Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are a classic treat. Old-fashioned rolled oats, browned butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg provide toasted caramel flavors and a delightful contrast of crisp and soft textures.
Chewy oatmeal cookies with crisp edges and dense soft centers. To achieve this type of texture I use butter, vegetable oil, two types of sugar, and just the right ratio of flour-to-oats. Get ready to enjoy generously-sized treats that everyone will devour.
This recipe incorporates browned butter into the batter for a nutty caramel depth of flavor and to balance the sweetness of the cookie. You’ll find that the brown butter enhances the taste profile dramatically. For convenience, there’s no need to chill the dough before baking like other cookie recipes. You can make, bake, eat, and repeat!
Selecting the right oats and sugar
To make oatmeal cookies chewy, not cakey or crispy throughout, a few important ingredient swaps are necessary. A ratio of 3 parts oats to 1 part all-purpose flour is used to reduce the cakiness factor, but enough flour to still help the dough bind together. There are several types of oats, so for this recipe make sure to use only old-fashioned rolled oats to balance softness and chew.
Two types of sugar are incorporated, brown and granulated to provide sweetness and a molasses note. I prefer a higher amount of brown sugar because it binds well with water and keeps the cookies moist.
Browned butter enhances the flavor
Browned butter is considered liquid gold in the culinary world. It’s the secret flavor booster that’s very easy to make. By simply melting the butter, the milk solids react to the gentle heat and turn golden in color. The Maillard browning process creates wonderful hazelnut and caramel aromas.
The importance of vegetable oil
You need fat in the recipe or the cookie will become hard like hockey pucks! Believe me, when I was testing batches I accidentally forgot to add the vegetable oil and the cookies had very little spread and were hard as a rock once cooled.
This recipe uses a higher amount of vegetable oil because unsaturated fats (liquid at room temperature) provide a chewier texture, while saturated fats (solid butter) provide a cakier texture.
How to make oatmeal raisin cookies
These easy oatmeal raisin cookies just need hand stirring to bring the dough together. Typically I use a stand mixer to combine the ingredients, but you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter. To keep the cookies dense and chewy, hand mixing is best.
The cookie dough consistency will be thick, but still easy to shape and roll into balls. Use the bottom of the measuring cup to slightly flatten the dough. My son James mastered the technique with ease. There is minimal leavening agents in the dough, just a small amount of baking soda and eggs to ensure even cooking and spread.
This recipe makes large cookies
These cookies grow to be pretty large in size, which helps reinforce the crisp edges and chewy interior crumb. While you’ll definitely be satisfied with just one cookie, it’s going to be hard not to grab a second when they’re hot and fresh from the oven.
This recipe is a classic favorite with plump raisins and sweet spices from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Be sure to keep the recipe handy as these oatmeal cookies are going to be eaten up fast.
More cookie recipes
Type of oats to use in oatmeal cookies
Old-fashioned rolled oats absorb moisture from the batter and soften without completely losing its shape. Do not use instant oats, the grains will become mushy and not have a distinct chew. Avoid extra-thick oats as they’ll make the cookie tough and dry.
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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup raisins
- Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC).
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl.
- Heat butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to evenly melt. Stir and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula until butter is golden brown and nutty in aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer browned butter to a large bowl, making sure to scrape all of the bits from the pan. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil to the browned butter. Whisk together until combined.
- Whisk in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth.
- Use a spatula to fold in the flour mixture until combined, 1 minute.
- Stir in oats and raisins until combined, the dough will be stiff in texture.
- Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon (60g) sized portions. Roll into a ball and place 2-inches apart on the baking sheet, 8 cookies per pan.
- Use the bottom of a large measuring cup to press each dough ball into 2 ½-inch wide cookies. Re-form edges into a circle if needed.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time. The edges should be set, lightly browned on the surface and the centers soft but not wet, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through baking.
- Cool cookies for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely before serving.
- Cookie Dough Size: 2 ounces; 60g; 3 tablespoons.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour, and make sure the rolled oats are certified gluten-free. I recommend Bob's Redmill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
- Recipe Adapted from America's Test Kitchen The Perfect Cookie Cookbook.
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