Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

I had something peppy, but was reading through some of the comments from my last post this morning and feel to get serious for a moment. Just for a moment. I don’t love serious. So bear with me, here.

In sharing plans for my weekend on that last post, I linked my friend Steve’s name to his video on YouTube. It was a video where he shared the story of his lifelong journey out of the Mormon church, and into accepting himself as a gay man. I knew the link wouldn’t be for everyone, which is why I didn’t make a stink about it. I just linked up Steve’s name with YouTube. It’s his video. It’s his story. It’s your choice if you want to click on it, watch it, and learn about Steve’s journey.

And, I’m sad.  Because some of you were offended. I’m sad in one way, because I don’t ever want to offend you. But, I’m even more sad–and actually a little bit astonished–because some downright stinky comments were left and my heart aches that we have to be like that.

I believe in the power of stories. It’s why I tell them on my site. I share my stories. My views, the way my life unfolds and moves and trips about it’s meandering path. And, when I meet people, find friends, join my life in support and celebration of other people’s lives, I’m not looking to convert. I’m only looking to understand, to love, to listen. To hear their stories.

And so, I am terrifically sorry if any of you felt the link to Steve’s video was inappropriate. But guess what? That is Steve. It’s his story. It’s his life. It’s very real to him. And as his friend, I am proud of him. He’s fought hard to find his place in life, to find his path. And his path might not be your path. It might not even be a path you agree with. But isn’t there power in standing back and just listening? Indeed, I don’t know how else to love people than to look them in the eye and listen and learn about their real, valid choices. To seek to understand why they are where they are, and to come to know what has made them the wonderful (or remarkable, or broken, or weak, or tired, or complexly stunning) person they are today.

Many of you readers of mine are Mormon. I was raised Mormon and have been active in the Church throughout my life. Until August,when our family resigned from the Church.

Hold on there. Take a breath. I’m not turning into a vitriolic anti-Mormon ranter. I LOVE Mormons. I loved being a Mormon. But, I started to feel, among other things, that I it was making me horrifically judgemental. I found myself so concerned about looking just right, and acting just right, and being just the sort of missionary I thought I was supposed to be, that I forgot to just love people. To listen. To learn about them.

Once, when I was in college, I went to my grandparents home, my sister announced to the family that she was moving in with her boyfriend. I looked around the room and sat up tall in my chair. Pressed my nose a little higher in the air. I was going to use this opportunity to show my grandparents how righteous I was. That I was bold enough to stand up for what I knew was right.

“That is so inappropriate,” I said to my sister. Shoulder back, perfect posture. “Why are you making a decision that you know will bring you unhappiness?”

The room went silent. My sister’s shoulders rounded into a forlorn curve.

And then.

My grandfather raised his finger in the air, straight and firm, and viciously pointy. And then he pointed it at me.

“Don’t you DARE.” He said. “Don’t you dare say such things to your sister. You don’t know what it’s like to be her. You don’t know how lonely she’s been, how hard this decision has been on her. You don’t know. You can’t possibly know.”

This from my grandfather who read the scriptures for hours each morning, worked in the temple twice a week, prayed over dinner for a full fifteen minutes.

I sat stunned. And then, I looked at my sister, sitting in the corner of the room, weeping. Grandpa put his hand out and she–this grown up girl–climbed in his lap and wept on his shoulder. And I learned why Jesus was considered a revolutionary. I learned what it means to be truly Christlike. I learned that love isn’t about pulling just the right strings, it’s about cutting them and using them to tie bows upon your heart.

I am sorry if any of you found the link to Steve’s story inappropriate. At first I was sad to think I was losing readers–LOSING READERS–for posting a link to a video made by a friend.

As it turns out, though. I’m not so sad about. Because this blog has never been about getting readers. It’s never been about getting big. It’s always been about telling stories. My stories. And my stories are intimately connected to everyone, everyone, EVERYONE who I call friend. Mormon, exmormon, black, white, gay, straight, lovers, fighters, sisters, mothers, dreamers, believers, hopers. I refuse to put strings on my love.

My name is Brooke McLay. I’m a storyteller, an oatmeal cookie pancake maker, a passionate post writer.  And I’m proud of my people. Every last one of them.


Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes


For the Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes:1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 raisins (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup cinnamon chips or mini chocolate chips

For the Honey Butter Icing Glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple-flavored extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Just enough buttermilk to make a soft glaze


In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon until mixed. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 cup of the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk and egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together just until the ingredients are incorporated. Add whatever additional add-in's you'd like. We went with coconut and raisins and chocolate chips, but feel free to add any (or none) of your favorite oatmeal cookie parts and pieces. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to create a thin batter.

Cook pancake batter on a hot griddle as you would traditional pancakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the icing glaze until smooth. Drizzle over maple-syrup-covered pancakes, top with cinnamon or chocolate chips (if desired), serve, and enjoy!

75 Responses to “Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes”

  1. STH says:

    Jill, do you think your baking powder might need to be replaced? I sometimes find it’s lost its oomph before the can is empty.

  2. TidyMom says:

    I’m so happy to have had the chance to meet you Brooke! ♥

    LOVED this line: “I learned that love isn’t about pulling just the right strings, it’s about cutting them and using them to tie bows upon your heart.”

    and then in true Brooke fashion……..”I’m a storyteller, an oatmeal cookie pancake maker, a passionate post writer. And I’m proud of my people. Every last one of them.”……………love YOU for being YOU!

  3. Amanda says:

    I really enjoyed this post! While I am not mormom, I have struggled with the same judgement as you. My church has been wonderful, it was ME that thought wrong. I thought that for me to be a good Christian, I NEEDED to sit in judgement of those who sin.

    I recently read a book called, The Myth of a Christian Religion by Gregory Boyd. It changed my life. Showed me how to just LOVE people. I dont need to judge. I dont need to exclude people for making different choices. THOSE are the people that Jesus surrounded himself with.

    I think you have the right idea Brooke. You have found a new loyal reader in me!

  4. Heidi says:

    Oh man what a beautiful post. Enough said. :)

  5. Kristen says:

    I just have to say I am so incredibly proud of you. I know this journey hasn’t been easy, but it is in the roughest of journeys that the diamonds shine the brightest in the end. Happy to know you :)

  6. Becky says:

    Amen. My life actually sounds almost exactly like yours. People can choose to read your blog, love others, or judge everyone around them. It’s all a choice. Your own personal choice. And the beauty is….we don’t all have to agree with each other. Life is amazing.

  7. Hey Brooke!

    I’m so sorry that you got some stinky comments. ♥

    And am not sorry that your posted these beautiful pancakes…and wrote a lovely and powerful post to go along with them. :)

  8. Colleen says:

    BEAUTIFUL post, Brooke. You are an inspiration in so many ways. Thank you for your honesty and ability to “keep it real”. And…yum yum on pancakes front! Recipe is printed and ready for this weekend!

  9. tiffney says:

    @STH-deceptive advertising? Those that you are accusing of organizing deceptive advertising are men that we Mormons wholeheartedly believe to be apostles of Jesus Christ. And I’m not sure where you are getting your information from, but very few “sermons” {which by the way, is not really how our church is run. We the members do the teaching and give talks} are given on how being gay is wrong. There are talks here and there and it is definitely something that is known, but in no way is it the complete focus of our religion. Our main focus is Christ and becoming like him. Our main focus is the family that is central to God’s plan. And our faith is most definitely under attack. Whose money do you think it was that paid for those adds? It was ours… the members of the church that is. You are choosing to see it as a separation. Their are the apostles and then there are the members. We support what the prophet does. We pay tithing and that money is used to do God’s work, including protecting marriage. I can see why people who cannot embrace this doctrine leave the church. It is most certainly a fundamental doctrine in our religion. Marriage is between a man and a women. I wholeheartedly supported what our church did in California and they would do it again in a heartbeat. This is not a couple of men coming up with what they think is a good add campaign. This is God, using his apostles to do his work and to thwart Satan’s plan to destroy families. In short, it is a direct attack on my spirituality. My spirituality and my religion are one in the same.

  10. Steve Lee-O'Neal says:

    @tiffney: That was a lot to write. One thing I’ve learned after 38 years as an active LDS member and now 10 years as a gay post-Mormon is this: Time is the great equalizer! When I was young and active, I spoke exactly like you do now. But time, thought, and study changed many things for me. Just as Brooke has experienced and shared with you, and a few others. I wish you good luck on your journey, may it be as enthralling, and transcendant as ours has been!

  11. STH says:

    tiffney, if you truly believe that your church can do no wrong, can never possibly make an error in interpreting god’s word or divining his intent, then I guess no more discussion is possible (convenient that way, isn’t it?)

    However, I would urge you to re-read your own words. “Satan’s plan to destroy families”? This is the best Satan could come up with? How exactly is that supposed to work? If I marry someone of the same sex, what possible effect could that have on someone else’s marriage on the other side of the country? No one that I’ve posed that question to has ever been able to provide me with an answer, because there is no answer that makes sense.

    You write, tiffney, that I criticize you and your spirituality when I criticize the church. That was not my intent, but you may take it that way if you choose to. I will not apologize; if your spiritual practice leads to cruelty and misery, you can’t expect to escape criticism. Tolerance does not mean not speaking out against injustice.

  12. […] oatmeal cookie pancakes look like a fun morning treat (@ Cheeky […]

  13. Shari says:

    I have never read your blog before, but was “diverted” here by The Motherload. After reading your post, I had to respond. First, for those who say linking to your friend’s YouTube was “inapppropriate”; this is your blog & whatever YOU think is appropriate (as long as it doesn’t hurt innocent people) is appropriate. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t read it. Secondly, I wish more people were like you. You can be friends with someone, love them, respect their journey, etc., even if you wouldn’t live your life the way they have. To me, that love & respect is the basic tenant of ANY religion. Good for you…for posting the link, for sharing your feelings about leaving the Mormon church (still loving parts of it & not loving others)…you are real & I like it!

  14. Supporting you and missing you dearly…..any pancakes left or do I have to go make some?

  15. Brooke, Regardless of what people think about your opinion, (I agree, and could never put it as eloquently as you) no one can argue your grace and bravery. Very few bloggers these days have the guts to stand up and say what isn’t popular but is right for THEM. You choose authenticity over traffic, page views, and popularity. I wish I could hug you!!

    Kristan :)

  16. Such a great post! Everything you have said is perfectly honest, fair and authentic. Sometimes it’s hard when you unintentionally offend people, but knowing it came from a true, good place is what you can hold onto.
    And being a good friend, one that stands behind the decisions of their friends, is a special gift.

    on another note…those pancakes…yes please!

  17. Angie says:

    Sweet story, I saw the link to the guy and clicked, I didn’t know what to make of it, what your intentions were with him. So glad to know your just making new friends! I personally can’t be part of any organization of any type that thinks they’re better than any other. And my problem is judging people who act snobby to others because of whatever, my personal problem, always has been.

  18. […] about these little clouds of deliciousness. When the lovely Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen posted this oatmeal cookie pancake recipe on her ever inspiring blog I couldn’t wait for the weekend to get here so I could try them […]

  19. mkc says:

    Thank you for posting this – I was worried you were a Utah Mormon so had stopped reading your blog, just knowing it was going to turn Utah soon. But actually, I randomly came back today, and it’s the opposite. It’s actually REAL. So, you got a lifelong reader instead of losing one :)

  20. CBY says:

    There has been a lot said here and my mind is going in circles. I just want to add one thing. I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I too love gay people. Our church has NEVER once taught us not to love, accept, befriend, or to dis-own people because they are gay. We may feel strongly that acting upon gay tendencies is wrong (and there are many places in the Bible where the apostles in the new testament talk about it being a sin, so we didn’t make that up) but we have never been taught to turn our back to gays or treat others with unkindness. I just want to clear that up because it seems that many non-mormon people here are acting like we are in the wrong for judging gays. If we are judging them, they are absolutely right! But, I am certain we are taught NOT to judge them. As for the church leaders using money to defend marriage between a man and women? That in my opinion is our church standing up strongly for something we find incredibly important, marriage between a man and a woman. It has nothing to do with us trying to take peoples rights away and everything to do with us defending something we hold near and dear to our hearts. Many of you would fight for something you find so incredibly important as well.
    Brooke- I love you to death. Your husband was one of the biggest reasons I came to gain a testimony of the church. I applaud you for your honesty in the post and wish you the best in your life, whatever the outcome. Christ will judge you for your heart, and it sounds like yours is in a good place. I haven’t talked to you in probably 10 years, but you have always been someone I admire. Keep up the great recipes and the honest conversation! Love you!

  21. trudy says:

    I have read your various blogs and receipes, but not on a regular basis. I play catch up. I just read your comments in response to your friend Steve’s video. I say Bravo and Amen. Love has so much more power in understanding and listening.

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