Cookies and Elastic Pencil Cases

Monday is my day for the annual Virtual Cookie Hop. Thank you to the wonderful organizers, Carol, Carla & Joan, who do such a great job all year long. This year I attempted an egg-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, which we all agreed was not worth the calories so you won’t see it here. Instead, this is a twist on my favorite oatmeal cookies.

These are Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I tweeked a recipe from I added spices and reduced the amount of cranberries to make room for some chocolate chips. (Full disclosure, in this batch that was photographed, I used only 3/4 cup cranberries, but it wasn’t enough. The recipe will now reflect more cranberries than I used.) You can certainly load these cookies up with a full 2 cups of cranberries and even add more than 1 cup of chocolate chips. In other words, make it yours. Here’s the recipe with all my adaptations already included.


makes 44 medium cookies (or 24 jumbo ones)

1 cup softened butter (leave on the counter for half hour)

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup granulated White Sugar

2 large Eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 2/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp. Cornstarch (YEP you read this right!)

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

pinch salt

1 1/2 cup dried cranberries – Craisins

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees. (Yup, that’s a weird temp. but it’s accurate.) Mix the butter and both types of sugars til creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix another minute. Add in flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt and mix well. Finally, fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Form into walnut-sized balls and space 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined (or greased) cookie sheet. (If you prefer larger cookies, make the balls about the size of a golf ball or larger.) Bake 11-14 minutes until edges turn a light golden color.

My sewing project is something I have wanted for myself. Sometimes, when I want to journal or color, I give up because I’m lazy and don’t have any pens handy. This pencil holder is perfect!! It attaches to your journal or diary with elastic and can hold some markers, post its, pencils, pens or anything else you like. I followed the pencil holder video tutorial by Penny Sews and it was easy and simple to make. I altered the smaller metric size materials to the measurements below. My zippered holders can hold a few markers and sharpened pencils, which was my goal.



Outside fabric 6.5″ x 8.5″

Lining fabric 6.5″ x 8.5″

Fusible interfacing (Cut two) 6″ x 8″

Bias tape 2 pieces cut 4.5″ or (two fabric pieces 2.4″ x 4″ each)

9″ one-inch Elastic (but any width will work)

10″ zipper

These are going to be small Chanukah gifts. I plan to slip a gift card into each holder. Since my kids are grown, we give more gift cards these days. I still like to give a little gift so this will be both a gift card holder and a little practical gift.

When I began this project, I used what I had on hand. The only elastic I owned was 1/4″ but I really wanted it wider. I made one with that thinner elastic and it will work out fine, but it looked flimsy, as you can see below with those adorable sea otters. I ordered a bundle of one inch wide multi-colored elastic for $13.99 on Amazon. Everything else came from my stash. The wider elastic was so colorful, sturdy and nicer looking.

The photo below shows the 1/4″ elastic on the back of my first holder. See how it just looks flimsy! The one inch elastics, in fun colors, really make a difference as you”ll see.

I’m ready for Chanukah with gifts, and those fun candles that you see above. I like to mix up the candles we use each year. When you light a menorah each night, it can get dull if you only have the usual candles. Our family likes to light a separate menorah for each person. It’s a fun tradition and really warms the place up!!! The photo below is from last year’s Chanukah, 2021, when I found those blue and white candles with stars on them…pretty nifty!

For anyone looking for more gift and baking inspiration, this hop is perfect! Please check out the other bloggers and enjoy the creative projects and delicious recipes. There’s a Pinterest link for you to view as well.

December 5

Creatin’ in the Sticks

DesertSky Quilting

Karrin’s Crazy World

Days Filled With Joy

Just Because Quilts

That Fabric Feeling YOU ARE HERE!

For The Love Of Geese

Words & Stitches

December 6


Just Sew Quilter

Ms P Designs USA


Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life
Stitchin At Home

December 7



Patchouli Moon Studio

Texas Quilt Gal

Pinker n’ Punkin Quilting & Stitching

Needled Mom

Quilted Delights

December 8

Just Let Me Quilt


Songbird Designs

Patchwork Breeze

Quilt Schmilt

Homespun Hannah’s Blog

Happy Cottage Quilter

Linking up to: Oh ScrapMidweek MakersConfessions of a Fabric AddictPeacock PartyFinished or not FridayBrag About Your GoodiesThank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, My Quilt Infatuation: Needle & Thread Thursday.

51 responses to “Cookies and Elastic Pencil Cases

  1. Those cookies look delicious! And I love the pencil cases, you can never have enough of them I think! Thanks for joining in on Monday This and That! xx


  2. Your new elastic sure looks way better on them. I think it was a worthy shopping expense. And great idea to use them as gift card holders. Hope they will be well received. xo


    • Thank you so much. Yes, the issue now is do I take that one pouch apart to add wider elastic?? Yeah, probably I need to bit the bullet and unstitch!!


  3. Oh those cookies sound delicious. I just retired as a math teacher, but I could have used those pencil holders. They are very pretty.


    • Congrats on retirement!! May you enjoy the quiet and calm. I still recommend an elastic pouch for you…it’s good to be prepared!


  4. I love oatmeal cookies and those look delicious! The pencil cases look great. I like the wide colorful elastic too. Great find. How fun for everyone to have their own Menorah. Such a great tradition!


  5. What a wonderful cookie recipe. I’m a sucker for anything with cranberries. 😉
    Your candles are perfect. I love your modification to the pattern. Your wider elastic is just perfect! I love keeping pouches with my journal and this would make sure I don’t lose my pens! Thank you for sharing. 😉


  6. I love your elastic zip pen/pencil bags. Such an excellent idea. SO handy and great gift.
    Your cookies sound delish. I’m so excited to try them.


  7. Your cookies look delicious and your pencil/pen cases are adorbs. Thanks for sharing all the info with us. I just LOVE those elastic colors! They really do make them fun and special. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne


    • Roseanne, I am a sucker for a good deal on Amazon!! I had to buy those bright elastics once I saw how flimsy the 1/4″ one looked. I recommend trying making one and you’ll see that they really are a cinch. I actually plan to put on on three of my journals. I recently had Covid and wanted to draw while quarantined but didn’t have the energy to search for my pens. This is why I need markers on everything I own!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much. I love the little cases too…just the quickest and most practical little thing for a gift card. Happy holidays to you and your family as well.


  8. Oh, just the kind of cookie I like! I add date bits, too, and golden raisins, but I haven’t made them the last couple of years. The pencil cases are so cute, and so useful. I like your collection of candles, especially the star ones.


    • Susan, Thank you…dates sound extra nice. I am now banned from buying raisins since our dog got ahold of some and had to have an emergency vet visit. They are so toxic to dogs and I didn’t even know that some of those sticky things slipped from my hands. So now it’s cranberries for us. I love raisins in oatmeal cookies but alas, I love my dog more. I also love those star candles…can’t remember where I found them but need to get them again.


      • I didn’t know that about dogs and raisins, though I don’t own a dog. I wonder why raisins, but cranberries are okay. I hope you find the candles again!


    • So it’s not clearly known why raisins, but they are different than cranberries because even grapes are toxic to dogs. “The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute kidney injury (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria.” They tell you 4 things are bad for dogs, but it’s the raisins that are truly an immediate trip to the Vet. The other items are onions, artificial sugars like in gum or some peanut butters and chocolate.


  9. I’m right there with you on leaving room for more chocolate chips! LOL!! Yummy yummy. What fun little pencil cases. I love that they clip onto a journal. Gift cards are the go-to gift around here too. It’s just easier when they are grown. Wishing you a very happy Hanukkah.


    • Joan, Thank you and Happy holidays to you and yours’. I really cut too many cranberries on my first attempt. It isn’t right unless you get one in every bite!! Gift cards are great, but why do they feel like a cop out!? Do you just go with Amazon ones or is there something extra fun you get?


      • We all have had that conversation about gift cards here, but that’ what we seem to gravitate to. Eye roll! They are easy, and I think the bottom line really is, that none of us really “need” anything. LOL!! I usually get them at the grocery store on those racks of all the different ones. The guys like Home Depot or Lowes cards and my daugher in law loves Victoria Secret. The first year my oldest was married I bought him underwear for his stocking and put a Victoria Secret gift card in her stocking. She was relieved to find that I had not actually gone underwear shopping for her. Now it’s a joke every year. 🙂


  10. Happy Hannukah to you and your family! Those cookies look delicious. I love the combo of craisins and chocolate chips…yum! The pencil cases are perfect little gifts and look easy enough to make. Thank you for sharing all your sweet goodies!


    • Those cases were very fast and easy to make. It is a nice, quick gift that can even use up some scrappy fabrics. I tried to customize for a few of my kiddies but in the end, I just went with whatever fabrics I liked. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Holidays to you and yours’.


  11. Happy Chanukah to you. Love your idea of the pencil cases and doing gift cards. Not only do the kids grow up but I’ve grown older and making gifts is so hard to do. We love cranberries so these cookies sound so darn good; thanks.


    • Thank you so much. It’s now hard to even figure out which gift card…Amazon usually wins but sometimes I think that gets boring too.


  12. I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies–the addition of cranberries has to make them better. Yum! Cool pencil case. I bet a lot of people would like those. Neat to see all those Hanukkah candles too–so pretty!


    • Carol, Yes, the cranberries are great. I really needed double the amount that I used the first time. That’s why the recipe has an increase from my own bad judgement. You see…every bite deserves both cranberries and chocolate chips. Yeah, those last nights of Chanukah, it gets so bright. I love it all…until I have to clean up all the wax!


  13. What beautiful and fun pencil cases. I made one with a flap and a snap instead of a zipper for a friend, but I like the zipper version too. Have a very Happy Hanukkah!!!


    • Daryl, I saw some patterns like that with a flap. Those would be good too but I do like a zipper because I tend to stuff lots of things in my pouches.


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