How to Make Oatmeal Cookies from Scratch

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What's better than a perfectly chewy cookie full of delicious mix-ins? Nothing's better than that in my book. Here's how to make the best oatmeal cookies.

To me, there a few cookies that I like to classify as after-school cookies. They’re the kind of cookies that you can make any time—think chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles or gingersnaps. These treats are always welcome but always seemed to taste best when I found them on a table when I came home from school (especially because my mom is a phenomenal baker).

I’d also add oatmeal cookies to that list of perfect after-school cookies. They’re chewy, a little crispy at the edge and full of chocolate, nuts and raisins. It hits the spot after a long day—even now after a full day of writing and editing here at Taste of Home.

And just like these other everyday cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies are super simple to make. Here’s how to do it yourself (you know, for when Mom’s kitchen is closed).

How to Make Oatmeal Cookies at Home

Oatmeal Cookies 5Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

This chewy oatmeal cookie recipe comes to Taste of Home from reader Janis Plageman of Lynden, Washington. It’s highly rated, and you can count on a five-star rating from me. Here’s what you need to make them:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Go to Recipe

Essential Tools

  • Cookie scoop: This KitchenAid cookie scoop is one of my best baking purchases. It portions out just the right size cookies and the silicone grips keep my hands from hurting (important with this recipe that makes almost five dozen cookies!).
  • Cookie sheets: This recipe makes a lot of cookies. Make sure you have a few sheet pans ready!
  • Mixer: Whether you prefer a hand mixer or stand mixer, you’re going to want a little power behind this recipe (hand mixing is not recommended with all this cookie dough).

Directions

Step 1: Cream Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookies 1Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Like with most drop cookies, you’re going to start by creaming together the softened butter and sugars. Once well combined, add in the two eggs, molasses and vanilla and beat, beat, beat. This should take about five minutes. You really want it light and fluffy!

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookies 2Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Just a quick stir to combine these ingredients will ensure they are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.

Editor’s note: Any type of cinnamon can be used in this recipe. If you’re a big fan of spicy cinnamon, look for Indonesian or Korintje cinnamon—it packs the most punch. If you prefer a more mild flavor, stick with Ceylon cinnamon.

Step 3: Combine

Oatmeal Cookies 3Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Next, add the dry ingredients to your creamed mixture in a few batches. Beat until just combined—and don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through. This is a pretty big batch of cookie dough, so have patience. It will take a bit of time to get all the oats, flour, butter and more fully incorporated.

This being said, be careful not to overmix at this stage. Too much mixing here can lead to tough cookies (and not the good kind).

Step 4: Add the Mix-Ins

Finally, it’s time to add in all the tasty mix-ins; this recipe has a whopping three cups! Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the chocolate chips, raisins and chopped pecans in by hand.

Editor’s note: I like to toast the nuts before adding them to the cookie dough. This helps develop the flavor of the pecans. And if you don’t have pecans on hand, walnuts, almonds (OK, any type of nut) work well as a substitute.

Step 5: Bake

Oatmeal Cookies 4Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Use a cookie scoop to portion out cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Be sure to leave about two inches between each cookie since they do spread a good bit in the oven.

Bake at 350º F for eight to ten minutes—until the edges start to turn golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. After they’ve cooled, you’ll find these cookies are crisp around the edges and perfectly chewy in the middle. And rest assured, every bit will be positively full of pecans, raisins, chocolate or all three.

How to Keep Oatmeal Cookies Fresh

Oatmeal Cookies 7Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

When the cookies are totally cool (and after you’ve sampled a few) store them in an airtight container or cookie jar. They should keep no problem for a week. If you find the cookies are getting a bit too crisp for your liking, using this trick I learned from my mom: pop a slice of white bread into your cookie container. This will make hard cookies soft again.

How to Customize Oatmeal Cookies

I get it, oatmeal cookies with raisins aren’t for everyone. Luckily, though, this oatmeal cookie recipe is pretty darn versatile. As long as you keep the mix-in volume at three cups or less, you should be good to go. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Chocolate-cherry: Everyone knows that chocolate and cherry is a dessert match made in heaven. Use dried cherries in place of the raisins and try toasted walnuts in lieu of pecans.
  • Coconut-almond: We all know that chocolate, coconut and almond are a great trio. So keep the chocolate chips in this recipe and substitute in toasted almonds and shredded, toasted coconut.
  • Cranberry-pistachio: This is a classic flavor combination. Skip the raisins and pecans in this recipe and include dried cranberries and chopped pistachios in their place.
  • Monster-style: You know monster cookies—the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. You can twist this classic oatmeal cookie recipe into a monster cookie by adding M&M’s, peanuts, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. Just don’t go over three total cups of all those add-ins.
  • Snickerdoodle-style: For some, the sprinkling of cinnamon in these cookies isn’t quite enough. To make them snickerdoodle-style (one of my favorite twists on this recipe), toss the warm cookies in cinnamon sugar.
  • Triple-chocolate: Love chocolate? Use a cup each of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe instead of the called for additions.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.