Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
The BEST Chewy Oatmeal Cookies ever! This family recipe is a basic oatmeal cookie that can be customized with raisins, craisins, nuts, or chocolate chips.
This is the 2nd Day of Christmas in my 12 Days of Christmas Series.
Two of the most ubiquitous Christmas cookies in my family – butter and oatmeal – come from my paternal grandmother, Maw Maw. For many years, these oatmeal cookies have always been my favorite (although it’s VERY close). These cookies are unlike any I’ve ever tasted – they are not your traditional chewy oatmeal cookie, although they can be made chewier by adding more oatmeal or raisins/nuts (or accidentally leaving out an ingredient – see below!) I just like them plain.
While an Oatmeal Cookie may sound boring and ordinary, there’s just something about these cookies that sets them apart. Maybe it’s the thinness, or the fact that the edges taste almost like toffee; it’s really just indescribable. It’s amazing how taste and smell can retrieve memories, perhaps even better than any of our senses, and to me, these cookies taste like Christmas.
They are typically a crispier cookie, so sometimes I heat them for 2-5 seconds in the microwave and have them with a big glass of skim milk. This most recent time making Oatmeal Cookies, they ended up chewy and soft on their own because I forgot the powdered sugar. The cookies actually stayed chewy days later – I think this was a serendipitous discovery! I told my mom, and she said that Maw Maw always told her that the powdered sugar makes them crispy – she was right!
For some reason, we always decorate them using these colored sprinkles. Occasionally you’ll see them with red/green sprinkles, but that’s pretty rare. Who knows!
What Makes these Oatmeal Cookies Chewy?
It’s been many years since this post, and I continue to omit the powdered sugar in this recipe for a thin, chewy oatmeal cookie! Because these cookies don’t have a large amount of flour compared to the amount of butter, they are thinner which helps they stay chewy. Even if you do add the powdered sugar, adding more oatmeal or adding in nuts or raisins will make the cookies chewier.
Make the Dough
First, the butter, eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar are cream together in a stand mixer until well combined. For a crisp oatmeal cookie, also add 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Then the vanilla is added and mixed until incorporated.
The dry ingredients are added to the butter mixture and mixed until just combined, then the oatmeal is added. At this point, you can add nuts or raisins if you desire.
Bake the Cookies
The cookie dough is now ready to be baked. Roll dough into small balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. If not using parchment, make sure your cookie sheets are lightly greased first with a little bit of butter. Flatten the balls of dough slightly. Sprinkle with decorations, if desired. Alternatively, place half of a maraschino cherry in the center of each cookie, cut side down. Make sure to leave enough space between cookies as they spread quite a bit. If you omit the powdered sugar, leave even more space. The exact spacing will depend on the size of your cookies and consistency of the dough (which will be altered depending on how much oatmeal you added). I recommend starting with about 6 cookies per sheet to get an idea of how much they spread.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will spread and be flat and chewy. If you use the powdered sugar, they will be flat and crispy. Adding more oatmeal or raisins/nuts will make them thicker and chewier. I like mine to be flat and chewy! It’s important to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack shortly after removing from the oven or the cookies will stick. Parchment paper prevents the sticking so there is less urgency if you’ve used parchment.
Gluten Free Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
While I have not tried this myself yet, gluten free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour could be substituted for the all purpose flour.
Want more cookie recipes?
Check out my favorite Cookie recipes:
Classic Butter Cookies
Santa’s Whiskers Cookies
Nut Free Linzer Cookies
Iced Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies
Citrus Glazed Butter Cookies
[Not My] Granny’s Sugar Cookies
Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies
Check out all of my Cookie recipes HERE.
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (omit for chewy cookies)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3 or 4 cups old fashioned oatmeal (see note)
Optional Mix Ins and Toppings:
- nuts, raisins, candied cherries, chocolate chips, sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a stand or hand-held mixer, cream the butter, eggs, and sugars until well combined. Omit powdered sugar for a chewier cookie. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Sift together baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour. Add to butter mixture until completely incorporated.
- Add 3 cups of oatmeal to the mixture. If it is too gooey to work with, add more until it can be rolled into balls. Add the nuts or raisins if using.
- If dough is too soft, you may chill it for 10-15 minutes to firm it up.
- Place small balls of dough (like a 1.5-inch cookie dough scoop) onto a slightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly before baking. Sprinkle with decorations, if desired. Make sure to leave enough space between cookies as they spread quite a bit. If you omit the powdered sugar, leave even more space, perhaps only 6 cookies per cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will spread and be flat and chewy. If you use the powdered sugar, they will be flat and crispy. Adding more oatmeal and raisins/nuts will make them thicker and chewier.
- Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack immediately or they will stick.