Flourless Oatmeal Monster Cookies

I have the day off! Oh the places I could go, the adventures I could seek.  Reality is: Oh the leather furniture thirsts for polish, the cob webs on the ceiling aren’t Halloween decorations. Should I do chores on my day off? Nah, life is too short to not bake and bake I did. Soft, chewy, flourless oatmeal monster cookies. It was just the right remedy to ease the “almost got rear-ended on the freeway” kind of week I had. Thankfully, the dude in a taupe SUV screeched to a halt a few millimeters from my bumper. People, let’s pay attention! There have been far too many accidents from negligence and a fatality last week at that!

Public service announcement is now over and I’m back to being happy on my day off with sunny skies, crisp air, bright autumn colors (ignoring the ones on the ground that need raking), and a spread of warm, freshly baked flourless oatmeal monster cookies across my island counter. Life is good.

flourless oatmeal monster cookies

I’m not baking these cookies for the band at large, like the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies or the chocolate revel bars that I made in the past. These flourless oatmeal monster cookies are for next weekend. The last high school homecoming for my baby whose friend group has decided to enjoy the Friday football game and ditch the Saturday night dance, and eldest Beauty and friends will be home for the weekend to relish the fun with their siblings, friends, and beloved former band mates.  And where will the collective group go on Saturday night? Oh the place they will go is the place where they know they will find plenty of food. (See what a morning of baking does to me?)

There will be a scattered montage of shoes in assorted styles and sizes at the front door, sprawled out legs covering the family room floor, and the sound of laughter and camaraderie filling the air and two cheesy hearts. (Hunky Hubby and I are oozy cheesy that way and proud of it!) The mound of flourless monster cookies will surely be devoured along with a variety of other sweet and savory noshes and I will likely need to gulp a few times and bat away misty eyes because my baby is checking off some of her final high school events.

freshly baked flourless oatmeal monster cookie

For now I’ll just enjoy cookie #2 with a cup of coffee and tell you all about these yummy flourless oatmeal monster cookies. If you too are a chewy cookie lover who will take soft-baked over crispy any time, you will need to call in the will power reserves to only eat just one. Okay, only eat just two. These cookies are scrumptious and kudos to my friend, May, for sharing her recipe that I halved and only tweaked a tiny bit. I used light pancake syrup in place of plain corn syrup simply because that is what I had on hand and with such a teeny tiny amount no one will know the difference. I also added one-half cup of mini chocolate chips and one cup of colorful chocolate candy pieces as to not overpower the peanut buttery-ness of these decadent cookies.

I just may go polish furniture, clean away cob webs and rake some leaves.  May day has been full of sweetness and may yours be too. Enjoy!

Flourless Oatmeal Monster Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoons light maple syrup (corn syrup is a fine substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 ½ cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Add peanut butter, vanilla and syrup and beat again until well blended.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, lightly stirring in between..
  5. All at once, add baking soda and rolled oats and mix until well incorporated.
  6. Add all of the chocolate and mix again.
  7. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto ungreased pans at least 2-inches apart.
  8. Bake 13-15 minutes. Carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.


Dark Chocolate Covered Fruit and Nut Balls

TGIF with a mile-long repeat of exclamation marks! It’s been one of those weeks (more on that later), but knowing that tomorrow will be an alarm-less morning has already put a sweet spin on my morning. It’s hard to believe that just last week was Bozic, Christmas for Orthodox Christians, and a few last cookies that I’ll pack in lunches are a pleasant reminder of the warm day my family shared in celebrating of Jesus’s birth, despite the zero temperature and sub zero wind chill. Some new found delights mixed in with longtime family favorites graced my dessert table this year, including these dark chocolate covered fruit and nut balls. The mixture of ground fruit and pecans coated in a generous layer of dark chocolate are bites of indulgence.

dark chocolate covered fruit and nut balls


As I may have mentioned, a 40-day fasting period precedes Christmas and these fruit and nut balls are covered in my favorite brand of vegan dark chocolate – Trader Joe’s. I used a mixture of dried apricots, dried mixed berries and dried cherries with ground pecans. It was delicious but next time I’m going to try using pistachios. Any combination of dried fruit would work so experiment away!

dried fruit and nut balls


Dark Chocolate Covered Fruit and Nut Balls
Serves: 24+
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried mixed berries
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a saucepan, combine dried fruit and water. Heat to boiling.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, place fruit in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of honey and pulse until a paste forms.
  4. If mixture is too thick, add some of the cooking liquid one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Stir in chopped pecans.
  6. Form into balls of desired size and place on wax paper-lined pan.
  7. Coating:
  8. In a small saucepan, melt ½ lb. dark chocolate with 2 teaspoons of canola oil.
  9. Dip balls into chocolate and place on pan to dry.
  10. Store in airtight container.

Next year, these dark chocolate covered fruit and nut balls will make an encore appearance on my cookie tray though it’s unlikely I’ll wait until then to make them again. Lesson learned this time around: it doesn’t take long to roast pecans. I had painfully toss a batch and learned that sometimes it’s not good to multi-multi-task.

Happy Friday!

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

double chocolate cherry drop cookies

Hey there! So happy to be back to my blog and share this recipe for Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies with you. If you love the taste of cherry and chocolate, you’ll love these drop cookies. A tender chocolate base filled with mini chocolate chips and bits of maraschino cherries is topped with a creamy chocolate frosting.

These double chocolate cherry drop cookies come by way of an old Land O Lakes cookbook that I bought in the early ’90s. They’re  a pretty addition to an assorted cookie tray, freeze well, and a plate of these are a much appreciated gift.

Double Chocolate Cherry Drop Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (original recipe called for almond extract)
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, well-drained
  • Frosting:
  • 3 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tablespoons 2% evaporated milk (original recipe calls for half & half)
  • 1 tablespoon reserved maraschino cherry juice
  • Halved maraschino cherries
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine butter and both sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
  3. Add egg and extract and continue beating until well mixed.
  4. Reduce speed and add flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped maraschino cherries by hand.
  6. Drop by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. NOTE: these cookies spread.
  7. Bake 12-14 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  8. To prepare frosting, melt chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.
  9. Combine chocolate mixture and powdered sugar. Stir in evaporated milk and reserved cherry juice until smooth.
  10. Frost cooled cookies and place cherry half in the center. Let stand until set.
  11. Yield: 4 dozen cookies


It’s been three weeks of decking the halls, getting into the holiday spirit with the band’s Sounds of the Season concert, and doing plenty of cooking and baking, and hosting dear family and friends – especially this past Thursday when we celebrated St. Nicholas Day. December 19th by the Julian Calendar is St. Nicholas Day and my family’s patron saint day (also referred to as our Slava). Honoring one’s patron saint is unique to Serbian Orthodox Christians and signifies the birthday our ancestor’s entry into the Church.

St. Nicholas falls during the Nativity Fast, which equates to following a vegan diet and abstaining meat, eggs, and dairy. Hosting both Orthodox and friends of other faiths, I serve both vegan and non-vegan foods. Between now and my Christmas (January 7th), I’ll be posting a different holiday recipe as a way of sharing my table with you.


Chocolate Revel Bars

I had always been of the mindset that there should be no decking the halls before Thanksgiving and that ban included fa-la-la-ing. As a die hard band mom, I had to eat my words  today because there was no way that I was not going to freeze my tush in low 20 degree weather and cheer them on during our city’s Christmas parade. No siree. I pulled on a fuzzy Santa hat, burrowed my nose in my jacked, and enjoyed every note those 270 kids played. Who, by the way, appeared to have bought Goodwill out of every ugly Christmas sweater in the metropolitan area.

community Christmas parade

The photo above does not capture some of the fashion highlights that included a lead trumpeter doubling as an elf complete with bright green leotards or the bearded Junior playing a snare drum and wearing a ladies cardigan sweater with two large white cats adorning each side pocket. The winner, however, was a young clarinetist who donned a large, ornate sombrero with bright red bulb ornaments dangling around the perimeter. The sun was shining brightly and the wind was frigid but I relished every moment.

Last week was the jazz concert and I had a heavy heart sitting in the audience knowing there’s only one jazz concert left before the end of the school year and my Senior will be moving on in life. I was relieved to hear other parents sharing the same sentiments and blinking quickly to stop any forming waterworks.

Cheesy? Yeah, I know. Enough nostalgia and on to sweets!

pan of chocolate revel bars

As I may have mentioned, I enjoy baking for the band. For this latest concert donation I decided to bake an oldie but goodie recipe from the very first cookbook I received. You know, the red and white plaid binder. The one and only Better Homes and Garden’s New Cook Book circa 1989.

Chocolate revel bars are a sturdy cookie. A hearty oatmeal base with a gooey chocolate center made from semisweet chocolate, butter, and sweetened condensed milk, and then topped with more oatmeal cookie crumbles.

chocolate revel bars

If you’re looking for a bar cookie that’s not overly sweet, chocolate revel bars are a winner. The freeze well, feed a crowd, and lend themselves to variation such as the addition of peanut butter in the cookie base or swapping butterscotch chips for semisweet in the filling. There are many possibilities all of which are sure to add a sweet note to any occasion.

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. 🙂

Chocolate Revel Bars
Serves: 40
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ouce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  1. Beat butter until fluffy.
  2. Add about half of the flour, the brown sugar, baking soda, eggs and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla and beat well.
  3. Add remaining flour and oats and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Cook over low heat until smooth.
  5. Measure our 3⅓ cups of the oatmeal cookie mixture and press into the bottom of a 15x10-inch cookie sheet pan. Spread melted chocolate mixture over the top and dot the remaining cookie mixture on top of the chocolate.
  6. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

How I enjoy baking cookies for the high school band. Truthfully, I enjoy baking anything for anyone, but when it comes to the band – well,  they are a unique group. A bunch of over grown cookie monsters is an accurate description.  My latest home-baked contribution was a big batch of peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for last Friday’s final home game of the season. Though the game wasn’t a winner, these cookies were.

peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe

Don’t you just want to grab a glass of milk and get dunking?

Though the title of this recipe is “peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies,” oatmeal is included as a mere technicality. Technically, oatmeal is an ingredient but a small one that adds a subtle hint of chewiness and texture but not enough to visibly see or specifically taste.

peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough

See? You can barely see the oatmeal. {Sorry, I couldn’t resist.}

If you have any picky eaters who scrunch their nose at oatmeal cookies,  this recipe is your chance to have some fun. Who would guess there’s oatmeal hidden in these simple drop cookies that morph into chunks of peanut buttery chocolaty goodness?

As I mentioned, this past Friday was the last home football game of the season, which meant it was also the last half-time marching band show (wah!), which meant it was Senior Night (double wah!) …and that meant Hubby and I walked down the track holding hands with our firstborn beauty.  Okay, I have to stop now or I’ll get my keyboard soggy. Back to the cookies.

peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

I’ve used mini chocolate chips, regular size semi-sweet chips, milk chocolate chips and even chocolate chunks in this recipe.  So please know that the “chocolate chip” in these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies means any kind of chocolate chip your lil’ heart desires. Or whatever you have in the cabinet.

As for the peanut butter,  I’ve used plain peanut butter, chunky peanut butter and even honey roasted peanut butter. Just like the chocolate chips, use whatever peanut butter you have on hand. Chances are, the cookie monsters you’re baking for will devour every bite.

Happy Baking!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter (smooth, chunky, honey-roasted - it's up to you)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips as you wish (for this particular batch I used ½ cup mini semi-sweet chips + ½ cup milk chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together.
  3. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or two tablespoons, drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet pan. Gently press down a bit, but do not flatten.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Cool for 3-5 minutes on sheet before transferring to wire rack.