Skippin’ Down the Trail Oatmeal Cookies


Remember when you could run with wild abandon down the trail and your only concern was whether or not you might slip on the gravel under foot?

Although, perhaps that hadn’t even entered your mind but was simply the worry of the mother watching from behind. The mother torn between the image of you there, running, without a care in the world and bracing herself for the wipe-out she is sure will come.

And so, run, hop, skip you do. The wind blowing against your face. The fallen leaves crackling under your feet. Gravity spinning your little legs faster and faster. You turn back to the mother still taking it all in. “Come on, Mom!” you holler. “I’m beating you.” And, the mother simply smiles.

You turn off the main trail and make one final push up the ever narrowing path to emerge at your big brother’s school. The brother you’ve been patiently waiting for all day. Waiting to play with him. To talk to him. To simply be next to him. And before you even have a chance to set foot on the actual school grounds, you discover that big brother has already made it to the entrance of the path. In a blur, he blows right past you. “Wait for me!” you holler as you spin around as quickly possible.

Down below, big brother has already jumped onto the main trail and in big brother fashion declares, “I won!” You power down the path, hoping desperately to catch up with him, crying out, “No, you didn’t. It’s not a race. Hey, wait for me!”

Once on the main trail, big brother has slowed down, allowing you to catch up. He puts his arm around you.

You prepare yourself for the brotherly hug that you’re sure is about to come, when he leans over and gives you an affectionate noogie on the head instead.

For the remainder of the walk home, you are absorbed in all that is your big brother. You scamper down the steep hills with him. You toss a rock in the creek, when he tosses a rock in the creek. You try to stay with him as he hops up the stairs. You let him hold your hand and guide you safely across the street. You are grateful when he slows down his gait to stay with you as your smaller legs become weary. You ask him question after question of all that is on your mind and he patiently answers each and every one.

As you near the front door, a faint whiff of cinnamon and toasted nuts, reminds you to turn and look at the mother, still watching from behind. With a melt-your-heart grin, you earnestly call out to your brother, “Hey, guess what Mom made for snack?” “What?” “Cookies.” “No way! Awesome!”

You and your brother, push your way through the barely opened door, toss off your shoes and race to the cooling cookies. Trying to civilize you, the mother from “behind”, beckons you over to the table, puts your cookies on a plate and, trying to ward off the chill from this blustery weather, places down a mug of hot apple cider in front of you. You glance up to say, “Thank you” and then, your attention turns back to your big brother who continues to answer all of the questions you had saved up all day…just for him.


Skippin’ Down the Trail Oatmeal Cookies

I have been starting to play around with whole wheat pastry flour and with fall firmly upon us, I have been craving oatmeal cookies. So, using the original Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, I came up with this version…which my children inhaled and paid no heed to the healthy stuff lurking inside.

1 c butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour such as Bob’s Red Mill
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c raisins
1 c walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened, shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined. With a wooden spoon, stir in oats, raisins, walnuts and coconut until incorporated.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Yield: About 3 dozen.

All original text and photos copyright: Carrie Minns 2009


  1. Thanks for the venture down the trail…love the pictures and your writing made me feel like I was right there with them.

  2. Mrs. Ditter says:

    Carrie–sugar or sugars? I notice your recipe calls for just brown sugar, but in the directions you call for creaming the butter and "sugars"–ack! Please elucidate before I whip out the mixing bowl.

  3. Kathleen-So glad you enjoyed the trip down the trail….

    Mrs. Ditter – Thank you for your eagle eyes….yes, I had omitted the 1/2 c granulated sugar from the list. Always my worry that I'm going to type up the recipe incorrectly. Just so many details…..thank you for catching that. Bake away….