These oatmeal raisin cookies are just the way Grandma made them, except with butter instead of shortening! They're made with old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, and plenty of raisins.
My favorite cookies in the whole wide world are these oatmeal raisin cookies. They’re a little chewy in the center and a little crispy at the edges. Each bite is loaded with oats and sweet bursts of raisins.
My grandmother used to bake oatmeal raisin cookies with me from the time I was old enough to stand on a chair and hold a spoon. Making these cookies taught me how to measure, how scrape down the sides of a mixing bowl, and the purest pleasure of all—licking the bowl.
Whoever helped with the cooking got first dibs on the bowl, so guess who was the first to volunteer to help?
What kind of oats to use?
Old-fashioned rolled oats or quick rolled oats are the best to use for oatmeal cookies. We’ve always used Quaker brand, so if you use a different brand, you may find you need to adjust the recipe. Do not use steel-cut oats (they’ll be too hard) or instant oats (they’ll cook up too mushy).
Butter vs. Shortening?
My grandmother used shortening, not butter, when making her cookies (see her original oatmeal cookie recipe). These days I almost always use butter. Either will do; the shortening cookies I think tend to be a bit chewier.
Storing or Freezing these Cookies
Once cooked, keep the cookies stored in a covered container on the counter. They’ll stay fresh for several days.
You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days (cover tightly with plastic wrap), before scooping and baking. Or, you can scoop out individual cookies onto a baking sheet, freeze them until firm, then transfer them to a storage container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Frozen balls of cookie dough can be baked from frozen (no need to thaw), but might need a few extra minutes of baking time.
More Oatmeal Cookies to Love
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
- Oatmeal Lace Cookies
- Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies
- Oatmeal Almond Butter Breakfast Cookies
Updated November 27, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe. Follow me on Pinterest Save It Print
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 12 minutes
- Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
My grandmother used shortening, not butter, when making these cookies. These days I almost always use butter. Either will do; the shortening cookies I think tend to be a bit chewier.
By the way, if you make the cookies extra large, they will be chewier, just cook them longer (20 min instead of 10).
Do not overbake these cookies! The edges should be brown, but the rest of the cookie should be very light in color.
If you use salted butter, omit the salt called for in this recipe.
- 1 cup (1/2 pound or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, OR 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 3 cups rolled oats (We use Quaker Old Fashioned or Quick. Do NOT use instant.)
1 Preheat and prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two large cookie sheets or line with Silpat or parchment paper.
2 Combine the butter, sugar and eggs: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
3 Add the dry ingredients: Mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Stir in the oats.
4 Scoop out the dough onto sheets: Spoon out the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
5 Bake the cookies: Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Note that the cookies will seem underdone and lightly colored everywhere but the edges. That's okay, they will firm up as they cool.
6 Cool, transfer, and store: Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack. Cool completely. They will be quite soft until completely cooled. Store tightly covered.
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Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.
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