I’ve made a couple cookie recipes on my blog before. I’ve got my good ol’ nutella chocolate chip cookies (which I’m currently in the process of re-shooting/updating), peppermint sugar cookies, 5 ingredient chocolate peanut butter cookies, and even my homemade gingerbread cookies (that recipe is soooo old!!)
There are so many different cookie recipes out there, and honestly? Trying to pick just one to make is one of the most challenging aspects to baking, in my opinion. But I was flipping through Sally McKinney’s latest cookbook (her cookie addiction one), and I was delighted to stumble upon a whole section dedicated purely to oatmeal cookies!! Just looking at all the beautiful pictures was enough to make my stomach rumble. I’d forgotten how much I used to love a basic chewy oatmeal cookie.
I have a little folder I keep filled with various recipes I’ve accumulated through the years. Some of them are printed off from the internet, and others just consist of a couple ingredients I’ve jotted down when trying to come up with my own. Flipping through the stack, I actually found an old oatmeal cookie recipe I’d recieved from a baking class I took in elementary school! I played around with it a bit, because it was pretty outdated; I added less raisins and more chocolate, increased the amount of brown sugar, and added cinnamon.
They’re big, fat, and chewy—everything you could ever want in any type of cookie. They’re loaded with tons raisins and chocolate chips, but you could easily substitute nuts or any other candy. Most importantly, they’re seriously sweet.
You really can’t go wrong with an oatmeal cookie.
When making oatmeal cookies, here’s something to keep in mind: oats are a thickening agent too, so you don’t need to add as much flour as you would in most other cookie recipes. You want to make sure you don’t accidentally pack in too much flour, and end up with an overly crumbly mixture. The cookies will just fall apart as you try to shape them, and make a big mess. Believe me, I know from experience.
Obviously these are just simple cookies, and having the exact measurements of flour isn’t as important as if you were making, for an example, a cake. I’m usually not precise by any means when it comes to baking, but just be careful when measuring out the dry ingredients. I’ve linked some good resources here and here if measuring flour the “proper” way is unfamiliar to you.
When it comes to texture and flavor, the right type of sugar is SO important in an oatmeal cookie! No one likes a crisp, flaky oatmeal cookie. An ideal oatmeal cookie is moist, slightly buttery, and most importantly, thick and chewy! With just plain white sugar, they will spread out thin and dense. However, you want to avoid using all brown sugar, because then you end up with an almost gummy texture. Overly chewy cookies actually require effort to eat, which is definitely not what we want! By using a mixture of the two, the brown sugar helps keep the cookie compact and super duper moist, while the white sugar helps them spread out just a little bit.
That being said, go ahead and adjust the amounts of sugar to your liking. It’s actually kind of fun playing around with amounts of certain ingredients, and that’s basically how you come up with a recipe that caters to what YOU like! I just think it’s best to get the best of what both sugars have to offer.
You’ll also notice that, instead of baking powder, these cookies call for baking soda. I know I keep repeating this, but oatmeal cookies aren’t known for their fluffiness or airiness. Baking powder is used mainly as a leavening agent, especially when you want some serious airiness. This is because the leavening occurs in two stages. The chunky ingredients (the oats, chocolate, and raisins) would just weigh down the air pockets anyway. When using baking soda, it’s very very important that you incorporate an acid of some sort. That’s why using brown sugar, like I mentioned above, is SUPER critical!! Molasses is the acid that reacts with baking soda, the base. Without the acid used to neutralize the base, you’d be left with a metallic taste. Yuck.
There isn’t much else I have to say about oatmeal cookies! They’re so easy and straightforward, and yield such sweet, satisfying results. If you make them, make sure to tag me on Instagram (@mysouthernsweettooth) so I can see your baked creations!
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 tbsp flax seed (optional)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, unsalted, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp molasses (optional, but adds a nice, rich flavor)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¾ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup raisins
- ½ cup chocolate chunks or chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter until smooth. Add the two sugars, and beat until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes) Then, beat in egg, molasses, and vanilla. Scrape down bowl, and mix one more time to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
- Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Then, using a spatula, fold in rolled oats, raisins, and chocolate chips.
- Scoop dough into about 1-inch round balls, arranging about 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft in the center. Allow to set and cool for at least 20 minutes. Enjoy!