The Perfect Oatmeal Cookie, Conversations Not to Have with a Four Year Old

Coconut, Macadamia, Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

My grandson, Gavin, is four.  A very bright four.  A way-too-smart-for-his-own-good four.

Gavin had a sleepover at my house last night.  It is always fun to have him around.  He is a great conversationalist, never at a loss for words.  Never.  Ever.  Ever.  Plus, because he started using words at a very early age, he also has a great memory.  He often talks about things he remembers from when he was somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2.   Sometimes I am really surprised by what he remembers.

Memories can be tricky, though, even for smart four year olds.  For instance, hypothetically speaking of course, let’s say that a certain four year old remembers making oatmeal cookies at a friend’s house when he was 2 1/2 years old.  The cookies were big and fat and dark.  “weally big and dark and soft.”  They did not have any raisins in them.  They only had oatmeal and they were ‘weally’ big.

Now let’s say for instance, again only speaking hypothetically, that a loving grandmother wishes to recreate these amazing cookies for her precious, angelic, nearly perfect 4 year old grandson with the amazing memory.  The grandmother searches through a variety of oatmeal cookie recipes looking for just the right recipe to make weally big, dark, soft oatmeal cookies.  Two candidate recipes are found.  Happily the grandmother tells her genius grandson that she has some great recipes for the cookies and that she is going to make the cookies just for him.

The verbose grandson then replies, “Nothing but oatmeal.  They don’t have raisins and they don’t have coconut.  Only oatmeal.”

“Are you sure they didn’t have any nuts or chocolate chips,” the simple minded grandmother innocently asks.

“Mom-mom, you don’t put chocolate chips or nuts in oatmeal cookies.  Only oatmeal.  You’re not going to put anything else in the cookies are you?” the oatmeal Nazi grandson says in a demanding voice.

“Okay.” replies the grandmother as she secretly plots to do things her way, which is namely putting some coconut in the cookies because…she wants to.  And besides, a four year old will not know the difference and will thank her for the amazingly delicious cookies which are so much better than his friend’s mother’s cookies.

Hypothetical fast forward–The grandmother excitedly shows the freshly baked cookies to her grandson after his nap.  Her naively inspired world of deception crumbles in a single moment.  “These don’t look right.  They are not fat.  That’s not the right cookie.  And Mom-mom…sniff…sniff…small taste…You put coconut in these,” states the know-it-all four year old grandson.

Fine.  Game on, smart mouth.

Out comes recipe #2.  Changes are immediately made in the recipe because the highly intellectual, multi-talented grandmother knows that recipe #1 was really quite a tasty cookie, but that recipe #2 will definitely give a fatter, although less flavorful oatmeal cookie.  The best parts of recipes 1 and 2 are combined and reformatted into what is sure to be a stunning recipe #3.  And, the ingenious grandmother  reasons that she will make a few ‘oatmeal only’ cookies for her cookie-snob grandson, while reserving the remainder of the dough for wondrous additions like coconut, macadamias, and dried cranberries.

One dozen fat, soft, golden oatmeal-only cookies fresh from the oven later, the smug, but smiling grandmother proudly presents his majesty, the grandson, with the latest version of the perfect cookie.  “Nope,” he says, shaking his head and tapping the proffered cookie.  “These are not right.  What did you do to them?  They are too light.  They need to be darker.”

The getting-really-ticked-off grandmother tells the afore mentioned grandson that if the cookies were any darker they would be burned.  An argument, hypothetical of course, ensues at which time the grandson adroitly changes the subject and asks if he can go outside and play.  “You betcha,” replies the grandmother through clenched teeth.  “I think that’s a great idea.”

Fast forward one more hypothetical time.  The grandmother’s daughter, mother of the mouthy grandson, arrives to pick him up.  By this time the grandmother is in the back yard sort of hanging out with the grandson and his sweet, precious, darling little 18 month old brother who has a vocabulary of about 3 words.  The back door has been left open because it is such a nice day.  Voices are coming from inside the house…a father and daughter are talking.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the back door neighbor’s turkey is gobbling, and the grandmother is smiling at her laughing grandsons playing with the hoses which have been turned on.  The scene is perfectly sublime.

“Mom?” the daughter calls from the back door.  “Those were No-Bake Cookies that Gavin had at Kyle’s house.”

Big. Fat. Soft. Oatmeal. Dark.

Coconut, Macadamia, Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Coconut, Macadamia, Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated, if you have it)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups old fashioned regular oatmeal (not quick or instant)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 cup chopped macadamias


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg together into a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, shortening, dark brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and milk.
  5. Add the flour mixture a little at a time.  Do not overmix.
  6. Stir in the oatmeal, coconut, dried cranberries, and macadamias.
  7. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper or lightly greasing.
  8. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto prepared cookie sheets.  Press lightly with moist fingers to flatten dough slightly.
  9. Cook on a middle oven rack for 10-12 minutes until cookies are light-medium golden brown.  Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then move cookies to a cooling rack to complete cooling.
  10. Store in an air-tight container.


Coconut, Macadamia, Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies




  1. says

    AAGGHH! I had the most brilliant comment about Gavin 2 weeks ago but I couldn’t get it to post. How hilarious though that he knew exactly what he was talking about but you were cooking on the Venus planet and he was eating his no-bakes on his Mars planet! That kid is hilarious and you are the best Grandma EVER!

  2. says

    Shoot. So sorry about you not being able to post the comment. Blogger was having issues and even I couldn’t post comments. Half the time Blogger wouldn’t even recognize me as the owner of the blog. I could see that several people had tried to post, but that their posts were not working. I.R.R.I.T.A.T.I.N.G.

    I griped and complained on a Blogger complaints forum, and found that many others were having the same problem. Finally I figured out that the problem had something to do with the fact that I had upgraded Internet Explorer and that the latest edition of Blogger was not working and playing well with it, or rather Internet Explorer had taken yet one more step into controlling the world.

    I told John about the problem, again, and Mr. Eureka finally thought of a way around the contentious programs so that a peace settlement was established between the two parties. In essence, he made a few changes to how my computer perceived the two enemies and now everyone is working and playing well together. Blogger spins in its own superlative, misguided universe and Internet Explorer gets to keep spinning on in its snooty I’m-too-sexy-for-my-users universe. The lowly middle person, me and my computer, are ignoring both of them.

    Typical governmental-style entities…they’re making changes because it is for the common good although we were all getting along just fine with the way things were working in the first place.

    And one more thing, as long as I am on my soapbox. Internet Explorer, your IE9 stinks. Stinks, I tell you. Absolutely stinks. I’m switching to Firefox or Chrome.

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