Homemade chocolate chip cookies are always a special treat for the school lunch box. The recipe can be varied, using cocoa or peanut butter. Choose your favorite stir-ins: chunks of milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, candy-coated chocolate pieces or raisins. The cookies take about 30 minutes to prepare and bake.

This recipe comes from Land O Lakes Butter.For a free recipe brochure, "Baking Basics," call (800) 782-9602, or write to: "Baking Basics," P.O. Box 26341, Shoreview, MN 55126-0341.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Choose from the following stir-ins:

1 1/2 cups candy-coated chocolate pieces

Two 4-ounce bars milk chocolate, cut into small chunks

12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixer bowl combine butter, brown sugar and sugar. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating until well mixed, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cookie ingredients. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, 1 minute to 2 minutes.

By hand, stir in chocolate pieces or desired stir-in.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned. For even baking, rotate cookie sheets halfway through baking time. Let stand 1 minute before removing from cookie sheets. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Variations:

Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookies: Omit quick-cooking oats and substitute 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa.

Peanutty Chocolate Chip Cookies: Omit quick-cooking oats and substitute 1 cup peanut butter.

Easy Chocolate Chip Bars: Prepare cookies as directed above. Spread dough into lightly greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch jellyroll pan. Bake in a 350-degree F oven for 25 minutes to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Cut into 48 bars.

- Nutrition facts per serving: 130 cal., 2 g pro., 18 g carbo., 7 g fat, 20 mg chol., 130 mg sodium.