Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love oatmeal raisin cookies.  They remind me of my childhood and my grandma.

She made the best oatmeal raisin cookies.

And not just the best oatmeal raisin cookies, but she made the best cookies, period.

I have no idea what recipe she used for her oatmeal raisin cookies.  There probably was no recipe.  She was legally blind and wrote nothing down.

Writing things down would have been futile anyway because the next time she would have gone to look at it, she likely couldn’t have read it.

She cooked by feel.

She’d feel the dough, and then make tweaks.

In one sense, no two batches of anything were ever exactly same, yet they were always familiar, similar, and nearly the same.

Pretty impressive for a woman who stored all recipes in her gray matter and rarely used measuring cups.

Her preferred method of storage was Folger’s Coffee cans.  Both for cookies and everything else.  From precious gold, jewelry, or cash.  Just put it in a coffee can in the freezer and it’ll keep.  For a week, a month, or a decade. That’s what she did and you know what, it worked.

After she died we found cookies and jewels in coffee cans in the deep freeze.

So in honor of my grandma, I decided to try my hand at oatmeal raisin cookies.  Plus it made for a good rainy day activity.

I read umpteen oatmeal raisin cookie recipes and in the end, followed none of them.

I tweaked, I adapted, and I cooked by feel.  I tried to do my Grandma proud.

The resulting cookies are soft and chewy.

And are spiked with plenty of brown sugar, cinnamon, with vanilla undertones.

I used Trader Joe’s “raisin medley” so there are three types of raisins in the cookies but use any kind you like.

If you don’t like raisins (I know there are lots of people who don’t like raisins) skip the raisins and just make oatmeal cookies.  Or use all chocolate chips instead.  Or add chocolate chips in addition to the raisins.

My grandma only made oatmeal raisin cookies (she didn’t add chocolate chips to them) so that’s what I did.

Had I refrigerated and chilled the dough prior to baking these, they would have been thicker and plumper.

But I was in a hurry.

Life, and Skylar, were calling me.  There was no time to refrigerate dough and wait to bake them.

My grandma would have waited though.

She would have used the spare time to embroider dish towels or iron line-dried pillowcases and bed sheets.  Yes, she ironed sheets.  Truly old school.



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (as inspired by My Grandma, Cooks Illustrated, & Quaker Oats)

1/2 c butter

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c white sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste, use less if you prefer)

1 c all-purpose flour

1.5 c old fashioned whole oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 to 3/4 c raisins

Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 c chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, toffee bits, nuts, seeds, etc.


In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.

Add the brown & white sugar to the melted butter and stir.  Set this is the freezer for a couple minutes.

Remove from the freezer (or just wait for the mixture to come to room temp on it’s own) and add the egg (you don’t want to add eggs to that hot mixture as we don’t want scrambled eggs) and stir.

Then add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, flour, oats, baking soda and stir.

Finally, add the raisins and any other optional add-ins and stir.

If you have time, refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes or so.  Not necessary, but cold dough will prevent the cookies from spreading as much and will result in a thicker cookie; also using a Silpat will prevent spreading as compared to using parchment paper or an unlined cookie sheet.

Roll or spoon out golf ball sized balls onto a cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  These cookies do spread a fair amount.

Bake at 325F for approximately 10-12 minutes.  (I like very underdone and soft cookies so I baked for 10 minutes)  The cookies will look pretty raw even at 12 minutes and that’s ok.  Take them out and let the sit and cool well before removing from the cookie sheets or eating.



When I’m eating one of these, I feel like I’m 8 years old and at my grandma’s house.

Store the extras in a Folgers Coffee can in the basement in the deep freeze.

Or in the regular freezer like I do with all my goodies.

And really, I don’t think you’ll have too many problems with leftovers so the countertop is fine, too.

Be sure to always have desserts in coffee cans in the freezer in case unexpected guests drop by.

Or someone has a baby and you need to bring them cookies.

Or someone dies and you need to bring cookies to the funeral luncheon you’re working in the church basement.

Better hoard those coffee cans

So you can fill them up with cookies!

Related posts:

A tribute post to my Grandma: Someone I Miss

Special K Bars are one of the few recipes of my Grandma’s that were written down

And Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites (Raw/No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Excuse the vintage photography but the recipe is 5 minute wonder & incredibly easy


1. Do you like oatmeal raisin cookies? 

I love them and as I said in the post, when they’re made properly, I think they trump almost all other cookies.  They chewy factor combined with brown sugar and cinnamon flavors seals the deal.

But they have to be soft and chewy.  Dry or overbaked oatmeal cookies are like eating cardboard which is why I never buy them from coffee shops or when out.  Most people err on the cardboard side of baking I’ve unfortunately found.

2. Do you have any baking or cooking stories to share from your childhood with your parents or grandparents?

I talked about my Grandma in this post.  Such a wonderful woman and I miss her so much!

My parents are both amazing cooks and some of my fondest childhood memories are of baking cookies with my mom (or grandma) and watching my parents cook.  I proceeded to do that for many years; just watch.

I wasn’t bitten by the cooking bug until my middle 20s.  It seemed intimidating but now I have realized it’s fun and the worst that can happen is something doesn’t turn out.  So you try again another time.  No biggie.

Skylar and I love making and baking together now, too.

Have a great week and enjoy the Columbus Day Holiday and Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians!


82 Responses to “Oatmeal Raisin Cookies”

  1. Katie @ Raisins&Apples — October 9, 2011 at 11:36 am (#

    I’m eating raisins right now…I’d rather be eating a cookie!

  2. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan — October 9, 2011 at 11:46 am (#

    Usually oatmeal raisin cookies aren’t my favorite but yours look great! I especially love that there are GOLDEN raisins in there. :)

  3. lindsay — October 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm (#

    me too! my absolute favorite. the spices and smell remind me of my childhood. Sweet aroma that filled the house.
    i love the coffee can freezer idea. GENIUS!

  4. Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness — October 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm (#

    Quakers Oatmeal Cookie Recipe is always my starting point when I make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, but I always make tweaks to make them my own!

    My paternal Grandma, bless her heart, could NOT cook. She had 10 kids to chase around though, so I don’t blame her for letting that talent fall to the wayside!

    My maternal grandmother, however, is French, and every Christmas she, my sister and I all make a Buche De Noel together, with marzipan “mushrooms”. It’s a tradition that I practically live for!

  5. katie @ KatieDid — October 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm (#

    Amazing pictures, you must have put so much time and effort into this entire post, I love it! My parents aren’t particularly great cooks, they just had to feed 4 very hungry mouths on a budget and in a timely manner so we ate tons of casseroles and ‘cheap’ meals. But the fact that they were able to do so, makes them great cooks in another sense I think.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — October 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm (#

      Thanks for noticing…yes, I spent more than 5 minutes on the post :)

      And parents feeding casseroles with a lot of mouths to feed and to do it fast and on a budget, I know exactly what you mean.

  6. Brittany — October 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm (#

    I absolutely love oatmeal raisin cookies! I think because I love oatmeal and raisins so much, putting them together in a cookie is heaven :)

  7. Heather (Where's the Beach) — October 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm (#

    I love oatmeal raisin cookies. My dad actually makes a fantastic oatmeal raisin cookie using bananas.

  8. Mai — October 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm (#

    Great pictures! Oatmeal raisin is my favorite type of cookie!

  9. Ellen — October 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm (#

    I love oatmeal cookies-though I must confess I’d be sorely tempted to eat the dough, straight up-why even wait for them to bake?;)

  10. cathy — October 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm (#

    just back from thanksgiving with the family – our traditional dinner: pizza and wings! the best – no one slaving in the kitchen!
    thanks for sharing more about your grandma, averie! it’s so true that no one makes a certain recipe like a grandma – just yesterday, i blogged about my grandma’s lemon squares. even though we have her recipe, they just don’t turn out like when she made them.
    “After she died we found cookies and jewels in coffee cans in the deep freeze.” – > my great-grandma – after she died, we found money tucked into the couch cushions, hidden behind the drapes in the living room – can’t fault her as i actually tuck cash away in hiding spots, too!
    i would swap in choco chips…glad you had fun reminiscing about your grandma and baking up a storm today.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — October 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm (#

      my grandma had major valuables stashed…everywhere! we had to go thru her house with such a fine tooth comb. Every drawer, pocket, cupboard…there was possibly a diamond ring lurking in the pocket of anything…it was quite the estate cleanout to say the least. Bless her heart :)

  11. Felicia (Natural + Balanced) — October 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm (#

    beautiful photography!

  12. Krystina (Organically Me) — October 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm (#

    Gorgeous photos!

    Isn’t there something lovely about grandmothers? They have so much idle time to spend time baking and doing sweet little things in their leisure time.

  13. Ela — October 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm (#

    I _love_ hearing you talk about your grandma. She sounds like such a methodical, loving person. Was she always legally blind or only in her old age? That concept of baking by feel is something we could all learn from. And if you leave chocolate chips out of something, that’s a huge accolade to the original offering!

    I haven’t really had oatmeal cookies, but I’m just discovering that I’m ok with gf oats, so I may have to try some soon! Phil and his daughter and lots of our other friends and fam hate raisins, but I _love_ them!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — October 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm (#

      she had a degenerative eye condition called macular degeneration so in her later years, her eyesight just got worse and worse.

      And you would love these…make them with GF oats!

  14. bakerbynature — October 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm (#

    Your photos are stunning in this post! I have been on a cookie kick all week, and I love a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie with an ice cold glass of milk. And what beautiful memories you have of your Grandmother, I love recipes tied to memories.

  15. Katie — October 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm (#

    Oatmeal raisin are hands down my favorite cookie. And yet, I never make them. I think because I never buy raisins. My dad and I both love them the best, and my mom never makes them either. Maybe we like them because they are less common? These look PERFECT. Chewy, moist (I don’t care, I’m using the word), and thin. I like mine thin and not thick and cakey. Seriously these look like your best cookies to date. Simple is best. Always.

    My grandma cookie memory is her 7 layer bars. you had to wait for the middle ones becuase she always overcoooked them, so the edge pieces were too hard, but she wouldn’t let people pick their pieces. Grouchy old lady. :D

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — October 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm (#

      I read on someone else’s blog post a comment by you (cant remember where I read it) that you dont like raisins…i was like, huh?!

      And yes, I used the word moist in the post, too. There is no other word so I am over all hangups :)

      Best cookie to date; these or the flourless PB cookies are tied I think.

  16. Bria @ West of Persia — October 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm (#

    What a lovely tribute to your grandma. These cookies look delicious and I will def give your recipe a whirl sometime.

  17. Katie M. — October 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm (#

    We are from Wisconsin and my grandmother was a farmer’s wife. My fondest memories of her were generally in the summer and fall months. Heaping plates of sliced tomatoes, eating fresh peas from the garden, digging up potatoes, picking apples and pears. During hunting season lots of people would come out and she would make huge meals to feed them all. She always made sure that everyone was fed good, healthy, fresh, amazing food. Nobody walked away from her table hungry.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — October 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm (#

      I grew up the same as you, from MN and my dad is the child of farmers and my grandma who I talk about in this post was the youngest of *13 children* and was raised on a farm in the middle of no where Wisc. Canning, getting by, hunting and using everything, making things last, making it work…yep, that’s how they grew up and tried to teach that to me.

  18. Karen @ She Flies With Her Own Wings — October 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm (#

    Beautiful pictures of the cookies! They look so chewy & hearty. I love when recipes are reminiscent of cooking with family and other comforting memories… so nice! Now that it’s fall, I’m starting to think of all the holiday recipes and foods… What a great time of year!

  19. Ellen — October 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm (#

    Oh, thanks for the link! I’ll have to try that instead next time I want the straight-up dough experience:)

  20. Jessica Ann — October 10, 2011 at 12:17 am (#

    I cannot BELIEVE how awesome your food photography is! It’s like every time I check in here it is more and more beautiful!

  21. Shannon — October 10, 2011 at 12:55 am (#

    Oatmeal raisin cookies are so good! Thanks for the recipe :)

  22. Hannah — October 10, 2011 at 3:06 am (#

    Beautiful, Averie. My 97 year old grandma is legally blind too, and while she didn’t make me oatmeal raisin cookie, she made the best cupcakes and pikelets of my childhood. xo

  23. Michaela — October 10, 2011 at 4:33 am (#

    oh Averie, that is such a sweet post! I love hearing stories about other people´s families.
    I have really fond memories of cooking or baking experiences (especially with my mum), too and I think I enjoy being in the kitchen so much, bc I spent half of my childhood there :) I believe I was 4 years old, when I know how to make a roux ;)
    I love oatmeal cookies, but sans the raisins.
    And the setting of those pictures looks so beautiful, I adore the light colours.

  24. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — October 10, 2011 at 7:05 am (#

    It’s so amazing that a simple food like cookies can bring back so many memories! My Grandma (who I get to see today!!) makes the best butter tarts in all the land. I haven’t had them since I’ve gone gluten-free – she doesn’t understand the concept of flour being bad for people. But I’ve asked her to bring her recipe with her today so I can try to make it healthier. Can’t wait!

  25. Tonya — October 10, 2011 at 7:07 am (#

    What a lovely post. I lost my grandmother June of this year and now wish I had paid closer attention when I was in the kitchen with her. She was also legally blind but the best cook around. No measuring, no recipes, no timers just fabulous food.

  26. Erika - The Teenage Taste — October 10, 2011 at 8:10 am (#

    I am so intrigued by people that can cook and bake by feel and taste rather than by measuring and recipes. Loved reading the story about your grandmother, Averie! These cookies look fabulous! :-)

  27. Tracy Ernst — October 10, 2011 at 8:24 am (#

    Averie, wow this post made me cry as I read about your Grandma. Some of the things you wrote about reminded me of mine and I do miss her too. Thanks for your amazing, thought-provoking and sensitive posts. You are a remarkable woman, mother, teacher and friend.

  28. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — October 10, 2011 at 8:26 am (#

    Your photos are absolute stunning! :) Oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my favorites and yours look amazing. I love how you used Trader Joe’s raisin medley for the cookies.

  29. galit — October 10, 2011 at 9:59 am (#

    Those sound amazing, and I love the link to your Grandmother!
    Just wanted to add a quick thank you as I’ve been quietly subscribed to your blog for a few months now, and really enjoy your positivity and optimistic nature (apart from your taste in desserts – which is brilliant)

    Happy Monday! :-)

  30. Alisa Fleming — October 10, 2011 at 10:08 am (#

    My father LOVES oatmeal raisin cookies, so I grew up baking them for him on special occasions.

    I can’t believe I’ve never thought to use different types of raisins all in one. That’s brilliant Averie!

  31. Amber K — October 10, 2011 at 10:31 am (#

    I was never a huge fan of oatmeal cookies because they were always oatmeal raisin cookies. Raisins are better than nuts in baked goods, but I still don’t want them in there. They are much better on the side.

    My paternal grandmother was a great cook and baker, although I wish I had been able to really spend time with her in the kitchen. I was completely uninterested in that when she was around (I mean, who wants to spend hours baking instead of getting to ride around on ATV’s? not this girl). I miss her terribly!

  32. Sheila — October 10, 2011 at 11:30 am (#

    I have fond memories of my grandma cooking in the kitchen. I love oatmeal raisin cookies thanks for sharing the recipe.

  33. Sally — October 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm (#

    Those cookies look positively buttery and wonderful! It must have been such a *tough job* to get all those perfect bites in the cookies for the photos :)

  34. betty — October 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm (#

    they look delicious and I just love recipes that can take you back in time :)

  35. Mya — October 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm (#

    Hi Averie! I have to agree with everyone else: your photos and memories of your grandmother are just fabulous & so sweet! It reminded me that I should really put more effort into spending more time with my grandmothers. I tend to forget how lucky I am to still have them around!
    A tip I learned from my Grammy about cookies I thought might interest you is that if you don’t have time to refrigerate the dough for puffier cookies, just turn up the oven by 10 degrees (F). You’ll have to watch them since they will bake up a little faster, but usually it only takes a couple minutes less. :)

  36. rawkinmom — October 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm (#

    awwww….. love this story about your grandma…how sweet!!! What special memories!!

  37. Christine (The Raw Project) — October 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm (#

    Very interesting on your grandma, wow! My freezer is not big enough for all those coffee cans. :-) These cookies look wonderful, awesome job with the photograohy!

    1. Yes and raisins are pretty awesome by them selves.
    2. Not really, my family was never big into baking. We made some cookies, rice krispie trears, and other goodies here and there.

  38. kelli — October 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm (#

    cute post! those look delicious. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  39. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — October 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm (#

    I really like oatmeal raisin cookies, but didn’t have them a lot growing up. I started eating them more often when I met the hubby (when I was about 15) and have loved them ever since.

  40. Ida — December 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm (#

    Hi. I made these were good, I just found them a bit too sweet. What can I do?

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — December 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm (#

      Reduce the sugar and if you’re reducing it by a significant amount, i.e. more than 1/4 or 1/3 c, you may have to play around with the other dry ingredients because you will change the dough consistency, but overall, some reduction shouldn’t cause issues. But I can’t guarantee results…just making suggestions.

    • Ida — December 31, 2011 at 7:02 am (#

      Okay, thank you!

  41. Lucy — January 30, 2012 at 9:27 am (#

    Made these last night. Wow. Hands down the best oatmeal cookies I’ve ever had. Thanks!!

  42. Catrina — August 7, 2012 at 12:22 am (#

    Hi Averie, I Love the way you took your time with this, oatmeal cookies are very special to me and yours was very appealing.When I read your story about your grandmother, I nearly could’nt stop crying. Grandmother’s are so very special and I am so sorry for your loss. I have a 85 yr old gm and a 76 yr old grandmother,and I am so thankful to still have them. You just took me back down memory lane. My 85 grandmother is the only one living out of 21 children, and my 76 yr old grandmother, she’s my heart. Everything she cooks turns to gold. Thanks for the reminder down memory lane.Your grandmother is smiling down on you and she’s so proud.. Keep cooking. (I’ll let you know how the cookies turn out and I love your childrens names) Take care.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 7, 2012 at 6:05 am (#

      Thanks for this really heartfelt comment and I never know when I write things if it will touch anyone but it did and everything I wanted to express about my grandma resonated with you and I’m glad (but sorry I made you cry!). As for your grandma being one of 21 children and the only one living – my grandma was the last of 13 children. Cannot imagine what that would feel like to be the soul survivor or last survivor of so many (or the mama who bore all those babies!) :)

  43. Miriam Bahrami — January 20, 2013 at 8:26 am (#

    I can’t WAIT to make these cookies! I have a couple questions, though; about how many cookies does this recipe make and how long should I let them sit after baking before I remove them…? I just don’t want them to end up rubbery :) Thanks!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 20, 2013 at 11:09 am (#

      Depending on how big or small you make them, about 18 to 24 cookies. And just let them sit until they’re cool to the touch, a few minutes, up to maybe 10 minutes. They won’t be rubbery. They’re not that kind of cookie…but they are VERY soft and chewy. Enjoy!

  44. Liz — October 31, 2013 at 5:15 am (#

    All wonderful recipes. Thanks so much.

  45. Megan Gundrum — December 23, 2013 at 11:35 am (#

    These look so delicious..can’t wait to make them! Do you measure the butter before or after melting? Thanks :)

  46. Sandy — January 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm (#

    Thank you for the recipe, I was craving oatmeal cookies but wanted a recipe that was quick and didn’t require me to use the mixer. I had the dough made and ready to go before the oven was even finished preheating. The texture and flavor is great. A bit too sweet for my taste and I’ll probably use less vanilla next time, but these are minor things. Thank you!

    • Averie Sunshine — January 28, 2014 at 2:28 am (#

      Thanks for trying them and yes, scale things back, to taste. That’s awesome you had the dough ready before the oven was even pre-heated. Love that!

  47. Felicia Tan — June 18, 2015 at 3:57 am (#

    I just made these with a few tweaks – used macadamia nut oil instead of butter, cut down half cup of sugar and used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. They were thicker than your cookies, I wonder if it’s due to less sugar but my family lapped them up anyway! Great recipe, a cinch to put together and lovely chewy texture.

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