I just made the most beautiful oatmeal cookies! The Milk Bar Life Oatmeal Cookies recipe is from Christina Tosi’s new book Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories, a collection of recipes Tosi uses outside of Milk Bar.
The cookies aren’t fussy at all and come from a recipe passed down by Christina’s grandma. Like other recipes in the book, this one includes a cute anecdote, which in this case involves Christina’s Uncle Dan who told his roommates the powdered sugar on the cookies was mold to get them to stay away from them. Those roommates would have to be pretty gullible to think powdered sugar was mold. They’re so pretty! In addition, the texture is perfect. The cookies are quite large, chewy on the inside, crispy around the edges and kind of light compared to others.
Milk Bar Life Oatmeal Cookies Ingredient Notes
For the flour, I used Gold Medal unbleached, but I plan on trying the recipe again with a higher protein flour just to see if they’ll be a little thicker. Because the cookies are on the sweet side, nuts might be a good addition since nuts curb sweetness. I may try a couple of handfuls of nuts on the next round. And there will be a next round!
Gluten-Free Milk Bar Oatmeal Cookies
I recently tested the recipe with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten-free flour blend. It worked well, but the powdered sugar sank into the dough, so I recommend not rolling in powdered sugar if you use a gluten-free flour. The cookies took a little longer to bake, too — more like 15 minutes. But that’s always variable and it might just be because I tested in a different oven. Either way, they are still great cookies.
Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 3⁄4 sticks (170 grams)
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (150 grams)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (130 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (200 grams)
- 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats (200 grams)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (only for Diamond)** 3/4 teaspoon if using Morton
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut optional
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and coconut, if using, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
- Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Scoop and roll the dough between your palms into golf-ball-sized balls. Toss in the bowl of confectioners’ sugar until completely covered and arrange the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crackled. Let cool completely on the pan. For storage instructions, see page 47.
Anna’s Baking Notes: I followed the instructions as written and didn’t have any problems. Great recipe! The cookies are on the sweet side, but they’re rolled in powdered sugar so that’s to be expected. I haven’t tried this with pecans or walnuts, but nuts might be good. The texture is great — crispy edges with chewy centers. My cookies took about 14 minutes to bake. At 10 minutes they were quite pale, then 3 minutes later they were a lovely shade of brown.
Kelly, I have to admit I kind of forgot about this recipe and never took the time to chill the dough overnight. However, I do think that would only IMPROVE the cookies. I do it all the time and most cookies are better when made with dough that’s been chilled. Also, thanks for commenting and bringing this recipe back to my attention :).
Can you make the dough ahead and refrigerate and then bake the next day? Obviously the dough would not be as soft but have you tried that before?
Just made these for first time today and they are stunning, so yummy and easy to make too…I split half mixture and did as is and other half I mixed in some mini choc chips, they were nice but I still prefer the original recipe. I’ve made crack pie a couple of times and it is addictive but so are these cookies…next to try is birthday cake and confetti cookies. I’m new to baking so if I can make these anyone can! Thanks for the recipe x
JPM, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Christina Tosi’s recipes are amazing. She’s a genius.
Absolutely the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth and IT DOESN”T EVEN HAVE CHOCOLATE IN IT. I’m just saying. I added a handful of walnuts. I used UNsweetened shredded coconut. Absolutely to die for. It took my oven a little longer to cook than just 9-10 mins. on bake. I did convection baking on last batch and they cooked somewhat faster.
These look so good! Im wondering how a few semi-sweet chocolate chips would be? Maybe it would cut some of the sweetness people are referring to. I love chocolate & coconut together. I really favor coconut cream instant pudding mix in CCC cookies. Its so much better than plain vanilla. I could skip it since these are rolled in powdered sugar. Christina Tosi stated that this cookie is one of the top 3 desserts that put her on the map. Im making them!
I made these and we like them a lot. I was prepared to make some with nuts and without and decided they didn’t need the nuts. My husband tasted one and grabbed a pecan halve to have with it and really liked the pecan with the cookie so I guess you can’t go wrong either way. They’re good cookies and it’s easy to believe the recipe originated with someone’s grandma.
That looks like a great recipe and a tasty cookie! I know I’d love the coconut so I’m going to hold off making them until I can pick some up.
Taneka, the first Milk Bar book was very informative and fun to read, but I think this one has more practical everyday recipes.
Wendy, raisins would be great. Maybe someone in the Tosi family didn’t like raisins so they kept them out of the recipe. And try them before you take my word about them being too sweet. The sugar on the outside just adds sweetness, but not in a bad way.
These look beautiful! You mention that they might benefit from something to cut the sweet a little bit…now my friends don’t care for nuts but I’m wondering about adding raisins. First run through will be exactly as written though – THEN I can play with add ins! Thank you for sharing this!
How’s this new book from Christina Tosi? I won the first one and have it…somewhere (too many recipes, not enough time).
I’ve never seen oatmeal cookies coated in powdered sugar – they look so pretty! Regular oatmeal cookies are my favorite type of cookie, so I can’t wait to try these. I’ll probably add nuts to balance the sweet and add some crunch. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.