Today’s oatmeal raisin cookies recipe has been reworked from the traditional to be healthy but still tasty enough to satisfy your cookie craving.
Full of nutty oats and fruity raisins, these cookies are chewy in the center and crisp around the edge, and come with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. You can switch it up and add chocolate chips or nuts for a different take on the classic.
These oatmeal raisin cookies also pair perfectly with coffee or tea in the morning and can even make a great snack on the go.
What Is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a type of coarse grain made from the oat plant. It comes in several forms: ground groats, steel-cut, or rolled oats.
Though often served as a common breakfast cereal, oatmeal has a history going back thousands of years. Oats are native to ancient China (first thought to be used around 7000 B.C.), however, it seems the Greeks were the first to eat oatmeal as a porridge-like dish like we do today.
People from different cultures and cuisines have several ways to cook and enjoy oatmeal. In European countries like Germany, raw oats are soaked in milk until softened enough to eat. Later nuts and fruits can be added for a fulfilling and nutritious meal.
In America, the steel-cut variation needs to be cooked. These can be prepared by soaking the oats in a mixture of water, salt, and maple syrup overnight.
Then the oats can be cooked the next morning, and other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger added to maximize the flavor. When done, it’s nice to serve the oats with milk or cream.
Let’s look a bit more at the different types of oatmeal available in stores and supermarkets.
Types of Oatmeal
1. Steel Cut Oats
These are raw groats that are cut into small pieces so that they still keep their firm texture. This type requires the longest time to cook but has the chewiest texture and retains its shape even after cooking.
Steel-cut oats are popular for porridge, savory congee, or in a stuffed dish for a nice added texture.
2. Old Fashioned Oats
Old fashioned oats or rolled oats look like tiny round, flat discs. To process them, oat groats are steamed and flattened by huge rollers.
Rolled oats absorb water quickly so that they cook faster than steel-cut oats. Furthermore, this type holds its shape well during cooking, making them commonly used in cookies, muffins, and granola bars.
3. Instant Oats
Also called quick oats, these are chopped into small pieces before being steamed, dried, and smashed into thin flakes. This process reduces the cooking time to around 3 minutes. While they cook quicker, quick oats also have less of a hearty texture and nutty flavor than other forms.
The various oat varieties have different processing methods which lead to a difference in cooking time, texture, and flavor. However, all forms are made from whole grain, so they have one thing in common— the nutritional benefits.
Are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Healthy?
Compared to other types of cookies like chocolate cookies or butter cookies, our oatmeal raisin cookies are healthier.
- Lower in calories: a 2-inch oatmeal raisin cookie contains less than 80 calories. To do that we reduce the amount of sugar and butter as much as we can. Our cookies end up containing only 5.3 grams of added sugar per cookie.
- More fiber: with oatmeal and raisins as the main ingredients, each oatmeal raisin cookie provides 1.3 grams of fiber, versus zero grams of fiber in sugar cookies. If you want to improve the fiber content, add more raisins or try whole-grain flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- Healthy addition: We use raisins in the recipe not only for their fruity flavor but also to give our cookies a healthier source of sugar.
Apart from raisins, other ingredients can be added to the nutrition of your oatmeal cookies too, such as chia seeds and chocolate. Chia seeds add omega-3 while dark chocolate can add some antioxidants which may fight against heart diseases.
While cookies aren’t as healthy as raw food like vegetables or fruits, these oatmeal raisin cookies still give more nutritional benefits than other cookies, especially when you make them from scratch and choose the ingredients wisely.
Ingredients for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
This oatmeal raisin cookies recipe contains 4 main elements that can affect the flavor and texture of the cookies:
There are a variety of choices when it comes to choosing oats. Steel-cut or quick oats are quite nice for making a healthy and hearty breakfast, but for cookies, there is only one option: the old-fashioned type.
These flat-rolled oats retain their shape well during baking, provide a good amount of fiber, and make your cookies even chewier.
Bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour will work in this recipe. You can try whole wheat flour for a more nutritious content.
Aside from their obvious trait of sweetening, white sugar turns oatmeal cookies crisp and thin while brown sugar helps with the chewy texture. The combination of the two is used to attain the perfect texture- crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Dried fruits such as cranberries or grapes are the most common types of raisins used in cookies. A freshly opened pack gives the best results in baking, we don’t recommend using tough and dry ones.
But how do these ingredients come together?
How to Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mix dry ingredients
In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Step 3: Melt the butter
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the liquid is golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a large bowl.
Step 4: Add sugar and cinnamon
Stir in vegetable oil, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Step 5: Add the remaining ingredients
Add egg, vanilla, and cinnamon, use a spatula to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Then add oats and raisins, and mix until combined. The mixture should be a little stiff.
Step 6: Shape cookies
Divide dough into 20 portions, each about 1 tablespoon. Arrange dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to press the dough into a 2-inch disk. Let the dough balls chill in the fridge for a few minutes.
Step 7: Bake
Bake for about 10 minutes until cookie edges are set and lightly browned while the center is still soft.
Step 8: Serve
Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a dish and let cool completely.
Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
When it comes to cookies, everyone has their secrets. We’d love to share with you our tried-and-true tips:
- Don’t over mix the batter: ovemixing usually makes your cookies end up tough and dry. We recommend mixing all the ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Chill the dough: some minutes chilling in the refrigerator makes a huge difference in both the flavor and texture of cookies. This allows the cookies to hold their shape better when baking.
- Slightly under-bake: bake your cookies until the edges are beginning to have a slight brown color while the center is still soft. When removing them from the oven, those cookies need to cool completely at room temperature where they will finish baking. Over-baked cookies lose their delicious, creamy flavor and chewy texture.
How Long Do Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Last?
At room temperature in an airtight container, oatmeal raisin cookies stay fresh with the best quality for about 2 days. In case you don’t finish all the cookies fresh after baking, there are different ways to store them.
Place the oatmeal cookies in sealable plastic bags or airtight containers, and keep them in the refrigerator. This way these cookies can last up to a month.
To maximize the shelf life of the cookies, keep them in an airtight container and place them in the freezer for several months. When ready to use, rebake them in the oven.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the liquid is golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the butter to a large bowl.
- In the same bowl, stir in oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk until well combined.
- Add egg, vanilla, and cinnamon, use a spatula to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Then add oats and raisins, and mix until combined. The mixture should be a little stiff.
- Divide dough into 20 portions, each about 1 tablespoon. Arrange dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to press the dough balls into 2-inch disks. Let the dough balls chill in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookie edges are set and lightly browned while the center is still soft. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a dish and let cool completely.