Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Hello my lovelies, I come bearing more temptation.

Because that’s how I roll.

Today’s offering is a nice, simple cookie (that is, soft on the inside) that also doubles as a nice hit of fibre. You can do your digestion some good while making your taste buds do the happy dance.

The Double Chocolate referred to is a charming combination of Cocoa (antioxidants!) and Choc chips – the oatmeal (for my Aussie readers) is rolled oats. Really, it’s practically a health food and should be considered suitable for breakfast…

Let us begin.

Get your butter out of the fridge to soften and preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F. If you have a stand mixer, fit the paddle attachment and make yourself a cuppa until the butter is softened. You may also wish to pummel a block of dark cooking chocolate should you not wish to use choc chips – like I did.

Cream together the butter and sugars for about 4 minutes. I must confess that, when making this batch, I left out the brown sugar completely as I became distracted by something.

They still turned out beautifully, just not as sweet. Health food, dontchaknow?

After you’ve reached the soft and fluffy consistency, add a dash of vanilla extract and two whole eggs. Beat until thoroughly combined.


Flour and cocoa for sifting.

At this point most of the dry ingredients can be combined and sifted into a bowl.

Flour and cocoa sifted.

Flour and cocoa sifted.

Add this to the mixing bowl and stir until just combined. Then add the rolled oats and repeat.

Oats are healthy.

Oats are healthy.

Stir those in and add the chocolate pieces. I prefer to use bits from a smashed up block of cooking chocolate, because it gives a different texture to the finished product. You’ll end up with pools of chocolate that blend nicely into the mix. Choc chips are designed to retain their structural integrity and remain recognisable after baking.

You can use whichever method you like. They’re your cookies.

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants. Health food.

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants. Health food.

Then, drop rounded spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins.

Use an ice cream scoop to save on arguments

Use an ice cream scoop to save on arguments.

Leave them to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes before you attempt to move them to a cooling rack. It will save on tears.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: 48
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


70 g softened, unsalted butter

½ cup white sugar

1½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1½ cups plain flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 cups rolled oats (not quick or minute oats)

1 cup dark chocolate chips.


Heat the oven to 180°C/375°F.

Using an electric mixer and a paddle attachment if possible, cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. This will take about 4 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Sieve into your butter mixture and blend until just combined.

Stir in the oats.

Stir in the choc chips.

Drop in rounded tablespoons onto a lined baking sheet. Do not flatten.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until set. Cooked cookies will be soft to the touch.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container.





How to make evenly-sized cookies – easily.


This post uses some of the content from this one.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with judicially minded offspring or youngsters – you know the ones, “Muuuuum, it’s not fair! Her cookie is bigger than mine!” needs to be able to say “they’re all the same size”; and mean it.

Also, it’s sometimes a useful thing in the adult world to know that everything has the same amount of calories kilojoules bad stuff diet disasters  the portions are all the same size for planning purposes.

So, when I make cookies, I use a metal ice cream scoop with a 1 inch diameter to measure them out onto a paper-lined baking sheet.

A one inch ice cream scoop will save you trouble later...

A one inch ice cream scoop will save you trouble later…

This method means that they are all around the same size which helps with both portion control and arbitrating amongst the youngsters.

We’ve all been there.

It also helps if the kidlings are assisting you with your baking…

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?


It won’t ensure that each child’s portion has the same amount of choc chips if they’re included in your cookie, but the rebuttal to that is that, if they are counting instead of eating, then they aren’t hungry enough for more cookies.

I bought my ice cream scoop on eBay. It was in a set of three, with the largest 2 inches across. They cost me something like $3 including postage from China, so the fact that I really only ever regularly use the one doesn’t bother me as a waste of money.

However, I do use the larger ones for scoops of mashed potato and pumpkin if I want to prettify a dinner serving or use them to top a cottage pie.

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Jam drops (Thumb-print biscuits)

Jam drops

Jam drops are an old-fashioned biscuit that remind me of my childhood any time I see them. They were a standard addition to my lunch boxes throughout our primary school years, and I’m pretty sure they still are for a number of lucky kids today.

I remember that, when I was little, I used to have a ritual of nibbling very slowly around the edge of these biscuits until only the jam-filled centre was left –  leaving the best till last.

These are some of the easiest biscuits you will ever make. They aren’t a cookie. They should be crisp – not soft and cakey like a cookie is. This relative hardness is what makes them such a good lunch box treat as they won’t turn to crumbs during the journey to school.

You can fill them with whatever jam you have and like; strawberry jam is traditional. However, you could also use your own home-made lemon butter and I have used dulce de leche quite successfully. It’s up to you.

You can also make these quite easily with children as your apprentices. If you are in the grips of an ‘OMG it’s the school holidays and they are looking bored, help me!’ panic attack, then here you go. I’ve even included instructions for cleaning up along the way.

You’re welcome.

The first thing to do is to decide which jam you are going to use.

Home made jams

Home made jams

This recipe is ideal for using up the last few teaspoons of a jar that has been lurking unloved in the refrigerator for a while – because no one ever  wants to use that last little bit, do they?

I didn’t have anything that was opened and so I decided to use one of the jars I had put up earlier this year.

The Boy prefers things that aren’t marmalade, so that narrowed it down to the crabapple jam. Easy.

Begin by creaming together the room-temperature butter and the sugar.

Cream butter and sugar.

Cream butter and sugar.

Then add a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla extract and two eggs. Beat again.

Add eggs and flavourings.

Add eggs and flavourings.

In a medium size bowl, sift together some plain flour and baking powder.

Sift together the flour and baking powder.

Sift together the flour and baking powder.

Add the flour to the butter mixture and stir well to combine.

To help keep your kitchen under control, fill the bowl you sifted the flour into with warm water and washing-up liquid/dish soap. Now is the time to put any electric mixer away. Wipe it down (if necessary) and place the beaters in the bowl of water along with any measuring cups and spoons you have used.

Turn your oven on to 180°C/350°F and line a baking tray with paper.

Take small spoonfuls of batter and roll into small balls the size of walnuts…or use a 1″ ice cream scoop, like I do.  Don’t overcrowd the tray as the batter contains butter and will spread as the butter melts…

Using a (well-washed) thumb of a nearby child or the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the top of each ball. Don’t go all the way through to the tray.

Make little cups for your jam.

Make little cups for your jam.

Now, carefully spoon a little bit of jam into each dent.  If you are the adult, you may wish to do this or risk having most of the jam licked off fingertips instead of going into your biscuit!

Fill your cups.

Fill your cups.

Bake for 15 to 20 mins until golden brown – check after 10 minutes.

While your first tray is in the oven, prepare your second batch of biscuits and then do the washing up that has been soaking in the bowl of warm sudsy water. You’ll have plenty of time.

Baked jam drops.

Baked jam drops.

Allow to cool on a rack. Remember hot jam can BURN. Do not eat the biscuits until they are properly cool.

If you are the responsible adult, the best answer to the question, “When can we try them can I have one?” is after the last batch is baked. You’ll get at least three trays of eight from this mixture.

The jam when I started...

The jam when I started…

As you put the last batch into the oven, add the bowl and jam spoon to the sink and wash them up. All the washing up is now done. Wipe down the benches while the last tray of biscuits is in the oven.

You probably won’t need to wash the trays if you have been using baking paper. Just let them cool and put them away later. Unless, of course, you are an Outstandingly Conscientious Domestic engineer – in which case, go ahead. Ahem.

Serve with milk or a nice cuppa. Store in an airtight container for as long as you have any left.

This is my mother’s recipe.

Jam Drop Biscuits

  • Servings: makes 24
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


125 g butter, room temperature

¾ cup (165 g) sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

1 cups (300 g) plain flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/3 cup (100 g) jam or jelly of your choice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two baking trays with paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the salt, vanilla extract and eggs and beat well.

Into a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour and baking powder.

Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture and stir until well combined.

Roll tablespoons of the mixture between your palms to make small balls about the size of a walnut.

Place balls onto prepared baking trays, leaving room for them to spread as they bake.

Use your thumb, or the end of a wooden spoon handle, to make small indentations in the top of each ball.

With a teaspoon, spoon a little jam into each dent – Don’t overfill.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, checking after the first 10 mins. They are done when golden brown.

Allow to cool thoroughly before eating.

Store in an airtight container.

...and the jam left when I was finished.

…and the jam left when I was finished.

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Condensed milk chocolate chip cookies (no eggs).

A full biscuit barrel is a good thing to have.

This is my go-to recipe when I want to make cookies that don’t require thinking.

It comes from a wonderful little book that I bought from Aldi a few years ago, called “Cookies, Slices and Squares.”  I’ve not made a great many of the recipes it contains, but all those I have tried have been amazing.

I like to have some home-made biscuits in the house for The Boy. I’ll make a batch once a fortnight or so, keep most of them in the fridge and put four or five into a tin on the counter for him to nibble with his hot beverage of choice.

The beauty of butter-based cookies like these, is that they are far too hard to eat straight out of the refrigerator. Also, the flavour is much better developed at room temperature…do you see my strategy here? Basically, I’m ensuring that he doesn’t scoff the whole lot at one sitting.

This is a cookie recipe. It’s much softer when finished than Aussie biscuits are – cookies have a ‘cakey’ centre where biscuits are the same hardness all the way through.

condensed milk - ready to go.

condensed milk – ready to go.

This recipe uses sweetened condensed milk instead of eggs. One tin of condensed milk will get me three batches of these cookies. I pour the leftover milk into little jelly jars and keep it in the fridge until I need it. One jelly jar is the exact amount I need for the recipe, so it works out well.

It begins with creaming softened butter and caster sugar.

Cream butter and sugar.

Cream butter and sugar.

Then you whip in the condensed milk until combined.

Condensed milk joins the mix.

Condensed milk joins the mix.

To this plain flour sifted with baking powder is added and stirred in well. The recipe then calls for MASSES of chocolate chips – 300 g of them. This is what a batter with that amount of chips looks like … just for reference purposes.

Lashings and lashings of chocolate chips.

Lashings and lashings of chocolate chips.

Now I am of the belief that no everyday snacking cookie requires this much chocolate in it. I have (obviously) made them with it in the past, but only for special occasions or for gifts. On some occasions I have made up the 300 g with a combination of different types of chips – dark, milk, white and caramel – and it has worked beautifully.

I usually make these with 100 g worth.

Less chocolate works quite well too.

Less chocolate works quite well too.

It still works and no-one feels deprived of chocolate. Really, truly.

I then use a metal ice cream scoop with a 1 inch diameter to measure out the cookies onto a paper lined baking sheet.

A one inch ice cream scoop will save you trouble later...

A one inch ice cream scoop will save you trouble later…

This method means that they are all around the same size which helps with both portion control and arbitrating amongst judicially minded offspring – you know how it goes, “Muuuuum, it’s not fair! Her biscuit is bigger than mine!”

We’ve all been there.

It also helps if the kidlings are assisting you with your baking…

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

Press down gently on the top to flatten slightly and pop into a moderately hot oven for around 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.



Leave them to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before removing to a cake rack to cool completely. They will still be soft when you take them out of the oven.

Also, DO NOT eat a hot cookie. Melted chocolate will burn. You have been warned.

Adequate choc chips for all...

Adequate choc chips for all…

As you can see, the smaller amount of chocolate chips is hardly inadequate.

Transfer to whatever receptacle works for you and enjoy.

The biscuit barrel is full.

The biscuit barrel is full.

Condensed milk chocolate chip cookies

  • Servings: makes 28
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


200 g (7 oz) butter, softened

75 g (2¾ oz) caster sugar

125 ml (4 fl oz) sweetened condensed milk

250 g (9 oz) plain or all purpose flour)

1 tsp baking powder

300 g (10 ½ oz) chocolate chips or chunks (or less, if you prefer)


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Line one or two baking sheets with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and creamy.

Pour in the condensed milk and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.

Add to the butter mixture with the chocolate pieces and mix to combine.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls (or use an ice cream scoop) and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving room to spread. Press down gently with your fingertips or a fork to flatten slightly,

Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a cake rake to cool completely.

Cookies will harden on standing.

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Basics – Scones (Biscuits)

Devonshire Tea.

Okay. I give in. Just for the Americans among you, I’m going to refer to these as biscuits.



That’s only going to happen up here, mind!  For the rest of the post they will be known as scones (a word that rhymes with ‘on’, by the way). However, this mere mention at the outset will mean that some of you will find a recipe you are looking for and the rest of the readers will learn that Americans call scones, biscuits.

I don’t know why.

Anyway, these are one of the first things many of us learn to bake – or should. Try making these with your kids, they don’t take a lot of time and are a great way to fill a rainy afternoon.

Scones are also one of those wonderful recipes that lend themselves to variations, both sweet and savoury.

Learn how to make a good scone and you can whip up a batch and serve them within 30 mins of unexpected guests calling, or you can augment the recipe to create a sweet breakfast scroll or a lunch dish along the line of pizza. You could even fill your freezer with quick-bake lunch box fillers and finger food.

Once you’ve made plain scones a few times, then extend your repertoire and give these a go too:

But first, let’s start from the beginning.

Scones are a form of quick bread and may even be considered a type of pastry. They need the bare minimum of ingredients: flour, butter, milk.

They also work best if you handle them as little as possible. Do not use a rolling pin. Ever. I don’t care what you may have seen elsewhere. Just don’t.



Let’s just deem them delicious and get stuck in.

Preheat your oven to 230°C or 475°F.

Sift your flour, and a pinch of salt into a largish bowl.

I add a spoonful or two of sugar to my scones following a tip I was given many years ago. It helps to avoid a “floury” taste to the scones when eaten cold in the days after baking. (If any are left.) It really does seem to work, so I keep doing it.

You may, of course, use wholemeal flour if you prefer.

Sift your dry ingredients together

Sift your dry ingredients together.

Cut your butter into small pieces and then rub it into your flour.

add your shortening

Add your butter to your flour.

This stage may be done with something called a pastry blender. I’ve never been in actual physical contact with a pastry blender at any stage in my life, so I can’t tell you how to use one.

You can also use a food processor…apparently. However, this is a very simple, ancient recipe and fingertips are something one usually finds whenever one happens to be in one’s own kitchen – why create more washing up, people? Why??

Rubbing is a technique that is a little hard to describe, and I suspect I may have to make my first foray into YouTube to demonstrate it, however here goes…

Have your butter a little on the soft side, but not too close to melting. Plunge both your hands into the flour and, holding your four fingers together, rub your thumb across them as you lift them out of the flour. Aim to get pieces of butter between your thumb and fingers as you grab the flour. Repeat.

Continue rubbing the flour into the butter until there are no clearly visible pieces of butter left and the contents of your bowl resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Actually a quick questioning of Mr Google has revealed this YouTube clip. It’s not how I would demonstrate it, but it may help 😉

So, now we add our liquid. Milk works well, you may also use buttermilk, a mix of half yoghurt and half milk or all yoghurt.

In the pictures below I have done the latter.

Be aware that the measurement in the recipe is for milk. A greater quantity will be required for the buttermilk/yoghurt options.

Make a well in your dry ingredients and add 3/4 of the liquid all at once.

add your liquid

Add most of your liquid to the flour.

Now cut the liquid into your dry ingredients using a butter knife. Because my mother said so.

Actually, using a knife to mix in the liquid works a lot better than using a spoon, as it does away with any little hollows for flour to get trapped in.

If there is flour left in the bowl when the liquid has all been incorporated, then add more a tablespoon at a time until you have a bowl of dough and no loose flour.

The mixed scone dough.

The mixed scone dough.

When your dough has all come together – if you are using milk it will be a lot smoother than the dough pictured – turn it out onto a floured surface.

Prepare a surface with flour.

Prepare a surface with flour.

Save yourself a lot of drudge work and cover your work surface first with either a silicon baking sheet -as I have done in the photos -or just with a strip of baking paper. Then, when clean up time comes, you can either shake all the leftover dusting flour into the bin or throw the whole piece of paper in.

No more gluey sponges.

Moving on.

Gently shape your dough into a ball, patting it with flour where it might be sticky, and then gently flatten it with your fingertips into a rough oblong shape about an inch or so thick.

Shape and flatten your dough, using only your hands.

Shape and flatten your dough, using only your hands.

Don’t use a rolling pin, or you will knock all the air out of your dough, making it denser and  tougher.

Place a sheet of baking paper or parchment over a baking tray.

Then, using either a scone cutter or a small drinking glass dipped in some of the flour on your surface, cut the dough into rounds. Re-dip the cutter between scones.

Be as economical as you can with your cutting. Start on the side of the dough nearest to you and cut each piece as close to the last as you can. This way you minimise the need to re-form and re-roll your dough.

Any scones made with dough that has been reshaped will be less smooth than the first cutting, as you can see in the picture below.

The result of reshaped dough.

The result of reshaped dough.

Place each scone on the tray as it is cut, starting in the centre and working your way around. Think in terms of making a daisy shape. Place your scones as close together as you can. This helps them to rise instead of spreading outward.

Any leftover piece of dough that is too small to cut into a scone should be given to any small child who may be “helping” and shaped into their own special creation for baking…

Place closely together on the baking tray.

Place closely together on the baking tray.

Using a pastry brush dipped in milk (or your finger) gently brush the tops of your scones. This will encourage a nice brown finish, but is not necessary.

Bake for 15 mins, until a toothpick inserted in the centre scone comes out clean. Again, yoghurt or buttermilk mixes may take longer to cook.

Now for one of those old-fashioned tricks: Scones wrapped in clean cloth as soon as they are removed from the oven will keep soft as they cool. I have this rather groovy cloth bread basket I bought on clearance at Ikea a few years ago, but two tea towels overlapping in a cross formation should do the trick equally well.

Wrap your hot scones in a cloth to cool.

Wrap your hot scones in a cloth to cool.

Serve your scones. Another tip, don’t cut them in half or they will become doughy. Instead use your fingers and gently break them apart.

And serve..

And serve..

Serve with strawberry jam and whipped cream and a nice pot of Earl Grey for your classic Devonshire Tea, or you can serve them up with butter and any spread you darn well want: marmalade, vegemite, peanut butter. Knock yourself out.

Scones also freeze well and travel quite nicely in packed lunches.

Devonshire Tea.

Devonshire Tea.

Basic Scones

  • Servings: 12 scones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 cups self raising flour (250g)

pinch salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp butter (30g)

¾ cup milk (187ml)


Heat oven to 230°C or 475°F.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Cut butter into small pieces and rub into flour until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add milk and cut in quickly and lightly with a butter knife until a moist dough is formed.

Turn onto a lightly floured board and shape into a smooth oblong about an inch thick using hands and fingertips.

Using a floured scone cutter or drinking glass, cut out scones and place close together on a prepared oven tray.

Glaze with milk.

Bake for 10-15 mins until a toothpick inserted in the centre scone comes out clean.

For soft scones, wrap in a cloth until cold.

 Variations to basic recipe:

Cheese Scones:

Add ¼ tsp mustard or a dash of Cayenne pepper to the flour before sifting. I like using a tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning.

Add ½ a cup of grated tasty cheese before you add liquid.

Fruit Scones:

Add 2 tbsps of caster sugar to the flour before sifting.

Add 1/3 cup of dried fruit such as sultanas, currants, diced dried apricots or craisins before adding the liquid.


Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits are pretty much a part of every Australian child’s culinary vocabulary. We’ve all had them and we’ve pretty much all made them.

Some are woeful, some are good and some are extraordinary. It really just depends on the cook and the preference of the muncher.

These biscuits are so-called because they were sent to the ANZACs in their Turkish trenches nearly a century ago. As such, they were needed to last during long storage on sea voyages and in less than optimal food storage conditions in the war zone.

A tin full of freshly baked Anzac Biscuits

A treasure trove of Anzac Biscuits

This meant they were often rock hard. My brother famously christened my mother’s as “Bathroom Floor Biscuits” because he said they needed to be smashed on the tiles in order to eat them!

(He wasn’t wrong.)

Thankfully things have changed. We no longer bake the life out of them for a start.

This is the recipe that I use for Anzac biscuits, it came originally from The Australian Womens Weekly’s The Basic Cookbook and I’ve been using it for over 20 years. It works.

Make them with your kids today.

Just remember that these are biscuits and not cookies. They will be crunchy all the way through, and not chewy in the middle.

If you don’t have, or can’t get, Golden Syrup (you poor, poor thing!) you can substitute honey or corn syrup at a pinch…

A bowl of Anzac Biscuit mix before it's divided into biscuits

Anzac Biscuits in the bowl

Anzac Biscuits


1 cup rolled oats (not minute oats)

1 cup plain flour

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup desiccated/shredded coconut

125 g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.


Heat oven to 160°C/325°F (Moderately slow.)

Lightly grease or line several baking trays.

Combine oats, sifted flour and sugar together in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, golden syrup and water and stir over low heat until butter is melted. (This step may be done in a microwave oven.)

Stir in soda.

Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Place rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture onto trays 5 cm or two inches apart. These biscuits will spread!

Bake for about 20 mins or until biscuits feel slightly firm.

Cool on trays.

Anzac Biscuits cooling on a rack after baking

Try not to eat them all at once

Also, don’t panic if your biscuits lose bits as you transfer them from the trays. Save all these little crumbs of oaty, golden-syrupy goodness and store in an air tight container. They are excellent scattered over plain Greek yoghurt or ice-cream. Trust me on this.

Some years ago Heidi Swanson did a piece on Anzac “Cookies” on her fabulous site 101 Cookbooks, where she talked about them being a type of flapjack. Unfortunately, the post appears to have been reworked and this info has gone. However, she has posted a variation using the addition of orange zest and orange blossom water which looks almost worth forgiving her for calling them cookies…

Let me know how you go with this fine old Aussie tradition, or if your family does a different version. My grandmother always added ground ginger to hers…