summer.  Last week I decided to do this with cookies.

I followed my usual oat-based cookie recipe, which I’ve made before with chocolate chunks, or with pistachios, orange zest and raisins.  This time I added a bit of coconut and some chopped almonds, then divided the mixture in two.  To one half, I simply added raisins, making a classic chewy cookie.  To the other half, I swirled in a generous teaspoon of Nutella.

Oat and Raisin

Up to the point of going in the oven, both varieties seemed quite similar, despite the Nutella ones being a little gooier.

But by the time they had finished baking, they looked completely different:  the raisin cookies held their shape nicely, whereas the Nutella ones spread and flattened somewhat.
The texture wasn’t quite the same either – the Nutella ones seemed a bit more flapjack-esque.  Fortunately both versions tasted good, though personally I prefered the good old raisin. Bonus:  they’ve got oats in, so they’re good for you!  Perhaps that justifies making another batch then…


Basic Oaty Cookies

(Makes 14)


125g unsalted butter, at room temperature

125g caster sugar

1 egg

2tsp vanilla extract

125g porridge oats (I used rolled oats)

75g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Whatever accompaniments you want – generally 50-100g of raisins/nuts/chocolate/coconut/a teaspoon (or more) of Nutella/the zest of 1 orange/etc


1.  Heat oven to 180oC.  Lightly oil 2 baking trays.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together.

3.  Add the egg, vanilla, oats, flour and baking powder.  Beat until well combined.

4.  Add your other additions (or do as I did and divide this mixture between bowls 1st so you can experiment with some different possbilities), stirring them in well.

5.  Place generous spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays, spaced quite well apart.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Allow them to cool slightly on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack.

6.  Tuck in!

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