I remember Mom making these cookies for as long as I can remember. She had the recipe neatly written on an index card in her recipe box. And I remember copying the recipe for my own collection in my 10-year-old handwriting.
The point of this story is: we have been making these cookies practically forever. The recipe is simple and pretty perfect, so no changes have been made in over 20 years. These cookies are soft and chewy with over three whole cups of oats! To this day they are still one of my favorites.
This post will take you through how to make these delicious oatmeal raisin cookies step-by-step. Let’s get started!
Ingredients to Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Oatmeal raisin cookies contain 13 ingredients: shortening, sugar, brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, water, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, rolled oats, raisins, and chopped nuts.
Don’t let that long list scare you! It may sound like a lot but you probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen!
What type of oats should I use?
Old fashioned oats or quick oats, that is the question!
I made this recipe with both types and prefer quick oats in this one. It produced a higher, fluffier, more tender cookie. The cookies made with old fashioned oats were good too, but they were definitely chewier. Try both and see which you prefer!
Why is there both brown sugar and white sugar?
Brown sugar helps cookies to stay soft and chewy, while also giving the cookies a delicious deep flavor. White sugar gives the cookies a little bit of crispness and prevents them from becoming too dark in the oven. By including both white sugar and brown sugar, we get the best of both worlds.
Can I use butter instead of shortening?
Butter has the best flavor and so I usually use it when I bake cookies. But in this recipe I like the slightly crunchy-yet-chewy texture that the shortening provides. If you do try this recipe with butter, reduce the salt (unless you are using unsalted butter) and chill the dough before baking.
How to Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Step 1: Stir the Shortening and Sugars Together
Start by stirring the shortening, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a large bowl. You can certainly use a stand mixer for this but I prefer to use a wooden spoon, as this is how I made it growing up. The shortening is rather soft so you can just smoosh it (I know, a real technical term) with the back of the spoon. When all of the sugar is incorporated you are ready to add the wet ingredients.
Step 2: Add the Wet Ingredients
When the shortening and sugars are well mixed add in the egg, water, and vanilla. I know, it is a little strange to add water to cookies but just trust me here. Mix these ingredients together until they are smooth.
Step 3: Stir in the Dry Ingredients
Next add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir just until combined.
Step 4: Stir in the Raisins, Nuts, and Oats
Lastly add in the raisins, nuts, and oats. If you are using a mixer put it on the lowest setting here so it does not break up the raisins or nuts. The dough is now done and you are ready to bake your cookies!
Step 5: Drop the Cookies onto the Baking Sheet
Since the dough contains shortening which is solid at room temperature it does not need to chill before baking. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Make sure they are about two inches apart because they will spread slightly as they bake. I like to use my handy dandy cookie scoop for this job but you can also use two spoons if that is easier. The cookies are now ready for the oven!
Step 5: Bake the Cookies
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. They are done when the edges just start to turn brown. At this point they will not look done but they will firm up as they cool. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy these oatmeal raisin cookies warm out of the oven with a glass of cold milk. Yum!
Hope you get to try these oatmeal raisin cookies soon. Happy Cooking!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- ¾ cup shortening
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick – your choice!)
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Stir the shortening, sugar, and brown sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth.
- Next add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. Add in the raisins, nuts, and oats and stir just until combined.
- Drop the cookies by rounded teaspoons onto a greased baking sheet. Make sure they are about two inches apart because they will spread slightly as they bake.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. They are ready when the edges just start to turn brown. At this point they may not look done but they will firm up as they cool. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve these cookies warm right out of the oven. Enjoy!
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