simple oatmeal cookies

Posted on October 24, 2012


“Well,” I said “I can make oatmeal cookies, but I don’t have a damn thing to put in them. No chocolate chips, no raisins, nothing!” To this, I got a bit of a weird look. “Convenient. I don’t like oatmeal cookies that have stuff in them.

Enough said! I was off to the stand mixer and hoping I remembered what I was doing, since it had been a really long time since I’d made oatmeal cookies. I really like oatmeal cookies, sometimes I’m a fan of the cookie with raisins in it, sometimes I could do without. I have a tree nut allergy, so I never add any nuts to my foods/baked goods that aren’t peanuts. Chocolate chips are ok when added to oatmeal cookies – if done right – I’d take a plain oatmeal cookie over one with chips any day though…

Simple Oatmeal Cookies
makes 30-36 cookies
move racks in oven to center
preheat oven to 350F

in your stand mixer, or large bowl and hand mixer

1 cup vegetable shortening + 2 tablespoons of water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar*
2 large eggs, room temperature
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

sift together in a large bowl
1-1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

3 to 3-1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal

Step One: Cream shortening, water, and sugars together. Mix on low, adding eggs one at a time. Add the sifted ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Add oatmeal – when I did this, I shut off my mixer, and took a spatula and mixed them in by hand – this way I could also be sure to get all the possibly unmixed surprises out of the very bottom of my stand mixer’s bowl.

Notes: Don’t overmix your dough, it’s one of the things I’ve been told makes a good [oatmeal] cookie – it apparently keeps the chewiness of your cookies. This, for me, is one of the most important things about a cookie. I’m really easily swayed by the texture of things.

Step Two: Get your baking trays out, and if you have a silicone baking mat, use that, or if you have parchment paper, toss some on a baking tray and prepare to drop your cookies. As you can see in my notes in my kitchen notebook/cookbook I was slightly unprepared for how much these cookies would spread.

Drop roughly 2″ mounds (using a tablespoon, or your spatula from mixing in oatmeal and keeping your fingers wet) keep these cookie mounds about 2″ apart on the baking dish. I was only able to do 3 across, and four down, and the baking sheets we have are pretty diesel! Push the cookies down on the top/just to make it a little flat, with wet hands, before putting in the oven.

Step Three: Cook these cookies for about 12-15 minutes, I would check them at 12 minutes on the nose, because they cook fast. If you are cooking more than one tray at a time, swap them halfway through, so you can make sure that you haven’t only kept one of the trays in the hotter part of the oven.

Let them cook about 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to wire racks to finish cooling. This will probably help your cookies not crack, and keep their current structure better.

These cookies will last about a week on your countertop in an airtight bag (I dare you to try to keep them that long) or if you want to freeze them after baking, wrap them well in tin foil, and put that in a freezer bag. They will be good in the freezer if packed like this for about 3 months, and to warm them up cook at 300F for just about 5 minutes.

*If you don’t have any dark brown sugar, you can always use 1 cup of white/granulated sugar plus one tablespoon of mollasses.

I think next time I make these I’m going to try to make them with less sugar, as they turned out to be very sweet. Maybe some other flavors in there next time to experiment, though I was a fan of the vanilla and touch of cinnamon. I clearly haven’t decided yet.

They are really tasty and nice and chewy, and even a seemingly somewhat-picky 2 year old decided he would eat them and not feed them directly to the dogs like he did his sandwich.