June Food Stamp Challenge: Using What’s On Hand To Make Oatmeal Shortbread

One of the things I wanted to try during this month’s food stamp challenge was to figure out what I could bake for desserts and snacks using only ingredients I regularly keep in the pantry. I usually try to make cookies, a cake or another dessert two to three times a week, not only for after dinner, but also to put into Mr. Losing It’s and the girls’ lunches. Baking with limits would also add to the whole challenge experience.

This easy recipe for oatmeal shortbread comes from Sunset Magazine’s Favorite Recipes cookbook. I really like it because it makes a very tasty, buttery cookie, and because it uses only four ingredients, things that are almost always in my pantry and refrigerator. This started out years ago as my go-to recipe when the cupboards would almost be bare at the end of the month, but we enjoyed it so much that it’s now something I make regularly.

You can “kick it up a notch” if you have a few leftover chocolate chips around, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. When the pan comes out of the oven, immediately sprinkle the chips over the uncut cookies and let them set for a minute or so. The chips will melt and can then be spread over the cookie as a thin frosting. The chocolate will harden as the pan cools.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup softened butter or margarine (2 sticks)

2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well-blended, but somewhat crumbly. Press firmly and evenly into a lightly greased jelly roll pan (10″ x 15″). Bake for 45 minutes. Cut into squares or bars while still warm, then cool in the pan.

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Filed under Living a Frugal Life, Recipes

8 responses to “June Food Stamp Challenge: Using What’s On Hand To Make Oatmeal Shortbread

  1. Some time the simplest desserts are best. I can’t wait to make this for my family.

    • These are addicting. I say that as someone who should NOT eat cookies! I have a very hard time staying away from them.

      • The day after I made these my daughter confessed that she had eaten one for breakfast and said, “These are addicting. You should not make these very often”.

        I have been misapplying your one bite rule. When I have a craving I allow myself one bite, which usually translates to about 3 bites a day. But that is still better than 3 cookies a day. ;-)

      • I guess I’m glad I’m not the only one that finds these cookies addictive! Our oldest eats them around the clock (I caught her eating a couple after she finished her breakfast last week), but she needs extra calories so I don’t complain.

  2. This is great!

    I also know that depression era cookbooks are great for this type of recipe, “Grandma’s Wartime Cookbook” is one of them.

    There are two famous recipes:

    Wacky Cake


    3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

    look them up! :-)

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve got everything for both the Wacky Cake ad peanut butter cookies in the pantry and will give them a try. I’m going to see about getting the book from the library.

    I’ve got a couple of other minimalist/pantry staple recipes to put out in the next couple of weeks.

  4. DJ

    Thanks! Can’t wait to try these!

  5. Pingback: Gluten Free Oatmeal Shortbread Recipe | Premeditated Leftovers

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