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Steel Cut Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

by on June 14, 2012 · 18 comments

When I was in college, a lady I used to work for introduced me to steel cut oats. Part of my job was to always pick up a brand called McCann’s, which was more expensive than regular oats, but more flavorful in her opinion, and with a better texture. I guess at the time I wasn’t eating oatmeal because I never bothered to try them myself, but for years after that I was always curious as to whether or not steel cut oats would work in cookies.

Steel Cut Oat Oatmeal Cookies

Or maybe not that curious it took me 20 years to finally buy a bag! But I’m glad I did because they do add a little extra something to cookies. And just so you know, I bought Bob’s Red Mill brand rather than McCann’s, which I’m mentioning in case there are differences between brands.

I made a couple of variations on these. For the first batch I used 2 2/3 cup of steel cut oats. The cookies were tasty, but a little gritty. All those steel cut oats were overkill. For the second round, I swapped out the oats for quinoa. It worked, but the flavor reminded me why I don’t care for quinoa. For the third round, I used a mixture of regular oats and steel cut. Success! The steel cut oats add just a little extra texture depth to the cookies without adding too much grittiness.

Steel Cut Oatmeal Walnut Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Large oatmeal cookies made with steel cut oats. For a half batch, follow directions below but use 2 tablespoons of lightly beaten egg
Serves: 22
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) organic all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt**
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup natural granulated sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon tightly packed LIGHT brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed DARK brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats
  • 2/3 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add all sugars and mix just until blended, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture by hand or using the lowest speed of a stand mixer. Stir in the oats, raisins and nuts.
  3. Using a generously heaping tablespoon, scoop up about 20 to 22 large balls of dough and arrange them on a cookie sheet or two plates side by side – no need to worry about spacing. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight. The texture improves if you chill the cookies longer.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Meanwhile, let the dough come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  5. Arrange the dough balls about 3 ½ inches apart on baking sheets and press tops down slightly. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are brown and centers appear set. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to wire racks to cool.
**Make sure to omit the salt if you are using salted butter

Also, since these are fairly large cookies, you might want to bake one or two cookies as “test” cookies just to get the timing down. Mine took 15 minutes, but this will vary with ovens and various sized cookies.

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Published on June 14, 2012

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie Sleuth June 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

The texture of these has to be great! I think I will stick with the steel cut/rolled oats version.

Anna June 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Good call. The quinoa version wasn’t terrible, just not my thing. I’ve been trying to learn to like it, though.

Sarah Hill at Kendall June 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I agree, quinoa is an acquired taste! :)

Chewthefat June 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I hate quinoa! I feel so much better, saying that amongst friends!

The cookies look great–I know when people eat steel-cut oats, they often soak them overnight to lessen the grittiness because they are so heavy. I like the idea of a multi-textured oatmeal cookie.

Sue June 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I haven’t eaten steel cut oats in years but I did like it. Have you ever made cookies with cooked oatmeal of any kind?

Louise June 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

What’s wrong with Inca rice? I’ve been eating it for at least twenty years and didn’t find it to be an acquired taste at all. I may have to send you some recipes to try, but then I don’t put it in cookies. :-)

Kathleen June 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I like quinoa, and it’s so cool that you tried it in the recipe. You are such a creative and imaginative baker, Anna.

Dee June 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Did you use the quinoa cooked or raw? Just curious! I made a vegan cookie with cooked quinoa & the uncooked dough was great, but after baking, the cookies were disgusting! I love quinoa, so not sure what went wrong there!

Anna June 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Dee, I soaked it for about 30 minutes and drained it. The texture was fine (about the same as the steel cut oats), but the flavor was icky — to quinoa-like. I just don’t like the flavor of quinoa.

Dee June 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Sounds like you’ve given it a fair chance! I love steel cut oats so i’ll try with those!

Jennie June 15, 2012 at 6:54 am

Thanks for trying this recipe Anna! A friend turned me onto McCann’s about 6 years ago. I haven’t bought a different brand of oatmeal since!

TG June 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

what a great recipe idea

natalie@thesweetslife June 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I can’t wait to try these–I noticed you listed brown sugar twice–is that accurate?

Anna June 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi Natalia, yes. That’s right. Only it looks like when I put “dark” in it didn’t save. It should be a combination of dark brown sugar and light brown sugar, which is why I have it listed twice.

Karen November 12, 2012 at 5:24 am

Do you think soaking the steel cut would be an idea..or lose too much of the nutrients..although if u use very little water, then maybe woulndt have to drain any liquid off. With soaking might have to play with dry vs liquid a bit. i hope to get a chewy cookie rather then a crisp..humm
I bought a few bags of dried berries i want to use in the cookies…to add sweeteness and cut down on sugar.

Alison August 21, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hi Anna,
I had the same question as Karen – do you thinking soaking the steel cut oats first would help with the gritty texture? I bought McCann’s steel cut oats in bulk and now several tins of it are sitting idle in my pantry. There’s only so many bowls of oatmeal one can stomach for breakfast and I was hoping to use them up by making cookies. If soaking the oats isn’t the way to go, do you think changing the ratio to half rolled/half steel cut would be too much? As you can tell, I’m eager to use these expensive oats up! Thanks for sharing your good ideas.

Anna August 22, 2013 at 6:28 am

I haven’t had a chance to try soaking the oats, but I’ll bet someone else out there has.

Taplee March 26, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I usually just make one cup of the steel cut oats in water (as per the directions on box of oats) and then remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Proceed with the cookie recipe.

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