Madison Guerrilla Cookie

Cult status sums up sentiment over this homely meal-of-a-cookie, full of seeds, oats, wheat germ and very little flour, and named for the political-leanings of its originators in the ’70s.  Baked for the now-defunct Mifflin St. Co-op in Madison, WI, in the ’70s and ’80s and sold there and at other venues around town, the cookie was created by baker Ted Odell, with some input from baker Mary MacDowell.

Odell went off-grid to the wilds of remote Wisconsin years ago, taking the cookie recipe with him. Other home and commercial bakers have tried to recreate the cookie ever since.

One of the Mifflin Co-op bakers, Glen Chism–who has received letters about the cookie from Odell–has a version of the guerrilla cookie MacDowell gave him. Chism sold the cookie for a while at the co-op. Now baking elsewhere, Chism doesn’t make Guerrillas any more. He says all of the hoopla and constant critique over how close his cookies came to peoples’ memories of the ’70s version, was just too stressful. Here, however, is the recipe he says best emulates Odell’s original.


First 10 Ingredients

  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp barley-malt syrup
  • 3 Tbsp molasses or sorghum syrup
  • 1/2 cup oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 eggs

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dry milk powder or whey powder
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp millet seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp brewers yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour


  1. Place oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts and raisins in food processor and pulse until broken up a bit. In a large bowl, add honey, syrups, oil or butter, vanilla, peanut butter and eggs and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients–with the exception of the flours–and mix with the wet ingredients. Add whole wheat flour. Add optional chocolate chips if you like. Also if you like, add a small amount of white flour to adjust the wetness of the dough so that it will shape into a wet-ish dough.
  3. Chill the dough for an hour or more to make it easier to work with.
  4. Scoop a portion of dough a little smaller than a golf ball onto a cookie sheet, press down to give it a smooth, flat appearance on top. Bake about 15 to 18 minutes at 375 degrees.

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