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!

86 comments on “Oatmeal Raisin Cookies”

  1. 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! :-)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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! :-)

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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 :)

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

  10. 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. :)

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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

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

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

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  23. 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.

    • 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!) :)

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  25. 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!

    • 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!

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