Monday, October 31, 2011

Mom's Oatmeal Cookies

     I love fall. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, soup is in the pot in my kitchen, and I feel like baking! Well, truth be told, I almost always feel like baking.  But at least when the temperatures are dropping, I don't feel guilty about heating up my house...

This weekend, I had a couple of gatherings to go to... pre-Halloween type things.  I had great plans for a costume for the one on Saturday, but couldn't get my act together in time to actually make it.  I did get my act together to make cookies and spicy cheese spread, though! I'll let you know about the cheese spread in my next post.  This one is about the cookies.

In general, I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies.  Don't know why.  Maybe because they are frequently too hard or too nutmeg-y or too cement-y or the raisins are dried and gross.  So usually, I'm not even going to bother with making them.  But recently I had a hankering for my Mom's oatmeal cookies.  Now these cookies are what all oatmeal cookies should strive to be.  These are soft and chewy, there's no nutmeg in them, and even if you use old, really dry raisins, they come out soft.  And the recipe makes A TON.  Seriously.  It came from the "large batch cooking" section of the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery that Mom has had on her shelf ever since I can remember.  The book says the recipe yields 5 dozen, but they must be making giant cookies to get that few.  I halved the recipe last weekend and got 4.5 dozen!

So here's the recipe:

                                                     Refrigerator Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar                                                4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar                     2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups margarine, melted                                          2 tsp.ground cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten                                                                 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups quick-cooking oats                                               1 cup chopped nuts
                                                                                         2 cups seedless raisins

If you're going to only chill for a few minutes, preheat your oven to 350*F now.
Mix sugars and margarine. I used butter because I like it better. Mom sometimes uses a mixture of butter and shortening. 
Creamed butter and sugar

Add eggs and oats. I like to make sure my eggs have been incorporated before I add the oats.


Mix in the oats!
 Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Dry ingredients
Stir in flour mixture.

 Add nuts and raisins and mix well.
All in, and chill!
 Pack into 2 loaf pans (9 x 5 x 3 in.) lined with wax paper.  Chill thoroughly.   When ready to bake, turn out of pans and remove wax paper.  Slice 1/4 in, thick; put on ungreased cookie sheets. Or, leave the dough in the bowl you mixed it in. Cover, and chill for 15 minutes or so. Scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the dough and plop them on ungreased baking sheets.  

Scoop up spoonfuls
 Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.  Makes 5-10 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the slice or spoonful.
Plop the spoonfuls on the cookie sheet. You can probably fit 12-15 on a sheet.
Now, I don't use nuts because I'm not a fan of nuts in cookies.  Its a texture thing- I want my cookies to be chewy and not hard. But I use half again the amount of raisins, which, if you're halving the recipe is 1.5 cups (half the recipe being 1 cup, half again being 1.5 cups) or if you're making the whole recipe is 3 cups of raisins.  You could probably throw some dried cranberries in as part of that amount, but I haven't tried it that way yet. 

You can also pack the dough like it says and  wrap up well and FREEZE it, which will make for easier cookie-ing at a later date.  In fact, I think I'm going to do this this weekend to freeze for the holidays.

These turn out beautifully, and are pretty easy to make. And they have healthy stuff in them, like oatmeal, raisins, and nuts (just forget about the stuff like butter or the more than 4 cups of sugar!) I hope you make these and like them as much as I do!

What's cooking in your kitchen?


  1. This recipe is great (actually better, if you ask me) if you cut the cinnamon back to about 1/2 tsp (or just omit it altogether), zest an orange into the batter and use craisins instead of raisins. Alternately you could use the orange flavored craisins instead of zesting an orange. I've also done it without any orange flavor and used craisins instead of raisins and in place of the nuts I use chocolate chips. -Blayr

  2. Blayr,
    Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have some orange flavored dried cranberries that need to be used. I think when I make a whole batch this weekend, I'll use raisins in one half and the orange craisins in the other. Don't think I'll scale back the cinnamon, though. I know you don't like it much, but I do!

  3. I tried the orange zest and dried cranberry suggestion tonight. Yumm! Really wonderful and brighter than the raisin an walnut variety. Thanks again for the tip!