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FINALLY I get to share this recipe with you!! It took me like 6 tries to make it perfect. But it was worth it and I am so proud of the outcome. “Why are they called ‘breakfast cookies?” my co-worker asked. Because these are no ordinary oatmeal cookies. These hearty breakfast cookies are PACKED with oatmeal. Like, 80% oatmeal, 20% dough. If a bowl of oatmeal was a cookie, this would be it. The recipe calls for 8 ½ cups of oats for 16 cookies, which basically equals ½ cup of oats per cookie, which equals 1 serving of oats according to the back of the Quaker Oats container. How perfect for a quick breakfast on-the-go! Kinda like a granola bar, except way better and won’t crumble all over the place. These oatmeal breakfast cookies also freeze beautifully, so they’re great to make ahead.
These oatmeal breakfast cookies feature orange zest and a delicious warm blend of chai spices, along with walnuts and dried cranberries. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but these cookies come together really quickly, I swear!
- Butter: Plenty of butter in this recipe is what keeps the cookies nice and moist!
- Dark brown sugar: You could use light brown sugar instead if that’s what you have on hand, but the molasses-y flavor will be a bit deeper with dark brown.
- Orange zest: The citrusy aroma of orange perfumes the cookies in a really delicious way and makes me think of Christmas! If you aren’t into orange, feel free to omit it.
- Eggs: Eggs help bind the cookies. Mashed bananas could possibly be a good substitute, though I haven’t tried it!
- Vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, & black pepper: These are the spices that give us that delicious cozy warm chai flavor! You could also use a store-bought chai spice blend or feel free to omit spices you don’t have. The flavor will be the best with all of them, but the cookies will still taste great if you only have a few.
- All-purpose flour: Flour helps give the cookies structure. I haven’t tried subbing with gluten-free flour, but if you use it the cookies will be entirely gluten-free! Please let me know how it goes if you do try that!
- Rolled oats: This recipe calls for EIGHT and a half cups of rolled oats. It’s best to use the regular Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. There are SO many kinds of oats out there. If you use thicker oats, the cookies might not be quite as tender, and if you use thinner quick oats, the cookies may not be as hearty.
- Dried cranberries: I know the classic oatmeal cookie has raisins in it. But I am not a raisin girl, and I feel like the general consensus is that craisins are a million times better than raisins. If you prefer raisins, go ahead and use them! Other dried fruits like dried cherries would also be delicious here. Or omit dried fruit altogether, no problem.
- Walnuts: My mom insists that toasted walnuts give the best flavor, and maybe they do, but I am lazy so I don’t toast them. You can omit the walnuts if you want, or substitute pecans or even slivered almonds.
How to make Chai Spiced Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and orange zest with a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. This aerates the ingredients to make the cookies lighter. When we add the orange zest in with the sugar, the sugar kind of acts as an exfoliator to help the zest release its delicious orangey essential oils so that the whole batter is gently perfumed with citrusy goodness.
- Beat in the eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. We’re continuing to aerate the batter and infuse it with flavor here.
- Add in the flour, oatmeal, dried cranberries, and walnuts. If you are using a handheld mixer, this is where you will need to switch to using your hands and/or a sturdy wooden spoon because the dough will be too thick for the handheld mixer to get through. A stand mixer will still be going strong and you’ll be using the lowest setting here. Mix until just combined so that the cookies stay tender.
- Shape the cookies. Use a half cup of dough for each cookie and pack it tightly with your hands, shaping it into a nice firm hockey puck. You should be able to fit 8 cookies to a sheet.
- Bake cookies for 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Easy! Done! You can keep the oatmeal breakfast cookies in an airtight container on the counter, or freeze them once they’re fully cooled so they’re ready to go whenever you are!
Honest feedback… Spoiler: chewy moist texture!
Since I’ve made literally 6 batches of these hearty oatmeal breakfast cookies, I gave some of the most recent, perfect batch away. And of course, in exchange, I asked for HONEST feedback. Here’s what my taste testers said, verbatim!
My best friend Ashley said, “I think they are bomb! You could add a few white chocolate chips but since they are for breakfast idk if you want to. I like that they held their moisture. A lot of similar things are too dry but this is perfect!”
My cousin Audrey said, “Delish cranberry orange flav with yummy warm spices. I will also note as I was ripping it into a million pieces to get the big cranberry chunks, (sry just who I am as a person I guess) it did not crumble into a giant heap of sandy crumbs like a nature valley bar which to me is a major bonus!! Overall delish flavor and chewy texture, perf for breakky on the go!”
Two comments about great texture! I think you should make these. You will not regret it!
More great breakfast recipes:
- Southwestern Egg Bites These are great for on-the-go as well!
- Sweet & Savory Dutch Baby A delicious & impressive weekend breakfast that comes together in a little over 30 minutes.
- The Beetcute: A Beet Smoothie Healthy & unique, this smoothie is super tasty.
- Cardamom Pistachio Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting A labor of love, these rolls are SO worth the work and perfect to bring to a brunch.
If a bowl of oatmeal was a cookie, these would be it. These breakfast cookies feature orange zest, chai spices, walnuts, dried cranberries, and about ½ cup of oats in each cookie.
Adapted from Nantucket Open-House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase
- 1 1/4 cup butter (2 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- zest from 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 1/2 cups rolled oats (Yes, eight and a half cups!! Don’t use quick oats or extra thick oats.)
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (and toasted if you want)
- Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer or a very large bowl and electric hand mixer, cream together the 2 ½ sticks of butter, 1 ½ cups brown sugar, and orange zest until smooth & combined.
- With your mixer on medium speed, add the 2 eggs, 1 tbsp vanilla, ½ tsp salt, and spices, scraping down bowl as necessary.
- Add 1 ½ cups flour, 8 ½ cups oats, ⅔ cup dried cranberries, and ⅔ cup walnuts. Mix on the lowest speed of your stand mixer (or start using a wooden spoon/your hands if using a handheld mixer) until just combined.
- Shape a packed ½ cup of dough into cookies, 8 to a sheet. They may be a little bit crumbly so don’t be afraid to really press them into shape.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. They should be toasty brown on the edges and soft in the middle.
- Cool on a wire rack and keep in an air-tight container. Cookies should keep for at least a week and also freeze beautifully!
- My mother INSISTS that the walnuts should be toasted for this recipe. Personally, I don’t mind either way. So if you love toasted walnuts, go ahead and toast ’em. If you’re lazy like me, don’t. 🙂
Keywords: breakfast, cookies, oatmeal, healthyish, chai