June 12, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies

As I do on so many topics related to treats, I have Many Things to Say on the subject of oatmeal cookies. For years, I would refuse to eat them. Too thick. Too biscuity. Bleh. I was not a fan of oatmeal cookies. I would have rather eaten a bran muffin, than eaten an oatmeal cookie.

Which was a sad thing for me, because I really liked the idea of oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cookies sound like something that is supposed to be warm and cozy, and we all know how I feel about that notion. I wanted the oatmeal cookie in my imagination to be translated into reality.

You will all be so terribly relieved to know that my Oatmeal Cookie Saga (did you ever think there could be such a thing??) has a very happy ending! I was rescued by Lee Bailey. Do you know about him? I have done a great deal of shouting on this blog about his magical cookbook, 'Lee Bailey's Country Desserts', which is one of my most treasured cookbooks. If you haven't seen the post I did about his Intermont White Cake, well you must go have a looky-see, but then come right back because we have to talk about cookies some more.

These are the best oatmeal cookies I've ever had in my life. Every time I make them and take them to a gathering, EVERY TIME, people freak out over them and tell me they are the best oatmeal cookies they have ever had.

They are like some kind of oatmeal cookie confection. They almost have a bit of praline-esque flavor to them, they are so caramel-ly and buttery rich.

They are crispy on the edges, and chewy in the middle. This the crucial thing. The crispy and the chewy.

Now here's something else, you can't just slam these cookies in the oven and forget about them. You need to keep a pretty close watch. Because if they look all super done too you and very browned right out of the oven, you have already MESSED UP.  Kind of. They will harden into all crispy, as opposed to crispy-chewy. If that's something you like, then go ahead.

Please take a moment to appreciate the cookie pile I created in the above photo. THAT IS A PILE OF OATMEAL COOKIE GOODNESS, I TELL YOU.

If you want the chewy factor to remain, you need to peek at them at the lower end of the suggested cooking time and take them out just as soon as they stop looking wet and shiny in the middle, because they will crisp up and harden as they cool.

You can add raisins. Or chocolate or butterscotch chips. Or just leave them plain, that's how my family prefers them.



1 and 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour (I would not sub whole wheat. The delicate texture that is so wonderful about these cookies would be lost, I think)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (Mr. Lee Bailey loves his butter)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins


Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix the beaten egg in thoroughly, then stir in the vanilla. Add the dry mixture. Mix in the oatmeal and then the raisins. Give it a final mixing. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Place walnut-size pieces of dough in the prepared sheet, allowing space for cookies to spread.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until set. (if you have extra dough that you want to keep in the refrigerator, bake for closer to 13 minutes.) Repeat for remaining dough until used up.

~Makes approximately 5 dozen.

Happy cookie time! If you want more cookie goodness, I also did a post about Lee Bailey's Vermont Spice Cookies and his Snickerdoodles. I love his cookbook SO MUCH! One of the best old-fashioned treat cookbooks ever.


  1. Yummo! They look absolutely delicious. Must try this recipe :)

    1. i hope you try them out Melissa, they are sooooo wonderful :)

  2. These look yummy! Have you ever tried the Smitten Kitchen oatmeal cookie recipe? I loooove that one! Apparently the key to chewy oatmeal cookies is refrigerating the dough beforehand. xoxo

    1. yep, this dough is refrigerated! I love Smitten's recipes, I'll have to take a peek at those as well!

    2. actually, most cookie doughs, including choc chip, benefit from a trip inside the refrigerator! does something to the gluten.

  3. I'll try these if you try my favorite oatmeal cookie found in a Hershey's cookbook many years ago. A school bake sale favorite! And rather easy to make : )

  4. Oatmeal cookies are my daddy's favorite cookie. The last time I made them, I loaded them with raisins, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and walnuts. They were very, very good. :o)

    1. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I'm totally doing that to my next batch. It's like the cookies won the lottery of toppings :)

  5. I didn't know about the trick to make them chewy so thanks for that! I was afraid of oatmeal cookies too until I found some very soft and chewy ones :D

    1. I really don't like them when they're dry and crunchy! Not a fan of dry and crunchy. :)

  6. Ooooooooooooooooo I want one with a cup of tea.

  7. my cookie weakness is a chewy salty sweet oatmeal cookie.

    1. fleur de sel!!!! why has that never occurred to me? totally trying that next time around.