Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Rasin Cookies

Mmm. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

They might be my favorite  cookie of all time. They’re also something of a challenge for me to make.

When I was in college, long before I cooked with any skill or seriousness, I decided to bake cookies for David for his birthday. In some ways, I blame the equipment. My kitchen today is full of quality equipment that were unattainable luxuries to my college self: my KitchenAid mixer, my Calphalon baking sheets, my Wilton cooling racks, parchment paper, a working, full-sized oven. But I was in love, and I was determined.

So one Friday night, after waiting tables at the Olive Garden for about 6 hours, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning baking oatmeal raisin cookies for David.

I’d been planning this for weeks. I was broke, and couldn’t afford a proper gift for his birthday, but I’d bought a Simpson’s Cookie Jar, and all the packing materials. I had plans to drop the cookies at the mail center on my way to work the next day. I just had to bake the cookies.

I followed the recipe on the Quaker Oats package. It seemed like a good plan at the time. The results tasted okay, technically, but the texture was all wrong. They were thin, and crunchy. Completely flat, not anything like the soft, chewy cookies that my grandmother makes. I wanted to cry.

In hindsight, I can tell you that the ingredients were too warm (the only thing that gets cold in a dorm-sized fridge is cheap beer), the leavening probably didn’t work, and the oven was probably too hot. Oh, and I mixed them by hand, which didn’t get any air into the dough at all. Knowing what I know now, those cookies were destined to be a failure.

Since then, I’ve searched for the perfect chewy oatmeal cookie recipe, and this one from Smitten Kitchen is very, very close. They’re crisp at the edges, but chewy at the middle. The recipe calls for chilling the dough, but I was impatient and skipped that step, so they weren’t quite as thick as they could have been. Still, they came out nearly perfectly. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

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Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slightly less thick.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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4 Responses to “Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Rasin Cookies”

  1. Test Subject #2

    Did I miss these? I guess I was aware you were baking one day, but I don’t actually remember eating any of them. Either David got to all of them first or I have a really bad memory. hmm…

  2. Mom

    I am betting on David

  3. Teri

    @Mom

    You bet right.

  4. Auntie

    FINALLY the perfect oatmeal cookie.

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