Pantry Grab-bag Cookies

(This recipe is NOT allergy friendly, sorry)


This recipe starts with a story. One day, I woke up with the thought that “huh, I’d sure love to bake something on this fine day.” But then, I realized that for various reasons, driving to the store was not something I could accomplish that day. So, after scrounging through my pantry and grabbing some leftover ice cream toppings, oatmeal packets, and pretzels, I modified an oatmeal cookie recipe into something a bit more complex and delicious. It is truly a comforting sweet, a “feel better” bar, a “grandma’s secret family cookie recipe that appeared one day after she sneezed like a kitten” type of desert. I love chewy, slightly crunchy cookies, but if that is not your cup of tea, try them as a bar! They are a bit crumbly, but can also hold more ingredients.


This recipe will make either four dozen cookies, one 13x9 inch pan of bars, or one dozen cookies and one 11x7 inch pan of bars (if you want the best of both worlds). Also, try adding other chocolates and candies! I used what I had in my pantry, so try using what you have laying around at home.


-       1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

-       1 tsp. baking soda

-       1/2 tsp. salt

-       1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

-       3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar

-       3/4 cup packed brown sugar

-       2 large eggs

-       1 tsp. vanilla extract (or grated peel of 1 orange)

-       Approximately 1/3 bag of butterscotch chips

-       Approximately 1/4 bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

-       1 well crushed Heath candy bar

-       1 Hershey’s chocolate bar, broken into small chunks

-       2-4 loosely crushed handfuls of pretzels

-       2 1/4-1/2 cups of cinnamon instant oatmeal (no need to be exact)

IMPORTANT: if you do not have cinnamon oatmeal, you need to add 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon when you add the salt.


How to Make:

1)    Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare either an ungreased baking sheets (for cookies) or a greased pan (for bars).

2)    Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Lightly mix ingredients until they are evenly distributed.

3)    Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

4)    Gently stir in the oats and pretzels, as well as the various candies, chips, and chocolates.

5)    For Cookies:

a.     Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between dough balls.

b.     Bake for 8-10 minutes.

c.     Cool on baking sheets for at least 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely

6)    For Bars:

a.     Spread dough into the prepared pan.

b.     Bake for 18-22 minutes or until light brown.

c.     Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely in the pan.

d.     Once cool, cut into bars.

7)    Serve and enjoy!