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.
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
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!
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!