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How to Make the BEST Oatmeal Cookies

Whether you enjoy them plain just-as-they-are, or with your favorite add-ins, these are the best Oatmeal Cookies ~ bringing together the wonderful elements of great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor.  Whip up a batch today!
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 The BEST Oatmeal Cookies ~ bring together great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor in these oatmeal cookies!


There's not much I love more than a good oatmeal cookie.  But ... the key word in that statement is good.  And good oatmeal cookies are way harder to come by than one would think.

But what makes the best oatmeal cookies?


For me first and foremost, I love to bite into an oatmeal cookie that has a little bit of thickness to it ... not something that's flat as a pancake.  Second, I like my oatmeal cookies soft and chewy, with just a tiny bit of crispness around the edges.  I don't like a crisp cookie that's crunchy through-and-through.  Next, there's got to be some good texture from the oats ~ which in my opinion comes from the use of old-fashioned oats rather than smaller, softer quick cooking oats.  And finally, there's got to be great flavor, of course.

All too often, though, oatmeal cookies are thin, flat, crispy discs ... like the ones on the left in the photo below {which flattened because of not enough flour}.

How to Make the BEST Oatmeal Cookies

Or, even if they don't flatten out, they've got no thickness to them ... like the ones second from the left in the photo above {because of limited rise from using only baking soda}.  Or, they've got no depth of flavor like the ones on the far right {that used just granulated sugar, with no brown sugar}.

But sometimes ... sometimes ... you get oatmeal cookies that nail all the best elements ... great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor.  Like this recipe does!

Whether you enjoy them plain just-as-they-are, or with your favorite add-ins, these are the best Oatmeal Cookies ~ bringing together the wonderful elements of great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor.  Whip up a batch today!

To figure out how to make the best oatmeal cookies, I first put our old-timey family-favorite oatmeal cookie recipe up against my favorite go-to source's, Cook's Illustrated's, recipe.  After making a batch of each, I decided our family-favorite recipe needed more thickness, and the Cook's Illustrated version needed to be a little softer and chewier.

So I decided to combine the two recipes, testing out different little tweaks, until I found my ultimate recipe.

The variables I tested out were:
- Different ratios of flour and oats
- Granulated sugar, brown sugar, or both
- Including baking powder or not {along with the baking soda}
- Vanilla or no vanilla

Batter for Making the Best Oatmeal Cookies

What I found:

Ratio of flour to oats ~ When it came to the ratio of flour to oats, a 1:2 ratio worked best for my taste.  This means that a recipe needs to use twice as much oats as flour, which meant I needed to increase the amount of oats used in our classic family recipe.  This 1:2 ratio gives the cookies a nice thickness, keeps them tender, and gives nice texture from the higher amount of oats.

Sugar ~ For great flavor and tenderness, I found a combination of both granulated and brown sugar to be best.  A touch of brown sugar flavor goes beautifully with the oats!

Baking Powder ~ Many oatmeal cookie recipes call for just baking soda in the batter.  Adding baking powder, too, gives more rise to the cookies and creates a really nice soft-and-chewy middle.

Vanilla - Though many oatmeal cookie recipes leave it out, to me vanilla extract is essential for fabulous oatmeal cookie flavor.  My vote goes for including vanilla in the batter, for sure.

The amount of dough used for each cookie definitely matters in making these the best cookies, too.  When it comes to scooping and forming the cookies, I went with Cook's Illustrated method to produce the best cookies.  They recommend using a full 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, which is much more than my family's recipe called for.

But I have to agree with them.

Scooping and forming the best oatmeal cookies

Using their method of forming 2 tablespoons dough into a ball and then gently flattening that ball just a bit with the palm of your hand results in nice-sized, nice-thickness, soft and tender cookies.

Just the way I love them.

Oh, and one other very key point for getting that coveted soft and chewy texture, though ... and this is super important ... do not  over bake the cookies.

If anything, err on the side of under baking.  Because the best ratio of flour and oats or not, the greatest mix of granulated and brown sugar or not, just the right amount of baking powder for great rise, and perfect execution on scooping and forming the cookies won't matter a bit if the cookies are crisp from being over baked.

And keep in mind, when it comes to baking cookies they're basically just a little dollop of dough and can, therefore, go from perfectly-baked to over-baked in a matter of a mere 30 seconds or so.  Keep a close eye on them, and pull them from the oven when the middles still look a little soft and moist.

Whether you enjoy them plain just-as-they-are, or with your favorite add-ins, these are the best Oatmeal Cookies ~ bringing together the wonderful elements of great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor.  Whip up a batch today!

Perfectly delicious just as they, oatmeal cookies also serve as a wonderful canvas for add-ins, too.  Of course we all know the classic combination of oatmeal raisin cookies, but how about Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies instead?  Or the very tasty combination of pecans and toffee bits in Toffee Oatmeal Cookies?  Or toss in some semi-sweet chocolate chips for a yummy chocolate touch.

Whether you enjoy them plain just-as-they-are, or with about 1 & 1/2 cups of your favorite add-ins, these Oatmeal Cookies bring together the wonderful elements of great thickness, soft and chewy middles, great texture, and fantastic flavor.

Now, just pass a big glass of milk, please.

What to add to oatmeal cookies
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The BEST Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients
  • 3/4 c. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oats
Directions
  1. Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat well until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until just combined.
  3. Gently stir in oats by hand until just combined.
  4. Use your hands to roll 2 tablespoons dough into a ball. Place on baking sheet and gently press down with the palm of your hand to flatten the dough ball just slightly. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing dough balls about 2 ½” apart on the baking sheet {so you’ll only get about 8 or 9 on the baking sheet at a time}.
  5. Bake at 350℉ for 13 - 14 minutes, or until golden brown and set on the edges but still doughy, soft, and moist looking in the middles. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 18 to 20 large cookies

Enjoy!


Please enjoy these other tasty cookie recipes from The Kitchen is My Playground ...
Chewy Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies
Toffee Oatmeal Cookies
Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Insanely Delicious Turtle Cookies
Basic Rolled Shortbread Cookies
How to Make the BEST Oatmeal Cookies image

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3 comments

  1. These look beautiful and, when eaten in moderation, a relatively health cookie! I might have to make some cookies today!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes please, do pass the milk! Your Oatmeal Cookies look so tasty, Tracey and I love how versatile the recipe is. Thank you for sharing them with us at Hearth and Soul.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We will really enjoy your cookies! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday! Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon.
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete

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