Not a cookie catastrophe

Healthy-ish chocolate oatmeal peacan cookies on a wire cooling rack

The COVID-19 crisis has me feeling overwhelmed—so much uncertainty, anxiety, misinformation, and just plain unease.

And what makes me feel better in uneasy times? Baking, of course!

I’m a good cook, but often a not-so-great baker as I tend to improvise a little too much. I have a history of cookie catastrophes and generally stick to muffins and banana bread and other more forgiving bakes. But I decided to take a chance on these cookies.

Maybe this cookie courage was because there’s no butter in this recipe (I can trace a lot of my cookie failures back to inadequately creaming the butter and sugar), or perhaps it’s more that the recipe I modified is allegedly from Bethenny Frankle and I love the Real Housewives of New York City. (I’m definitely wishing that I wasn’t totally up-to-date with my favourite two Real Housewives franchises—that’s exactly the kind of escapism the coronapocalypse calls for!)

The cookies turned out even better than I could have anticipated, possibly because I was pretty sure they wouldn’t turn out at all—particularly as I was lumping the very stiff batter onto the cookie sheet. And they’re not super-high in sugar or fat, which makes me feel pretty good about having them for breakfast. As the self-isolation continues, maybe I’ll even start pairing them with Baileys for my morning tea break!

Healthy-ish oatmeal/chocolate cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 very ripe banana, well-mashed
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar 
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-sweetened/unflavoured non-dairy)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped 
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chunks


  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices
  • In a separate bowl, mash together the banana and sugar; then stir in oil, milk, and vanilla
  • Stir the nuts and chocolate into the dry ingredients
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix until well combined
  • Scoop scant tablespoons of the batter onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet
    • The batter will be quite stiff (don’t panic!) and the cookies don’t spread much as they bake
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through; cookies should be golden brown
  • Let cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!

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