These giant oatmeal raisin cookies are comfort food at its best - thin, chewy, sweet and buttery, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, and just the right amount of raisins and almonds.
Like a warm bowl of soup or thick slice of homemade bread, they are the kind of simple cookie that makes me feel grounded, cozy, and a little bit better about the world.
These Giant Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are the Classic, Chewy, Comforting Kind
My Grandfather passed away last week. He was 92, and had survived the loss of his wife (married for 69 years) and all 7 of his brothers and sisters even though he was the oldest.
He was a hard working, kind, dependable rock of a man, and amongst the precious few who knew the kind of life he wanted to live and then went about living it until the day he died.
My Grandparents were the kind of people that went to everything any of their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids were participating in. Grandparent days at school, plays, sports events, choir performances... if one of us was in it, they were there to watch and support us.
And, that's the point. They were always there. Now they're not, and I'm feeling a bit off kilter. Unsteady. None of my goals and plans have changed, I am still waking up each morning knowing exactly what needs to be done, and yet, I feel rudderless. I've had a few days of looking at my to-do list and just not doing it. Everything on it feels so unimportant.
On Tuesday, the day before my Grandpa's memorial service, I woke up, sat down at my computer, stared at the list of scheduled tasks for a while and then just got up and left it all undone.
So be it. Some days are like that.
Some Days, the Only Thing To Do is Bake Giant Oatmeal Cookies
Some days you need cookies and soup and bread. At least, I do.
My Grandma was a master baker who was especially known for her cookies. There were always cookies at Grandma and Grandpas house. Always.
After she died, my Grandpa picked up her recipes and started baking cookies. So, even after loosing the family baker, there were always cookies at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
My husband suggested that as I try to come to terms with what it means to be in the world without my Grandparents that I bake a few of her recipes and share them with you here. I think I probably will.
These giant chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are not made from one of my Grandma's recipes. But, I think she would approve because they brought me comfort on a day when comfort was needed.
They are large cookies, because the thing about comfort food is that it needs to come in generous servings.
Comfort food is about feeding your soul, so do it generously. Today, I made my oatmeal cookies humongous. And then I ate three.
How To Make the BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
There are four easy tricks to making the BEST giant oatmeal raisin cookies:
- Roasted almonds
- A mix of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat bran, and old fashioned oats
- Plenty of brown sugar
- Raisins that have been soaked in eggs and vanilla
Why use roasted almonds in these cookies?
Roasting almonds is as easy as spreading them out onto a baking sheet and popping them in the oven for a few minutes. But, you can also just purchase a bag of pre-roasted almonds if you prefer.
Either way, roasted almonds intensifies their flavor and makes them more crunchy, two qualities that make for a better oatmeal cookie.
A mix of flour and whole grains = a more flavorful oatmeal cookie
This oatmeal cookie recipe calls for all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat bran and old fashioned oats. The mix of flours and grains produces cookies that are more complex in flavor and have a more interesting texture than cookies made from only all-purpose flour and oats.
The one ingredient that is sometimes difficult to find in supermarkets is oat bran. If you can't find it in your local market, you can order it - I like Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran.
You can also substitute the oat bran for ground old fashioned oats. Simply add a half cup of oats to a food processor or spice grinder and grind into a powder.
But, if you can get a hold of some oat bran, use that.
When processing oats, the bran is removed to make quicker cooking oatmeal. The bran also contains a lot of flavor. So adding it back into these cookies makes for a more flavorful cookie.
Brown Sugar adds flavor and a delicious chewy texture
Brown sugar is simply granulated sugar with the addition of molasses. That little bit of molasses adds flavor to oatmeal cookies. It also creates a denser, chewier texture in these cookies.
Brown sugar also increases the amount that cookies spread out in the oven, so including a generous amount in this recipe is what helps make these cookies, thin, chewy, and giant.
For the BEST Oatmeal Cookies, soak raisins in eggs and vanilla
Soaking raisins in eggs and vanilla is a trick I learned from a cookbook published in 1978, The Colorado Cache Cookbook.
Growing up, everyone in my family had a copy of the Colorado Cache Cookbook, and for good reason. It's a treasure trove of nearly 700 time honored, delicious, homestyle recipes. To this day, it's one of my favorite cookbooks.
There's an oatmeal cookie recipe in the Colorado Cache Cookbook that calls for soaking the raisins for an hour in eggs and vanilla before incorporating them into the dough. The trick is genius.
That hour soak plumps the raisins up, making them soft and chewy, so they practically melt in your mouth. Soaking the raisins also does something else for oatmeal cookies - it helps keep the cookies fresh and chewy for longer.
Because raisins are dry, they tend to soak up the liquid in cookies, drying them out soon after baking. But when you soak the raisins in eggs and vanilla before adding them to the dough, they plump up and absorb liquid from the eggs and won't dry out your cookies.
More Comforting Cookie Recipes:
- Almond Shortbread Cookies
- Cherry Shortbread Crumble Bars
- Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- Pecan Sand Tarts
- New York Black and White Cookies
- Homemade Fig Newtons
- 1 cup (142g) raw almonds
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (160g) raisins, loosely packed
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6oz (12 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups (320g) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (30g) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (53g) oat bran (*see note below for substitution)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt (1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups (190g) old fashioned oats
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and spread the almonds out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 8-10 minutes, until they are a deep brown and beginning to smell toasty. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop the almonds into large chunks - cutting each almond into 2 or 3 pieces.
- Add the eggs to a small bowl and beat with a fork to combine. Add the vanilla and raisins, and stir. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the butter, vegetable oil, and both sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium high speed until lightened and fluffy - about 3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, add both flours, oat bran, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. Add the oatmeal, eggs and raisin mixture, and chopped almonds and mix on low just until combined.
- Shape the oatmeal cookie dough into large balls, using about ¼ of a cup of dough for each cookie. Add 4 or 5 to a cookie sheet, leaving at least 3 or 4 inches between them.
- Flatten the cookies slightly with your palm and bake for 11-13 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are set but the very center looks slightly underdone. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
No Oat Bran? No problem.
If you can't find oat bran, you can use an additional ½ cup of oats instead. Using a food processor or spice mill, grind the ½ cp of oats into a powder then proceed with the recipe. You can also use the extra ½ cups of oats unground; but, I find the chewy consistancy of these cookies to be better when using either oat bran or ground oats.
How to Store Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
These oatmeal raisin cookies keep well in ain airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Because they are so deliciously chewy, seperate cookies that are stacked on top of each other with parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from sticking together.
You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months. I like to wrap them individually with plastic wrap, then put them in a zip-top freezer bag. This keeps the cookies from sticking together and allows you to remove as many or as few as you want from the freezer at a time.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g
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