No cookie seems more homespun, more down-to-earth, and less pretentious to me than an oatmeal raisin cookie. Quasi-healthy (at least compared to most cookies), generally lacking frostings and melty chocolate pieces, it keeps well in cookie jars and lunch boxes and paper bags on farmers’ pick-up truck seats. It’s seldom included in food bloggers’ photos, on the cover of cookbooks, or bakery advertisements. Even rolled in a perfect ball prior to baking, it’s unlikely to win any cookie beauty contests out of the oven. Yet these descendants of early European oat cakes remain loved centuries (we’re talking B.C. here) after they were first made, which was long before Fannie Farmer made up a”health food” cookie recipe for her 1896 cookbook and got American housewives, not to mention the Quaker Oats Company™, on the oatmeal raisin cookie bandwagon.
Most people I know fall in to one of two camps: you loooove oatmeal raisin cookies, or you don’t. There are only a few of us who can take ’em or leave ’em. I’ll readily admit that if chocolate chip cookies (or any chocolate cookies) are available I’ll completely ignore the oatmeal raisin. Then I make oatmeal raisin cookies for my family-all of whom love them-and I taste one. They taste so good! Why don’t I eat these all the time? Because they aren’t seductively melty and gooey like chocolate chip cookies? Because they aren’t pretty like sugar cookies? Look at all the cookies I could have eaten! #Regrets.
I love this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe because it’s nothing like those dried out, feels-like-a-mouthful-of-dust-but-with-raisins-added cookies you might have eaten somewhere before. My cookies are adapted from this recipe by Sun-Maid Raisins™, with some tweaks. The cookies are bumpy and craggy and loaded with raisins, plus a little extra spice. I make no attempt to try to make these look fancy or perfectly round. I just use my cookie scoop to scoop ’em up (a little under a tablespoon each), because these are the average folk-not the fashion models-of cookies. As with most drop cookies, overbaking is best avoided so you don’t end up with biscotti instead of cookies. By the way, I like quick cooking oats because they’re a little softer than old fashioned oats, but if you prefer a heartier, more textured oatmeal cookie, then feel free to use old fashioned oats.
They’re not beauties, but oatmeal raisin cookies are one of the most popular homemade cookies in America. Good taste is so much more important than good looks, don’t you think? And these oatmeal raisin cookies are definitely full of good taste.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 c. flour
- 1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. butter, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 c. oats
- 1 ¼ c. raisins
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Step 2 In a small bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
- Step 3 In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Step 4 With a spoon, stir in flour mixture, then oats and raisins.
- Step 5 Drop by scant (a little less than) tablespoons onto baking sheets.
- Step 6 Bake 10-11 minutes. Edges should be dry and firm, while middles may appear slightly underdone.
- Step 7 Let sit on baking sheets at least 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
- Step 8 Store in covered container at room temperature.
Adapted somewhat from Sun-Maid Raisins