Use-Up-The-Cereal Cookies
Kitchen Sink Cookies

Not sure if this phenomenon is unique to our house, but there are certain people who outright refuse to eat the last ⅓ of a box of cereal, referring to it as "the dregs" and open a new box, leaving the partially filled "old" box right beside it. Consequently, at any given time, we might have 8-9 boxes of barely filled cereal boxes crowding the shelf. Kids are fun, aren't they?!! But I kind of know what they mean. There's nothing like the crunch of a freshly opened box of cereal and I have to admit that the bottom of the box does get kind of pulverized and almost sandy--less than palatable. That's when I make these chock-full-of-leftover-cereal beauties and transform trash into treasure!

If you like a chewy, kind of crispy, thin, bumpy, chocolate chip cookie, filled with lots of different textures and flavors, these are right up your alley. They're perfect for bake sales, lunchbox treats, Tuesday afternoons and get-me-through-this-hockey-weekend snacks. College kids love them--I know this for a fact because the last time we saw one of our boys I loaded him up with a big batch of these to take back to his dorm where they were promptly inhaled. 

And they're extremely versatile--you can throw in whatever cereal you have around or add coconut, nuts, dried fruit--whatever you like.

Plus they're really easy to make--pretty much your standard drop cookies but with tons more "stuff" in them! And you have to really space them well before you cook them or they'll fuse together like mine did--not that anyone seemed to really mind!

They also make amazing ice cream sandwiches which I would love to show you here but unfortunately someone ate the last one before I had time to take a picture, so you'll have to look at a stack of them instead and imagine the ice cream addition--as I said before, kids are fun, right?!!

And finally and ironically, unlike the leftover cereal box predicament, leftovers don't seem to be a problem when it comes to these cookies!! People will fight over the last one in the tin. Try them and see for yourself!

Use-Up-The-Cereal Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen large cookies
Prep Time:  15 minutes; Bake Time:  10-12 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups cornflakes, crushed (or a combination of any leftover unsugared cereals you have like Rice Krispies, Special K, Mini-Wheats, etc. If cereal is a large flaked kind or a big bumpy shape, break it up or crush it.)
  • 2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional--I didn't use this time)
  • 1 cup raisins or craisins (optional--I didn't use this time)

The Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line several rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

3.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in, one at a time, and beat well after each addition, scraping down the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula. Add in the vanilla and beat to mix. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the flour is incorporated. Then stir in the coconut, oats, cereal, chocolate chips and whatever else you like.

4.  Scoop the dough out, about a tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. Don't over bake or the cookies won't be chewy. Transfer sheet to a baking rack and let cool for a few minutes, before removing cookies with a wide metal spatula and transferring directly to the rack itself. Repeat with remaining cookies until batter is all used up.

5.  Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days. These are also really wonderful to make ice cream sandwiches with! Unfortunately they got eaten before I could remember to take a picture.


Note:  Recipe adapted from an old issue of Gourmet Magazine.

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