Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My family's favorite recipe for chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. It makes life simple for bakers in families with raisin-lovers and raisin-haters. Have it both ways! Stir raisins (or my favorite currants or the chocolate-covered raisins called Raisinets) into half the cookie dough, leave the other half plain.

For all the debate, it might be a presidential election. For all the ferocity, it might be a battle between good and evil. You see, some folks are mighty single-minded about the role of raisins in oatmeal cookies.

One loud camp insists that an oatmeal cookie is only worth eating when packed with wrinkles of dried grape. Another maintains raisins are ruinous to an otherwise decent oatmeal. Then there’s the sassy set that looks to introduce – insert hand-wringing histrionics – chocolate chips into the equation.

Lucky for all, this cookie recipe rides a fence that crosses camps. Love raisins? This is your cookie. Abhor raisins? This is your cookie. Love raisins and chocolate? I recommend Raisinets, the chocolate-covered raisins found at movie-theater snack counters.

It’s a classic oatmeal raisin cookie, sweet but not too sweet, crisp on the edges but moist and chewy in the middle. Whatever your reception to raisins, it’s one great cookie.

ALANNA's TIPS It’s not ideal but in a time pinch, you may cut a cold stick of butter into chunks, then warm them in a microwave, ten seconds at a time, until just soft. For lighter baked goods, fluff the flour to aerate before measuring. Cinnamons are not created equal. This summer, I’ve become addicted to Penzey’s Extra Fancy Cassia Cinnamon. This recipe easily doubles and even triples. The dough freezes beautifully so consider mixing a double batch, one to bake now, one to bake later. But if you’re tempted by raw cookie dough, it’ll be hard to resist!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite cookie recipe to recipes@kitchen-parade.com. If you like this recipe, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a Kitchen Parade new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. How to print a recipe on Kitchen Parade. If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Makes about 30 cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 1/2 cup (111g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (105g) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon!) vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 135g
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups (115g) oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
  • 1 cup raisins, currants (my favorite) or Raisinets (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars well with an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and combine well. (Caution: What follows is an unorthodox but mixing shortcut.) Add flour, cinnamon, soda and salt to bowl without mixing into butter mixture. With a spoon, lightly combine them on top, still without incorporating. Finally, use the mixer to combine well. With a wooden spoon, stir in the oatmeal and, if you’re a raisin-lover, the raisins, currants or Raisinets.

Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, fill a baking sheet, leaving room for spreading, shaping dough a bit to make round. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes; watch the first tray carefully, the time seems to vary from batch to batch and depends much on whether baking on non-stock cookie sheets, silicone mats or on parchment. In general, bake for shorter time for chewy cookies, a longer time for crispy cookies. Let cool slightly, then transfer to paper towels or wire racks to finish cooling.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in an oatmeal raisin cookie? How many Weight Watchers points in an oatmeal raisin cookie?) Per Cookie, with/without raisins: 102/86 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 17/12g Carb; 1/0g Fiber; 66mg Sodium; 16mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points

More Oatmeal Cookie Recipes

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Seriously....cookies with Raisinets??! How fabulous! I'm pro-raisin, and pro-chocolate, and pro-oatmeal cookies. I just never thought to put them all together. Thanks!
I must try these out, Alanna. Without raisins, though. I am from that 'hate-raisins-in-my-cookie camp'. :)
Alanna, these sound terrific, and I have to admit...I'd never, ever thought of putting Raisinets in my oatmeal raisin cookies. That's brilliant! I'm of the many-raisin camp. In fact, the other day, I got a currant scone from the Co-op in town, and was thrilled to find that I'd hit the currant motherlode...the scone was barely held together by dough. I must have gotten the one that came from the bottom of the batch, after all the currants sunk down there!
Lydia ~ Yes, Raisets, the inspiration came when I was out of currants but at the movies: inspiration!

Vaiashali ~ Do try them, even without raisins they're really good, can't think how many years I've been making them and I I counted that far, I'd be providing way too many hints about my age!

Genie ~ I realized recently that I have a TON of recipes in Kitchen Parade that call for currants. But I haven't done my famous "Alpha Gam" currant scones yet. But I will ... some time, no doubt!
I love this recipe. I made a few changes, of course, but my kids and husband love it too. I like to cook healthy foods so I removed the white sugar altogether and added chocolate chips (I know not too healthy but semi-sweet). I then cut back on the butter. I added a bit of nutmeg. I added some walnuts and raisins (we like raisins). I added some ground flax seed and a bit of wheat germ. I make one batch without nuts to send with the kids to school then I make a second batch with nuts to eat at home. I like knowing the ingredients in what my family is eating. I will use this recipe as a base for cookies for many years to come. Thank you.
I have never had to many requests for cookies as I do for this recipe...my only thing is only seems to take 8 minutes for mine to cook?? I also use 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chocolate chunks..the expensive Cinnamon also makes a huge difference! Thanks!
Aiii, praise be, Anonymous. A cup of raisins and a cup of chocolate? No wonder you get requests! As for the timing, it was about the time this column was published when I lost one of my favorite cookie sheets (lost a cookie sheet? where does a cookie sheet go?) and began testing on different cookie sheets, none as good as the original but all -- all! -- creating different textures, different baking times, different bottoms, even apparently entirely different cookies. For cookies? What a pain. Anyway, that's my long explanation of the likely cause of the timing difference. Ever since, I've learned to watch the first tray carefully to get a feel for what's happening, timing-wise and would advise the same.

Thanks for taking the time to write. I'm so glad the cookie's a hit for you. You've got me wanting to set out some butter to make a batch in the morning. Hmm. I think I will.
I am wondering what I did wrong. I was making these cookies rather than my traditional ones for someone on weight watchers. They tasted great but they spread super thin and were difficult to get off the cookie sheet (I have not had this problem before) and essentially broke into pieces. The kids loved them crumbs and all but they were not presentable to give anyone. Would like to try again...please advise. Thanks!!
Hi Anonymous, I can only think of two things that might make a difference. Some times I'll have trouble with a cookie dough if I melt the butter, rather than leave it at room temperature. The other thing is the cookie sheets, they really do make a difference. What I can tell you is that this is a recipe from an Iowa farm wife who's been making them for 40-50 years, as have I, for 25 years.

Stuff happens. Just last night my ever-perfect cornbread turned out really funny and I have no idea why there, either. Who knows?

So it's hard to know, I wish I could be more specific.
I just needed a quick recipe at home so i found this one on the web, Doubled it, added white, Dark choc, peanut butter (a lil nuttela) and a coarsely chopped oatmeal granola instead of oatmeal, lookin pretty good....Had to bump up the flour a touch from the PB and Nuttela though!
I've made these about five times now, and they have been great. My only "complaint" is that they are so good, they usually disappear in a day or two :)

As for the reader who commented that they crumble for her, I find that as well, but only if I try to take the off the cookie sheet immediately after they come out of the oven. If you let them cool on the tray for about 10 minutes first, they become stable enough for me to place on a paper-towel-lined plate for the rest of the cooling time.
These were fabulous! I changed up the recipe a little bit, adding dried cranberries in place of the raisins, added a shaved chocolate baking square, used salted butter (it's all i had) and replaced a 1/2 cup of the AP flour with Whole Wheat. My kids gobbled them up quickly and they made a wonderful substitution for Oreos...since I'm trying to get on a healthier track, and save money while doing it. Thanks!
I just made these cookies (in a bout of late-night baking). They were very tasty, and my sister (who was still awake due to a bout of late-night homework) agrees. I used a combination of currants, raisins, craisins, chocolate chips and chopped almonds in place of the raisins. I'd love to try them with Glossettes (canadian Raisinets).

My only issue with them is that they were a little sweeter than I'd like. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since it's stopped me from eating them all right away. ^_^ I think I'd use a bit less sugar next time though.
I put nuts, pea-nut butter and Chocolate chip o and raisins! and OMG!! They are Delic!Thanks for the recipe!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna