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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

by on July 21, 2008 · 29 comments

The mixing technique for these cookies is a little different. First, you soak the raisins in a mixture of eggs and vanilla for one hour. Next, you cream the shortening and sugars, but instead of adding the egg mixture to the creamed mixture, you stir in the flour mixture. At this point, you have a rather dry mixture to which you then add the egg/raisin mixture, oats and nuts.

The results are a big, fat, moist cookies with crispy edges and a ton of flavor.

oatmeal cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup shortening (regular or butter flavored)
1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar
1 cup (190 grams) granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups (335 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Combine eggs, raisins and vanilla in a medium bowl and let stand for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment.

Beat shortening and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl. For this, I recommend an electric mixer or, since it’s a large recipe, bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring just until flour mixture is incorporated – mixture will be kind of dry. Stir in the egg/raisin/vanilla mixture, followed by the oats and nuts. When ingredients are well mixed, shape dough into 1 ½ inch balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Makes 6 or 7 dozen

Note: To make a half batch, half everything and use 1 egg plus about 2 tablespoons of beaten egg


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Published on July 21, 2008

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina July 21, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Those look really good! I like how thick they look. But shortening, huh. Sigh. I shouldn’t make them, and well, I guess it helps that I’m out of shortening. Wonder if they would still work with butter and/or oil. I know, they wouldn’t be the same, as I grew up making cookies pretty much with just shortening and they were ALL good. I’ll print the recipe for a someday though! ;)
Glad you’re back. Glad you had a great trip. Can you order those walnuts online?
I love farmer’s markets!

Katrina July 21, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Oh, duh, I see now on your link to the nut farm that you CAN order them online. Cool. Gonna go look at that website some more!

VeggieGirl July 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Walnuts make everything taste better – especially cookies! :0)

Clumbsy Cookie July 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Good to come here and see a cookie picture again! One of my favourite things when I travel is to buy local foods! Enjoy baking with your walnuts and the other goodies, I’m sure the cookies have a great taste!

judi0044 July 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Ahhh – the farmers’ markets. When I was in Ventura county in April I saw the most incredible fruits and vegetables for very reasonable prices from the nearby growers. How I wished the family was interested in them or that I could have brought them all back with me on the plane to NY! Glad you’re home safely.

Judy July 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm

This recipe has been in my queue for a while also. It got a top rating on Thanks for the info on the walnuts and welcome back!

Janet July 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Oh my, you’re back and tempting us with yet another fantastic oatmeal cookie. I love the Best Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe of yours AND the oatmeal bars are fantastic too! I am going to print this one off and as soon as I can I will try them (am on an allergy elimination diet from the allergist for 1 to 2 weeks). Thanks for the recipe and sooooo glad you are back and baking mouth watering cookies to lead us into temptation!!!!

Anna July 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Katrina, the shortening issue was what kept me from making these. I thought about substituting butter, but the fact that they’ve won awards with shortening told me I should stick with the original recipe.

Veggiegirl, since you love walnuts, you just have to try these.

Rita, I’m glad to see cookies here too ;).

Judi, thanks for feeling my pain! All that produce and nowhere to keep it. I felt that way about some of the produce stands in China Town.

Judy, I figured it was on allrecipes! I think I saw it on recipelink or….not sure. But the latest version came out of my state fair collection.

Janet, speaking of allergy eliminations. I made another cookie today as well, but haven’t gotten around to posting it. It’s an egg free chocolate chip cookie recipe from Shirley Corriher. The cookies are thin and chewy. Some chocolate chip recipes are called “chewy” but are not really chewy. These actually have a little pull to them when you chew. I’ll post the recipe later.

Katy July 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I’m so glad you love “our” San Francisco walnuts! Those cookies look wonderful. I’m going to try them with dried cranberries. We’re having the walnuts tonight on a salad. I recommend them in your carrot bundt cake, and they make fantastic brown sugar blondies with just a dash of cinnamon. I look forward to hearing what you think about the SharffenBerger cocoa.

sam July 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Hi Anna
So lovely to meet you yesterday. I am so fascinated by your stories of the cooking competitions. I am also a big fan of Alfieri, especially their almonds. It’s funny – i think they are one of the more ‘down to earth’ stalls at our sometimes too fancy farmers market and I love them for that alone.
Hope you managed to catch your flight ok!


bakingblonde July 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I used to make that recipe all of the time! I got it from allrecipes and its called Grandmother’s Oatmeal Cookies (or something similar).
I forgot all about that recipe as I usually use the Quaker Oat’s version. I will have to whip up a batch!.
Sometimes I used to roll the dough balls into sugar before baking for a slightly sweet and crisp exterior! YUM, now I want one of those!!

Michelle W. in Calif. July 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Okay, no one hit me, but…..think these would be okay WITHOUT the walnuts???? I just really don’t like nuts in cookies….esp. walnuts! Sorry!
Oh, and welcome home Anna! :-)

HoneyB July 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Your cookies look de-lic-ious! Oh, and I love pappadums!!

Sharon July 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Is anyone out there up in the sky (at altitude) :) whee!! like I am? It makes baking some of these goodies tricky and sometimes they just don’t work like your scruptious photos, Anna.

Or is there a baking blog for those of us who are vertically challenged (I’m at my slap-stick fatigued part of the day!) Thanks for any help you can give. I have made so many of your receipes, Anna and a good amount of them just don’t work like they should. It is frustrating….

cb July 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Did you happen to make it to Specialty’s Bakery…out of this world cookies….esp Wheat Germ Chocolate Chip. I have been trying to replicate that recipe for months…actually how I found your website with the recipe you have…although they were not the same as Specialty’s. San Francisco is a great city I hoped you enjoyed.

Anna July 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Katy, the cookies will be great with dried cranberries. Yum. And thanks again for introducing me to those nuts.

Sam, what I liked about the Alfieri people was that they seemed very proud of their product. I wish I bought the almonds……I was so close.
Also, I enjoyed chatting with you and hope you have bought loads and loads of canned biscuit dough to start practicing with ;).

Baking Blonde, I decided not to roll the dough balls in sugar and am glad. They were very sweet without it.

Michelle, these would be absolutely fine without nuts. I just like nuts.

Honey, I love papadum too, but the ones I buy at World Market are not nearly as good as the ones I’ve had in restaurants. I have a feeling these will be very good. Also, I wish I’d had a chance to try some Indian food in San Francisco.

Sharon, I wish I could help you but I don’t know anything about high altitude cooking. Have you seen the book “Pie in the Sky”? That one may be useful.

cb, the answer is no and I’m a little bummed about that. There just wasn’t enough time for me to hit all these great bakeries. I was hoping to stop by Tartine as well.

Debbi July 21, 2008 at 7:34 pm

The rolled oats – Does it matter if they are instant or regular?

Anna July 21, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Debbi, I used rolled oats but I think the quick cooking type would be fine. I wouldn’t try it with instant.

Rina July 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm


The next time you are in SF, you MUST come to my house for Indian food! I also have tons of pappadum from India (always carry them home in my suitcase on trips to visit family) and wish I had dropped some off at your hotel!

I’ve never tried those walnuts…so thank you (and Katy) for teaching me something new about SF. =)


Ann July 21, 2008 at 9:56 pm

My husband and I were in the seat next to you on the way back from Phoenix to Austin. Your website/blog is great–I just went to it this evening.

We also went to the Farmer’s Market in Salt Lake City–they had great produce and many interesting local arts and crafts for sale. It was wonderful.

I will be trying some of your recipes soon, and passing on your site to some of my friends and especially my Mom, who loves to bake!

Keep up the good work!


Emiline July 21, 2008 at 10:32 pm


The cookies look great!

Veronica July 22, 2008 at 6:12 am

I think the idea of soaking the raisins must in the egg and vanilla must make them so plump and soft! These sound so tasty.

Lynn July 22, 2008 at 8:17 am

Wow, those look fabulous! I’m definitely book-marking these to try later.

Therese B. July 22, 2008 at 10:23 am

Hi Anna:

I made these (half-batch), they were excellent!!

Thanks for a great recipe!

And welcome back!!!

Pam July 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm


I’ve made these cookies many times and they always turn out great. I originally found the recipe in a Southern Living cookbook. I usually make mine with pecans, which also work really well in this recipe.


Tina July 23, 2008 at 5:17 am

Oooooh, these cookies sounds so amazing! I need to make them ASAP! So glad that I found your blog! It’s great! :)

Hallie November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm

I just made these and everyone LOVED them. Soooo good!

kitty62 July 30, 2009 at 6:12 am

If you took the time to scroll all the way back to this recipe….take the time to make these. This is now ‘my’ recipe for oatmeal cookies. They are ever so slightly crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. They have a really good homemade taste too. They store well in a tupperware container, although they didnt stay in the container for too long. Yum-O!

Gerri November 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

OMG! These are the best flavored, most scrumptious oatmeal raisin cookie I have ever made and, in about 45 years of baking that should say something! Cleaning out my recipe box of innumerable “so-so” and “okay” oatmeal cookie recipes! Only one question/comment: Even with my big KA stand mixer I did not like trying to get the dry ingredients blended into the creamed sugar mixture before adding the egg/raisin/vanilla mix. Why do you suppose the recipe specifies this? Wouldn’t it be ok to alternate adding the dry mix & egg mix until everything is fully blended?

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