By now you may have heard about management changes at Cooks Illustrated magazine. While who running America’s Test Kitchen is not your most important priority in life, the quality of their recipes just may be quite important. Many of us look to Cooks each month for the best in both recipes and the cooking science explanations that tell us why the recipes work.
These cookies are also called chewy, and the Cooks article explains why. A cookie can be cakey in nature or chewy. The difference is in the fat content. More saturated fat, like butter, will produce a tender texture while more unsaturated fat, like vegetable oil, creates a more chewy texture. This cookie has both butter and oil, and, as a consequence, is delightfully chewy. And that ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon comes through, with a quiet subtle force.
If you love oatmeal cookies, and want that perfect texture, then get some butter, get some vegetable oil, and get some cinnamon.
Regular old-fashioned rolled oats work best in this recipe. Do not use extra-thick rolled oats, as they will bake up tough in the cookie. For cookies with just the right amount of spread and chew, I strongly recommend that you weigh your ingredients. If you omit the optional raisins, the recipe will yield 18 cookies.
Classic Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 20 cookies
- 1 cup [5 ounces] all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup [5 ¼ ounces] dark brown sugar
- ½ cup [3 ½ ounces] granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 whole egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups [9 ounces] old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup raisins, optional
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until foaming subsides. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan with heat‑resistant spatula, until milk solids are dark golden brown and butter has nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl, scraping skillet with spatula. Stir in cinnamon.
Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil to bowl with butter and whisk until combined. Add egg and yolk and vanilla and whisk until mixture is smooth. Using wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture until fully combined, about 1 minute. Add oats and raisins, if using, and stir until evenly distributed (mixture will be stiff).
Divide dough into 20 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets, 10 dough balls per sheet. Using your damp hand, press each ball into 2 'A-inch disk.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookie edges are set and lightly browned and centers are still soft but not wet, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely.
Source: Cooks Illustrated, October 2016
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑160
Thank you very much for providing baking recipes with WEIGHTS!! I'm so happy to have stumbled upon a blog that understands the science and mechanics of baking chemistry. You guys rock.
I’ve tried this recipe 3 times, the first time the cookies rised and were nice and full. The last 2 times I’ve made them they were flat and spread into each other. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong.
I’m not sure what is wrong. Your baking soda may be old. You might have been using a little too much liquid — it can happen if the eggs for example are too large. Try adding a little more flour to get a batter than is thicker than these last two tries. Let me know if that works.
Hi! Just made these! The texture is perfect, the cookie has a tiny crunch around the edge and the middle is so chewy! I can’t get over the oil tho, it has a vegetable oil after taste and the cookie dough smelled like oil. The taste was just okay, the texture was perfect.
What kind of oil. I often substitute butter for oil for just these reasons. Different cookie but I not a happy oil eater.
I had the same issue. I bought butter flavored olive oil and used that. Much better. Didn’t taste the oil anymore
I have made these cookies at least 10 times. I add sunflower seeds for crunch also dried fruit. The cookies are legendary.
I’m so glad you like them. Great idea to add the fruit.
My wife saw a re-run of the ATK episode the other day and wants me to bake her some of these — but, of course, without raisins. 😉
Has anyone tried replacing the raisins with (semi-dark) chocolate chips? If so, did you try the same amount as given for the raisins?
I’m wondering if it would mess with the moisture / consistency of the cookies. Too bad I didn’t see the ep when it aired, since it’s now behind lock & key at ATK and there’s no way to see if they mentioned subbing chocolate chips.
It’ll work. Just don’t overload with cups and cups of chips. Same amount of chips as raisins.
I’m sorry to say that this was an absolute, unmitigated disaster.
Double checked.. each time.. each ingredient.. used a digital scale (a good one).. followed the simple instructions to the letter.. Still not enough moisture to hold the dough together. I ended up adding almost a whole stick of butter to get some sort of extra moisture. I have no idea how others got it to work.. But these horrific globs of oats and sugar went straight from the oven to the trash.
I am so sorry. Suzi loves this recipe. I’ll speak with her and we’ll double check the post and perhaps retest.
Finally perfect oatmeal cookies! Thank You!!
OMG. Thank you. As you may have seen, some people have complained about this recipe, saying it does not work. Suzi and I have used it and we too had perfect cookies. We have not been able to test the recipe again ourselves. We will but I have great faith in it now that you have commented.
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times, using canola oil and mixed in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips with great success! They were very popular at parties and I’ve even made them into cookie bars once with no problem at all. In fact, imma go make two batches and freeze some dough balls for emergency cookies today! Thank you for the tasty recipe guys! 🙂
Thanks for confirming this recipe works! We make them and freeze them too.
I made an experiment: I wanted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies so I added 1c creamy PB to the creamed butter and sugars and eliminated the oil due to the oil in the PB. Well it seized up. When I added to the flour mixture it resembles crumble. I’m debating if I should add an extra egg or 1/2 unsweetened applesauce to help it all bind. Any thoughts out there?
Oops, peanut butter may be oily but it is not oil. Cut the oil in half, use 1/2 cup of peanut butter and experiment again. Maybe that egg, too.
Love, love, love these cookies. They came out fantastic – chewy on the inside, light crisp on the outside and they have great flavour. I’ve had one challenge in making these cookies. My favourite cookies are actually oatmeal chocolate chip so of course, the chips have to be added. I’m finding that the chips are not sticking to the dough due to the oil in the recipe. It’s quite frustrating to see most of the chips at the bottom of the bowl.
I don’t have an idea about why the chips are sinking. It’s nothing we have experienced. Maybe the type of oil?