Oatmeal cookies
Cookies,  Desserts,  Technique,  Vegetarian

Classic Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Like cozy jammies and a binge-worthy TV show, these Classic Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (CCORCs, for short) take us right to our happy place. Satisfyingly delicious oats and raisins, with a spark of cinnamon and molasses, make us feel good all over. And with this recipe, we have finally achieved that crisp-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside texture that has eluded the Recipephany Culinary Research Institute for so many years.

The very first oatmeal cookie recipe appeared in 1896 in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (then called The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer). Quaker Oats put a version on its cardboard cannister and called it “Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.” It’s now the home baker’s gold standard—and the Grandma of all Online CCORCs.

But we’ve had our problems with this Quaker Oats classic.

For instance, often the dough would spread way too much in the oven, producing thin disks rather than slightly domed cookies. And even when they rose okay, the baked cookies would often fall apart at the slightest touch.

Some might say that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. But we wanted better.

So our Recipephany Test Kitchen tweaked the recipe. We always make our own brown sugar by adding molasses to white sugar. We suspected that this mixture might make the dough a tiny bit wetter than dough made with packaged brown sugar. Whether it does or not, we increased the flour to help keep the dough from spreading. And we baked the cookies longer, so they got nicely brown and held together. Unlike chocolate chip cookies, which demand to be underbaked, CCORCs need to crisp up on the edges and bake throughout.

Plus, as always, we doubled the vanilla—that flavor-enhancing ingredient. And, as in the old days, we used margarine rather than butter. It creamed more easily, even right out of the fridge. And proper creaming can make a critical difference in how the cookies rise.

So now our Classic Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies look and taste like the real thing. Try ‘em and let me know if they work for you, too. Our Recipephany Test Kitchen wants to hear from you.

(For the best chocolate chip cookies, see Hall-of-Achievement Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.)

Classic Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1 cup margarine (or butter, if you must)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Heat oven to 350º. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat margarine or butter, sugar and molasses on medium just until somewhat creamy and a little shaggy, about 2 minutes. Do not overcream to the point that the mixture feels greasy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat just until smooth.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
  5. Stir in oats and raisins.
  6. Drop batter by tablespoons (a cookie scoop makes it easy to release the dough) about 1½ inches apart on the prepared sheets,
  7. Bake 10-15 minutes, depending upon your oven, until fully set and lightly brown. Cool one minute on cookie sheet, then remove to wire rack.
  8. Store in sealed containers with parchment paper or wax paper between layers for up to a few days. Cookies freeze well, and even taste great frozen.
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