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Shall we make a recipe?

Obviously, people's tastes will differ, but maybe we could have a go at a collaborative recipe? We could pool all our tricks and tips to make the most awesome... whatever!

Unless someone has another suggestion, I say we start with cookies. Here's what I suggest:

Some oatmeal
Some premium organic chocolate quite a high % cocoa
Dried cranberries

Obv. oatmeal has a great taste and texture, and I think a sparing use of chocolate and cranberries would go.

Any objections? Any cookie tips?

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  1. I think a pinch of good cinnamon would fit right in there.

      1. re: Passadumkeg

        Use half rolled oats, half steel-cut. The latter add a ground-nut texture and make it crisper.

        Swap white chocolate for the regular, and brown sugar instead of refined. Maybe dried cherries instead of crannies.

        Melt the butter - then it's a one-bowl deal, no messing with a mixer to cream the butter/sugar.

      2. This almost reminds me of my favorite trail mix, the Ocean Spray Cranberry Trail Mix. It also has coconut, cashews and honey roasted peanuts. I think adding some type of chopped nuts, and toasted coconut would be good, and I'd keep the cranberries.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danhole

          Nuts yes, but the coconut's a deal-breaker for me.

          1. re: BobB

            the coconut kills it for me too.

            don't forget the salt!

        2. How about some chopped toasted hazelnuts?


          1. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with sea salt after they are removed from the oven.

            1. pecans for the nuts, and definitely cherries instead of cranberries - similar profile but more luxurious.

              1. I'll add the missing necessary ingredients. Eggs and baking powder.

                1. Don't forget to toast the oatmeal.

                  1. Ok, I appropriated this recipe, and then tweaked it for our purposes. Feel free to edit it or adjust it, but I'd consider this the first draft. Maybe some honey would fit? I'd probably leave out the nuts and coconut if I made them. Anyone want to try making them?!

                    * 225 g butter, softened
                    * 200 g white sugar
                    * 220 g demarrera sugar
                    * 2 eggs
                    * 1 vanilla bean
                    * 250 g all-purpose flour
                    * 5 g baking soda
                    * 6 g salt
                    * 3 g ground cinnamon
                    * 10 g dessicated coconut
                    * 145 g rolled oats
                    * 100 g steel-cut oats
                    * 1/2 cup dried cherries
                    * 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chunks (around 60-70% cocoa)
                    * 1/4 cup of nuts - toasted hazelnuts or pecan

                    Toast the oats in a shallow layer in a baking pan.
                    Then bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or till lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool.

                    In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla seeds. Combine flour, baking soda, coconut salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Stir in any "extras" like the cherries nuts and chocolate. Stick the vanilla bean in the mixture. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

                    Remove the vanilla bean and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.

                    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Soop

                      Sounds like an awful lot of sugar. Or maybe I just haven't made cookies in a while?

                      1. re: Bat Guano

                        I think it's about right; if you consider that cookies are usually about equal sugar and flour, it starts to look normal if you treat the oats as flour.

                        1. re: Soop

                          "if you consider that cookies are usually about equal sugar and flour"
                          and that's always seemed absurd and excessive to me. most cookie recipes contain too much sugar, and are just as good if you reduce it by as much as a third.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Good sense, good health gourmet! I'll cheers to that. :) Seriously though, I typically cut back on sugar in cookies and other baked goods. You're absolutely right, the sugar quantities are usally excessive.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I'd cut the sugar by that much, too, about 1/3 and then drizzle caramel fleur de sel on top.

                      2. Hershey's has a recipe on their website for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. Here's the ingredient list:

                        Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

                        * 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
                        * 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
                        * 1 cup packed light brown sugar
                        * 2 eggs
                        * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                        * 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                        * 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
                        * 1 teaspoon baking soda
                        * 1/2 teaspoon salt
                        * 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
                        * 1/2 cup chopped nuts

                        Link to recipe on Hershey's website:

                        1 Reply
                        1. sweetened condensed milk you have a bar cookie

                          fresh sliced apples you have a crisp

                          melt the chocolate, stir in the other ingred. you have a candy

                          31 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            Oh, man, I love a bar cookie--and plain ol' sweetened condensed milk, for that matter.

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              Those six or seven layer cookies are extremely variable. With Graham crackers on the bottom and sweetened canned milk on the top, you can use a lot of different things to fill in the middle layers.

                              1. re: yayadave

                                yayad, my daughter makes a bar cookie that mocks an ice cream sandwich. really good.

                                  1. re: Soop

                                    hi Soop, a cookie that is baked as one square batch and cut into individual square bars. Here are a few images:

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      oh, ok. A bit like flapjacks maybe

                                      1. re: Soop

                                        No Soop, nothing like flapjacks.
                                        Think square cookie.
                                        When I think flapjacks, I think pancake.
                                        Enlighten me :)

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          hahah, here :) http://images.google.com/images?sourc...

                                          That's what I call flapjacks; they're pretty much sugar, butter and rolled oats

                                          1. re: Soop

                                            Another great example of British vs American English! As George Bernard Shaw once said, we are two countries divided by a common language.

                                            The link you provide, soop, actually has pictures of both types of flapjack. But yes, in British terms, a flapjack is a type of bar cookie.

                                            1. re: BobB

                                              By the way, I really like the idea of a bar cookie including the combined ingredients we've been batting around--chocolate, cherries, bacon, cinnamon, a touch of chili powder (Ancho, perhaps?), sweetened condensed milk...I no longer know which recipe is the base, though. Is it Soop's with reduced sugar per goodhealthgourmet, a riff on the Hershey's recipe or a riff on 7-layer bars? I like the sweet/salty idea of a bar cookie with bacon.

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                kattyeyes, we're definitely sharing some brainwaves today...i was thinking ancho for the chile. but as most of you know, i can't get behind the idea of sweetened, condensed milk ;)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  goodh, what can you sub for s.cond. milk?

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    You can just caramelize sugar for a lot of the recipes. I just tried this recipe today but didn't care for the sweetened condensed milk. You could just use dulce de leche, too.


                                                    I think something along those lines would be good, only with an oatmeal crust. The caramel layer could be a fleur de sel. Sprinkle bacon and cranberries (though I'd leave them out) on top of the caramel. Use chopped chili in the crust. I'd leave out the cinnamon, too, because I think all those flavors would overwhelm each other. Caramel fleur de sel, chocolate, and bacon w/ a hint of heat.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        HillJ, i just prefer to make my own version with evaporated skim milk and agave nectar, reduced to the desired consistency. i sometimes thicken it with powdered skim milk as well.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          goodh, could you be more specific with the measurements on this sub evap skim milk & agave nectar. Sounds interesting and I never would have thought of agave.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            it depends on a few factors - the recipe you're using it in, the type of agave you use (light vs. dark) and the humidity conditions in your kitchen, but i typically start with a 2:1 ratio of evap milk to agave, and reduce it by half. if that isn't thick enough for my liking, i add some powdered skim milk to get it to the desired consistency. without the additional powdered milk, it ends up containing about 85 calories per 2 Tbsp (in comparison to the 110 in 2 Tbsp of standard FF sweetened condensed milk, and the glycemic index is lower thanks to the agave).

                                                            i used it to create the ganache filling for my Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart for Thanksgiving dinner, and it worked beautifully.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              I've clipped this into my mini 'puter for the next experiment day. I'm curious to see how I can adopt this substitute in a few recipes. Thanks for sharing it.

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                always happy to share...please let me know how it works out for you when you try it!

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      OK, fellow hounds. Based on this thread, and a craving for sweetened, condensed milk (sorry, ghgourmet, you know you are one of my faves, but as the recipe was an experiment to begin with, I didn't want to mess with a sub for s.c. milk the first time), I made a bar cookie/flapjacks with dried Michigan cherries, chocolate chunks and, believe it, tiny crumbles of bacon! They are pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. There has only been one other "taster" so far, but I will be delivering samples to friends and family today to get more feedback. This was fun--thanks for the inspiration. :) I never "made up" a cookie before. And HillJ, thank you for taunting me with s.c. milk recipes. It got me thinking it was time to try something new. I'm happy to share the recipe, so if anyone is interested, let me know.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        Don't be so coy. You know folks are waiting for that recipe.

                                                        1. re: yayadave

                                                          LOL, please be gentle with me--it's my first time. ;) Thanks for the encouragement.

                                                          I stole "pig" instead of "bacon" from lynnlato (thanks, buddy!) in the name of the bars. Here we go:

                                                          CHOCO CHERRY MAGIC PIGGY BARS

                                                          ½ cup melted butter
                                                          1 ½ cups crushed Town House Bistro Cornbread Crackers (½ box)
                                                          3 slices slab bacon, cooked, patted dry and crumbled into small bits
                                                          1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
                                                          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                          3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
                                                          ½ cup toasted chopped pecans
                                                          ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
                                                          ½ cup dried tart Michigan cherries
                                                          Chinese Cassia cinnamon
                                                          Ancho chili powder

                                                          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

                                                          Toast nuts in oven.

                                                          Cook slab bacon; pat bacon dry and set aside.

                                                          Combine cornbread crumbs with melted butter. Press into bottom of 13x9-inch pan with a fork. Layer evenly with nuts, cherries, bacon then chocolate chunks. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon and ancho chili powder over the top. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a small bowl; drizzle evenly over the pan. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool for one hour; cut into bars.

                                                            1. re: Soop

                                                              Very cool! My thanks to Soop for encouraging the discussion and kattyeyes I *fully expect* you will return the inspiration in the near future...in the meantime, I'll be sharing and experimenting with your bar cookie recipe!

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                Absolutely! And, yes (DUH on my part), MANY THANKS to Soop for kicking this whole thing off. I credited you (Soop) elsewhere on the boards for starting this thread. It was lots of fun and ideas we all shared here had been buzzing around in my busy head over the past several days.

                                                                HillJ, for sure try the cornbread crackers in lieu of the grahams in a bar...and the tart cherries against the chocolate are killer. I get that not everyone will go for the bacon, but this is a tasty sub for the traditional magic bars as many close to me won't touch coconut. Happy experimenting!

                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  I'll bet you could use vanilla wafers ('nillas?)
                                                                  Your wise crack had me chuckling all afternoon.
                                                                  Thanks for posting the recipe.
                                                                  How was the feedback?

                                                                  1. re: yayadave

                                                                    Probably so on the 'nillas; I think it'd just be a slightly sweeter base. What's kinda cool about the cornbread crackers is they seem (to me, anyway) to have a similar sweetness/shape/texture as grahams. I am stuck on them just plain or with cheese--they're so good. But back to the bars!

                                                                    My mom (toughest critic) loved them. As she tends to say, "What's not to like--you like all the ingredients!" My friends both liked them, too, but Jay was way more skeptical when he heard "bacon" whereas his wife just told me she trusts my food choices and was psyched to try them.

                                                                  2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    Well done! After we exchanged email ideas, I searched online for "bacon cookies". Turns out we were not the first. :) But the others I saw didn't interest me and many just stuck a piece of candied bacon on top of the cookie w/ a little fondant. Booooo. I want the bacon to be an intergral part of the cookie - after all, it's bacon!

                                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                                      Thanks! I had never heard of a bacon cookie until we started discussing it on this thread, but like you, I poked around online after our e-mail exchange and found others (looks like some were started on a dare!). I was surprised this idea was kicked around a couple of years ago before we even started. I agree--nothing I saw online interested me. Those recipes seemed more for pure shock value (I saw the bacon w/fondant picture, too--yuck!) than true desire to mix salty and sweet as we did. I consciously tried to make sure wherever I put a bacon bit in the bar, there was a chocolate chunk to cover it so it was more like chocolate-covered bacon. Can't wait to hear about your cookie!

                                                    2. re: Soop

                                                      That's why I asked! Thanks for the explanation!
                                                      Yummy in every language!

                                                  2. re: Soop

                                                    Oh Oh here we go again. In New England flapjacks are pancakes eaten hot with butter and maple syrup on a plate with a fork and knife, usually at breakfast.

                                                    A bar cookie is baked like a cake then cut in rectangles or squares.

                                      2. Reconstitute the dried fruit in a little rum or irish whiskey.

                                        1. I revisited this thread today and offer yet another variation on the original theme. So easy--TOLLHOUSE PIGGIES!

                                          Prepare the Original Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe (I omitted the nuts).
                                          Or feel free to use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and instead of using chocolate chips, vary as follows:

                                          1/4 cup chocolate chunks
                                          1/4 cup sour Michigan cherries
                                          3-4 strips candied bacon*, finely chopped

                                          *Dredge strips of bacon in brown sugar, lay strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes per side. Set aside to cool. Then cut into tiny pieces.

                                          I baked some tonight. Make no mistake: candied pig is VERY TASTY and kicks @$$ in a tollhouse cookie. Happy baking!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            KE, they sound yummy! I really am going to try and make these soon.

                                            I keeping with the candied bacon theme, I made this recipe last year and everyone loved it. I thought it might be something you'd enjoy and would make a nice holiday hostess gift.

                                            Spiced Nuts With Sugared Bacon

                                            2 cups unsalted, roasted mixed nuts (or use all almonds or cashews)
                                            1 1/2 tablespoons egg white, beaten slightly
                                            2 tablespoons granulated sugar
                                            1 teaspoon garam masala
                                            3/4 teaspoon cumin
                                            1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
                                            1/8 teaspoon allspice
                                            Pinch of cloves
                                            1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
                                            1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
                                            3/4 pound sliced bacon
                                            1/2 cup light brown sugar.

                                            1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, toss nuts with egg white, coating nuts evenly. Add granulated sugar, spices, salt and cayenne, and toss to combine.

                                            2. Spread nuts on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps, until nuts are nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Break up any remaining clumps while nuts are still warm; immediately transfer to a bowl.

                                            3. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick liner (or use parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray). Arrange bacon in a single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of brown sugar over bacon, coating both sides. Bake until crisp and dark golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

                                            4. Transfer bacon slices to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet (or some paper towels) to cool. Cool. Break bacon into bite-size pieces and mix with nuts.
                                            Yield: 2 cups.

                                            1. re: lynnlato

                                              Very nice, lynnlato, very nice indeed! Thanks for sharing...and may your holidays be merry, bright and filled with bacony goodness! *<|:) HO HO HO!

                                          2. That original 'Magical Piggy Bars' recipe as well as the above variation unfairly toys with my emotions! The 'Happy Bacon-Dance' is beating strong.....unlike my ticker after I'm overcome by a Fred Sanford-like Chow-happy heart attack. Will have to try this sometime over the upcoming holiday.

                                            We on the New England board are regularly treated to Ms.kattyeye's contributions but obviously several other boards are as well. Well done yet again to our enthusiastic and admirably creative Chow-friend!

                                            "I'm coming to join you honey"(after just one more bite):


                                            Feelin' better after some 'Magical Piggy Bars'?:


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: noreservations

                                              noreservations, I finally got to watch these clips--THANK YOU, buddy. ;) CLASSIC! Please do report back if you go whole hog and make either of these this holiday season. It would warm my heart to know I'm not the only one who made these crazy cookies! Bacon makes ya make ya feel like bustin' loose, don'tcha know?!