Which is Better for Cookies - Quick Cooking or Old Fashioned Oats?

image source : by kimberlykv on Flickr
From delicious traditional oatmeal cookies to chocolate peanut-butter oatmeal no-bakes, oatmeal makes for delicious cookies. As you plan to bake your next batch, though, you may be wondering which type of oats to use. With both quick cooking and old fashioned varieties widely available at almost any supermarket, is one really better than the other for your cookies?

Understanding the Difference

When companies go to make both quick cooking and old fashioned oats, they remove the hull, then they carefully clean them. From there, they toast them and clean them one more time. They’re called groats at that point. Here, the path for the two different varieties changes a bit. Old fashioned oats are then steamed, and flattened with large rollers. Quick cooking varieties get chopped into much smaller pieces, then steamed and rolled. They get one extra step that helps significantly decrease the cooking time.

Deciding Which to Use

While you can certainly use either type of oats when you’re baking cookies, most cooks prefer to use old-fashioned oats. Because the quick-cooking variety has been cut into much smaller pieces, the texture changes significantly during any kind of cooking process, especially baking. You may find that your oats have a much stickier texture should you choose to use the quick cooking variety. You may also find that you don’t get as much texture with quick cooking oats. Because a nice, chewy texture is almost the hallmark of any traditional oatmeal cookie, substituting quick oats will certainly give you a very different feel, even if it doesn’t give you a different cookie taste.
When most recipes call for oatmeal or “rolled oats,” they traditionally mean old fashioned oats, and other than the texture issue, there’s little reason you can’t substitute quick cooking oats for them. While you’re certain to notice a difference in the way they feel, it won’t affect your flavor.

What About Other Oat Options?

Old fashioned oats and quick cooking oats aren’t the only choices on the market, though. Browse your grocery store shelves, and you’ll likely find options like steel cut oats, Scottish oats, Irish oats, and even instant oats. Wondering what the difference is? Every type undergoes that cleaning step. Then they’re heated in a kiln to about 215 degrees Fahrenheit to help kill the enzymes and make the stable for storage. From there, the changes begin. To make steel-cut oats, or Irish oats, the whole oat groat is chopped with a steel blade. It offers a very chewy texture. Scottish oats take the groats, then grind them into a meal. With that type of oat, you get something that resembles porridge. Instant oats work like old fashioned and quick cooking oats. From there, though, they’re rolled thin, cooked, and re-dried so all you have to do is add hot water.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for that traditional oatmeal taste and feel in any cookie recipe, none of these varieties will give it to you. While there are a few recipes that were designed specifically for steel cut oats, most traditional recipes use old-fashioned oats as the model.
Image by kimberlykv on Flickr

Pinkchic18 is a baker at heart. She loves to write about cookies and baking. She also regularly contributes to the Gourmet Cookie Bouquets Recipe Blog, where you can order cookie bouquet delivery for any occasion!

Posted by: Zein Okeh Quick Meal Ideas, Updated at: 3:20 PM


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