This is such a simple and rewarding little recipe – just right for when you get a hankering for something sweet to dip into a cup of tea. I have deliberately kept this batch small, so you don’t have a tinful of cookies sitting around! – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Customise this recipe by adding a sprinkle of raisins to make oat and raisin cookies, or try adding roasted hazelnuts and finely chopped stem ginger.

Cover of River Cottage Good Comfort recipes with picture of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall taking a pie out of the oven in a kitchen

This is an extract from River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better For You by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, with photography by Simon Wheeler.


  • 125g Butter
  • 50g Soft light brown sugar
  • 125g Fine plain wholemeal flour
  • 75g Porridge oats
  • Pinch salt


  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • STEP 2

    Put the butter and brown sugar into a small saucepan over a low heat to melt the butter gently, stirring often. Take off the heat.

  • STEP 3

    Mix the flour, oats and salt and stir into the melted mixture. Take dessertspoonfuls of the mix and place in piles on the baking sheet, then use the back of the spoon to flatten each pile into a rough circle, no more than about 1cm deep.

  • STEP 4

    Bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes, until the cookies are turning golden at the edges. They will still be soft at this point: leave to cool completely and crisp up before removing from the tray. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Serve with a mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, for dunking your cookies.


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and his concern for the environment. He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight, Hugh’s War on Waste and his latest, Britain’s Fat Fight and, his latest, War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita.

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