Bus Stop Cookies Save Our Hectic Mornings

updated Nov 1, 2021
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Bus Stop Breakfast Cookies

These thick and chewy oatmeal cookies are packed with sweet and chunky mix-ins, and are hearty enough to serve for breakfast.

Makes16 (2-inch) cookies

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 14 minutes

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cookies on a plate
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

My youngest is off to kindergarten this year, and the thing he’s most excited about is riding the school bus. As for me? Well, I was nervous: The big yellow bus makes its rounds before dawn, and I had no idea how (and what) I was going to feed him and still get him out the door in time.

I found the solution in the most unlikely of places: the cookie jar! These portable, warmly spiced breakfast cookies are packed with whole grains, fiber, and protein, making them a hearty grab-and-go breakfast my kids (and yours!) can eat as they walk to the bus stop. Here’s how to make this chewy treat.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

This A+ Breakfast Cookie Comes Straight from Your Pantry

What makes this recipe so ingenious isn’t just that the kids get cookies for breakfast — it’s that you can customize them any way you like. Use whatever mix-ins you already have on hand, or let your kids customize them to their liking. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • 1 cup chunky mix-ins: Mix-and-match dried fruit (such as dried cherries or golden raisins), shredded coconut, chopped nuts, granola crumbles, shredded carrots, and/or cereal.
  • 1/4 cup sweet mix-ins: Mix-and-match chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&Ms candies, and/or chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. If you want to skip the sweet mix-ins, sub in a few more nuts or coconut.

For a lower-fat cookie with a cake-like texture, you can also replace half the butter (1/2 stick) with 1 mashed ripe banana.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Can I Make These Cookies Gluten-Free?

Yes! You can easily make these cookies gluten-free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. The gluten-free flour will give the cookies a slightly more crumbly texture and a lighter color, but they’ll still be delicious.

Are These Cookies Allergy-Friendly?

Even if your school doesn’t regulate what’s consumed off-campus, it’s best to avoid common food allergens on school days, since some students are sensitive to cross-contamination. That’s why we made sure these cookies taste just as delicious with sunflower butter as they do peanut butter or almond butter. Chopped nuts can easily be swapped with granola crumbles, dried fruit, or cereal.

How to Bake Chewy Breakfast Cookies

Make the batter for these breakfast cookies by beating softened butter, nut or seed butter, and honey or maple syrup together in a stand mixer. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and dry ingredients, then stir in the oats and mix-ins by hand.

Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. The dough won’t spread much during baking, so use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough slightly. Before sliding the cookies into the oven, press a few mix-ins onto the top of each cookie for a little extra flair. To make sure the cookies keep their chewy texture, bake them just until the edges are lightly browned.

Bus Stop Breakfast Cookies

These thick and chewy oatmeal cookies are packed with sweet and chunky mix-ins, and are hearty enough to serve for breakfast.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 14 minutes

Makes 16 (2-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    white whole-wheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour, or all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 cup

    honey or pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup

    nut or nut-alternative butter, such as sunflower butter, almond butter, or peanut butter

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 2 cups

    rolled oats

  • 1 cup

    chunky mix-ins, such as dried fruit, unsweetened coconut, or chopped nuts or seeds, plus more for topping cookies

  • 1/4 cup

    sweet mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, or M&Ms, plus more for topping cookies

Instructions

  1. Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into 8 pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. (Alternatively, place in a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer.) Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Place 1 cup flour of choice, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup and 1/4 cup nut or nut-alternative butter to the bowl of softened butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Unless your butter is very soft, some small pieces of butter may remain visible — that is OK. Add 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and beat just until combined, about 1 minute.

  5. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup chunky mix-ins, and 1/4 cup sweet mix-ins. Stir by hand to combine.

  6. Scoop out the dough into 1/4-cup portions and place at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, 8 per sheet. Flatten each ball of dough lightly with the palm of your hands until about 1-inch thick. If desired, press a few extra mix-ins onto the top of the cookies.

  7. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Continue to bake until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more (they are best slightly underbaked). Let cool completely on the baking sheets.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Make ahead: The cookie dough can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. The dough can also be scooped, flattened, and frozen on a baking sheet. Once solid, transfer to a freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake cookies from frozen, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Bus Stop Breakfast Cookies