Oatmeal Tea Cookies

Of late, I've been obsessed with a particular recipe from a book I recently added to my cookbook library.  The book is called, 'Crumb', and it's written by British food columnist, Ruby Tandoh.  I simply love the style of her writing, the sweet recipes that she has gathered in one volume, along with all of the practical information which makes me go back to it time and time again.  If you can say that about a cookbook, then it's a keeper and worthy of one's library.

Oatmeal Tea Cookies & Tea on Wedgwood Drabware

Ruby calls these little gems, Rye Oat Cookies, and compares them to graham crackers.  Called digestives in England, the cookies are perfect morsels to have with one's tea or even for breakfast with a cup of coffee.  

Oatmeal Tea Cookies with Fresh Berries

Ever since I got Ruby's book, I have been making these 'biscuits' every single week, because they are good.  Having said that, however, I have taken liberties with the recipe by adding some spice and bumping up the brown sugar just a smidgen.  I can't really call this recipe my own, but I will share with you what I do to make it my own and how you can easily make a batch at home.

Let's bake!

Oatmeal Tea Cookies Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
Note:  the recipe requires 1 cup total of whole grain flour, along with the oats.  A full cup of whole wheat flour or a full cup of rye flour can be used instead of 1/2 cup each.  I've tried it both ways, but I prefer the 1/2 cup of each.

Recipe is adapted from Crumb, A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh.  10 Speed Press.

Center Oven Racks
Preheat to 350° F (177°C)

1.  Butter or spray with nonstick spray, a 1/4 sheet pan (9"x13") and line it with parchment, leaving a 1" overhang on either side of the longest side.  
2.  Pulse the oats in a food processor until they look like coarse meal.  It's OK to leave a few whole pieces, it doesn't have to be ground to a fine powder.
3.  In a large bowl, mix to combine the ground oats, rye flour, whole wheat flour, sea salt, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground ginger.  Mix well.
4.  Drizzle the canola oil over the dry ingredients.  Sprinkle the light brown sugar over the bowl, add the milk and mix evenly with a spatula until the batter looks like wet sand.  
5.  Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan, making sure it is level.
6.  Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the cookie batter is firm, set and slightly darkened.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
7.  Slice the slab into 12 squares.  Cookies will can be stored in a cookie jar for up to 5 days.

Note:  this is a very crumbly cookie and may not cut neatly.  This is fine, because those crumbs can be added to your yogurt for breakfast.  Waste not, want not!

Oatmeal Tea Cookie Crumble with Greek Yogurt & Honey
The crumbled cookie is a natural for plain yogurt.  Whether or not you decide to drizzle this delicious combination with honey, it is superb.  Try it for breakfast or as an afternoon pick me up. 

I hope this humble cookie captures your attention and prompts you to whip up a small sheet of them soon.  Although I can't guarantee that you'll get obsessed with this 'biscuit'/cookie, knowing that each is filled with whole grain goodness will undoubtedly make you a fan of them.  Fill a cookie jar with them and then quickly begin another batch.  I know they're not going to last for very long.

Happy Baking!


  1. David the cookies look wholesome and good. They seem substantial--I think I would have them with a smear of jam. Curious about the all rye and the all wheat versions you mentioned. What where they like?


  2. Rick, the cookies are really good. The all rye version is very substantial, and the all whole wheat flour cookies are a bit lighter. I find the 1/2 cup rye and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour version a good compromise. If you want to treat yourself and make them even better add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

    Make some.


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