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Right now, I have cooked steel-cut oatmeal, water, banana, cinnamon powder, sugar, and dark chocolate in my cookie batter in the following amounts:

  • 2 cups of cooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana
  • half teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ~30 grams of chocolate
  • ~2.5 teaspoons of cane sugar
  • enough water so that the batter is somewhat sticky

This is an adaptation of the "healthy two-ingredient breakfast cookies" recipe on CafeDelites.com.

When I baked it (at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes), however, the cookies came out as leathery, chocolate- flavored skins encasing a blend of bananas and chocolate- flavored oatmeal. It seemed as if the insides hadn't been cooked at all. I tried baking it for an additional five minutes, but doing so didn't change anything.

Why did this happen? And what should I do to fix this problem? Thanks in advance!

  • There is no leavening in your cookie dough? – moscafj Apr 1 at 1:07
  • I tried it once, but the cookies merely expanded and then flattened themselves. It may be that I added too much baking soda, but regardless, the leathery exterior and oatmeal interior still remained. – Strawberries Apr 1 at 1:11
  • Most cookie recipes have baking soda and eggs. – moscafj Apr 1 at 1:15
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    Is this based off an existing recipe? Which ingredients do you definitely want to keep (e.g. oatmeal), and are there ingredients do you need to avoid (e.g. why aren't there eggs)? Also, including quantities will be helpful in troubleshooting -- right now, I have no idea how watery, sweet, chocolatey, etc. your batter is. Could you please edit to give us some more details? – Erica Apr 1 at 1:19
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    I started off with the recipe from cafedelites.com/healthy-2-ingredient-breakfast-cookies , but it all went downhill when I chose to use cooked steel- cut oatmeal in place of the quick- cook oatmeal. The mix was very watery (since I boiled the oatmeal right before adding it to the batter), especially by the original recipe’s standards. – Strawberries Apr 1 at 1:35
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If you want to use steel-cut oats/oatmeal, you'll probably want to start with a recipe that calls for it. You can substitute old fashioned oats instead of quick-cook oatmeal in most (possibly all) cookie recipes but you can't substitute cooked oatmeal without making major adjustments.

In this case, old fashioned oats are specifically called out in the recipe as a substitute with the note that quick cook oats will give the best result:

  • Quick oats give the best results, however you CAN use rolled oats. Use Gluten Free Oats for gluten free cookies.

Oats are a dry ingredient. There's no water in them so they absorb moisture from the other ingredients to cook. In this case, the banana. When you cook the oats first, you're introducing a lot of extra water and it's likely to make them take much longer to cook and change the texture.

In a recipe for cookies made from instant steel cut oats, I found this substitution note:

If you’re using traditional steel cut oats (not quick cooking), you’ll want to cook them first, just like when you’re making oatmeal. To use cooked oats, simply substitute one cup of cooked oatmeal for the instant raw oats listed in the recipe, and add an extra half cup of flour (or more as needed to achieve a non-runny dough consistency).

You might be able to salvage this recipe by doing something similar but if you really want to use steel cut oats, you'll get better results by finding a recipe that actually calls for them. If you want to use this specific recipe, use old fashioned or quick-cooking oats.

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Unlike Catija, I think your mistake is adding water - twice! The recipe you linked to does not ask for water in the mix, and it only asks for the oats.

Your first mistake is making "cooked oatmeal", by which I assume you mean porridge. So instead of finely-ground dry oats, you've got a soggy mush to start with. And then you add more water.

You even call the result "batter". You don't want anything that's even close to batter though - you want something that holds its shape like grainy modelling putty. As the recipe says, these cookies don't expand at all, because there's no baking soda or other raising agents - how they go on the baking sheet is the exact shape they come out. If you're pouring on a thin sheet of batter, it'll come out as a thin sheet of something very un-cookie-like.

I've done recipes like this with rolled oats. They'll come out more flaky than the original recipe, but they're perfectly tasty. But you do need to follow the recipe - when it says "two ingredients", it really means "two ingredients", and water is not one of them!

If you want a texture more like the original recipe, my top tip is to sieve the rolled oats through a colander with holes which are just big enough to hold back whole oat flakes. You'll end up with a colander full of whole flakes, and a bowl full of oat flour and partial flakes. The contents of the bowl will make this recipe perfectly. And the sieved oat flakes are perfect for making granola bars (what we call "flapjacks" in Britain), because you get a better texture on them by getting rid of the flour.

  • I think that doubling the water is definitely a problem! One note, rolled oats are not the same as steel cut oats. I'm not sure if that's a typo for you or a misunderstanding. While rolled oats cook in minutes, steel cut oats take much longer (30-40 minutes). Trying to make cookies with the steel cut oats would leave you with broken teeth, I fear. – Catija Apr 1 at 17:00
  • A clarification: the water I mentioned in the ingredients came with the cooked oatmeal. – Strawberries Apr 1 at 21:11

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