August 21, 2012

Mom's Garbage Cookies

Growing up as an Air Force child (I was not a brat!), our family learned the value of making new friends fast.  I'm pretty sure my Mom wins the award for best friend-making method: BAKE. Shortly after moving in, she'd whip out a huge batch of freshly-baked whole wheat bread for the neighbors, often with homemade jam, and send my Dad to work with a giant batch of her famous Garbage Cookies. Awful name, isn't it? I wanted to change it to Kitchen Sink Cookies (as in, everything but the...) but she is not answering her phone, and I have to have her permission. :) So Garbage it is! I made these last night actually, for Stephen's friend who watched our Beastie while we were at Grandma's house. He's leaving for a geology field course this morning, so I made him a double batch (4 dozen!) to take with him and share. The funny thing is, I forgot half of the butter in the first batch! And in the second, half of the cookies were significantly more baked than the others... so all together it looked like three different cookies. But they all still tasted good! And made a nice big bag.

Garbage Cookies 
Printable Recipe (Makes 2 dozen-ish)

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt (a pinch more if you use unsalted butter)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter... really soft!
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (NOT instant)
one cup each of all/some of these:
semi sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, nuts, raisins, or craisins (or whatever you desire!)

Preheat oven to 375 and line/grease two cookie sheets. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside

Stir together butter and sugars till well-mixed in a LARGE bowl! Whisk in vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture, stir until combined.
Add oatmeal and any other items you chose. (I used almonds, coconut, cranberries and chocolate chips for this batch), and kiss your spoon goodbye! This is for it's own good, trust me.
Now it's time to kiss your spoon goodbye! This is for it's own safety, trust me.
Mix until combined with your hands. Mom says "Mixing by hand is the only viable option. I've broken a couple of wooden spoons..., and several lightweight hand blenders on this recipe." It's true. I remember the breaking of spoons. Save your spoons!!
Mixing this hefty dough is no walk in the park; it's more like a triathlon!! Roll into large-ish balls, a few tablespoons per cookie. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating and switching pans half way through, until the tops and edges begin to brown. 
These are some serious, substantial cookies! They taste like my childhood. Really! I haven't had them for years, but one bite and I was 13 again. It seems like we always had a batch hanging around. I didn't eat them much then, I hate coconut. But I loved food... so I ate some.
But I loved this combination. It was so good I didn't care that there was coconut in it!
I ate a whole cookie! And wanted another one! Stephen said there was "too much going on." Silly man. That's the POINT!
The rest are reserved for an after-the-first-day-of-school snack. You have to give these a try. After all, they are famous! Well, among certain JAG office circles, anyway. 


  1. Hi April, those cookies look great and I bet they were really appreciated by your husband's friend. I am not a big breakfast eater but I think one or two of these with a glass of milk would get me going. They are full of oats and oats do a body good. Right?--------------- Shannon

  2. I LOVE new cookie recipes and this looks not to disappoint! I think I will make them today!

  3. Permission to name them Kitchen Sink Cookies granted. That's what I used to call them, but I just got lazy. In the military world, they're called "Mrs. Garney's cookies". Not as catchy as Mrs. Fields, but at least they're free. Other yummy additions: rice Krispies or corn flakes instead of oatmeal, currants and golden raisins. The best nuts are pecans, by far, and peanut butter chips and peanuts clash with everything else. And no white chocolate allowed!

  4. 5/7/23. Nice chewy cookie that makes a big batch. I made a some today and had enough to share some with our new neighbors. I added coconut to some with as hubby doesn’t like coconut. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I'm so glad you liked them!! They're definitely designed to be shareable :) Thank you for your comment, it made my day!

  5. Best Cookie I've ever eaten!!! 😎😍😄🍪 Thank You SO MUCH!!! I add them to a bowl of ice cream. Wow!! Thc again!


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