Cookies for an after-school treat

Posted August 31

Who doesn't love hot, freshly baked cookies and milk after a long day at school or work? Cookies are a great conversation starter with your young children or teenagers. No matter what their day looked like, these loaded "kitchen sink" morsels will warm hearts and welcome them home.

Whipped up as drop or bar cookies, the dough freezes well for another day.



1¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

½ cup white sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2½ cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups chocolate chips, dark, semi-sweet sweet, vanilla or a combination

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

½ cup sunflower seeds, shelled or pumpkin seeds

½ cup walnuts or almonds, chopped (optional)

Dash of cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt with fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Blend well. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into wet mixture. Beat together. Fold in remaining ingredients. Chill dough one hour for best results.

Using a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop scoopfuls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the tops slightly for more even cooking. There will be about nine dough rounds per sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. (Altitude varies baking times.) If making bar cookies, bake 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness in the middle. Edges should be lightly golden. Do not overbake. They may not look completely cooked, but they will harden as they cool on cookie rack. Let them cool completely before serving.

Makes 2½ dozen large cookies. Bars can be cut to size preference.

Shannon M. Smurthwaite is a Southern California native, cookbook author, food columnist and freelance writer. Her blog: She and her husband, Donald, reside in Idaho. Email:


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