Easy Oatmeal Cookies

April 27, 2020 By Aneesha |

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These Easy Oatmeal Cookies are soft, chewy and a delicious way to enjoy old fashioned oats with a touch of sweetness from brown sugar, dates and craisins. An incredibly quick oatmeal cookie recipe prepared and baked fresh from the oven in under 30 minutes!

stack of soft and chewy cookies with glass of milk

The Best Chewy Oatmeal Cookies – No Chilling Required

I bought a bulk container of Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats last week. Apart from the usual breakfast oats, we add them to many sweets and treats, including snack-time options.

My girls have been baking these really delicious chewy Oatmeal cookies since they were 9 or 10. They started with my basic recipe for Homemade Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, which I probably adapted from the back of a Quaker Box (I think), and tweaked it quite a bit 🙂

They really have fun with this recipe and keep switching the mix-ins. Other than usual suspects like assorted nuts and dried fruit, they’ve done versions with coconut flakes and chocolate chips and more.

In my honest opinion, these are the best chewy oatmeal cookies I have ever eaten. They are incredibly tender with little pockets of sweetness from the brown sugar, dates and craisins (sweetened dried cranberries), and nutty goodness from walnuts and almonds.

But the best part – with a few pantry ingredients and a little help from melted butter, these super quick oatmeal cookies require no chilling. In other words, they are mixed and baked fresh from the oven in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients Availability & Customization

These homemade oatmeal cookies are made with the usual cookie ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, brown sugar, an egg, vanilla extract and rolled oats.

The real goodness comes with the walnuts, almonds, dates and dried cranberries.

butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, almonds, walnuts, egg, dates, craisins
  • Flour: Girls used unbleached, all-purpose flour since that’s what we had in the pantry, but we’ve also made these with a 100% whole-wheat flour, or a combination of half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour as well. For gluten-free cookies, use a 1:1 Gluten Free baking flour blend and certified gluten-free oats.
  • Leavening: Although it is possible to make oatmeal cookies without baking soda or baking powder by creaming room temperature butter with sugar, using melted butter creates a quick and chewy cookie. We want the extra lift from the chemical leaveners.
  • Sugar: Use brown sugar, either light or dark (if you like that extra molasses flavor), for more depth of flavor. The sweetness level in the recipe is moderately sweet, similar to a snack bar. For a cookie-sweetness, add an additional 2-4 Tablespoons brown sugar.
  • Oats: Make sure to use old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats. The quick oats act too much like flour and will alter the texture, making the cookies too dry.
  • Nuts: My girls used walnuts and almonds, but any combination of nuts will do. Pecans would be a wonderful addition, too.
  • Dried Fruit: I love the combination of super sweet Medjool dates against the tart cranberries. You will need to pit and chop the dates to bite-size pieces. For extra convenience, I buy pitted dates. Feel free to swap out the dried fruit with whatever you have on hand – diced dried apricots, cherries or the traditional raisins.

How To Make Oatmeal Cookies From Scratch

Oatmeal cookies from scratch are ready in less than 30 minutes with one bowl, an electric hand mixer and no chilling required. Simply:

melted butter and brown sugar in glass bowl with egg, electric mixer mixing flour and sugar
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed. When it looks whipped, add egg and vanilla and whip again until the mixture looks light and fluffy (Pics 1 & 2).
  • Add the flour mix and whisk till the batter looks fluffy (Pics 3 & 4).
dried fruit and oats in glass bowl, spatula mixing cookie batter, cookies on baking sheet and baking in oven
  • Add all the mix-ins, including chopped nuts and dried fruit and using a spatula, fold everything until incorporated (Pics 5 & 6).
  • Using a cookie spoon, scoop and drop the dough on a parchment or aluminum lined baking sheet, leaving a 1½-2 inch gap between cookies. Wet your fingers and gently press down on the cookies to flatten them a little (Pic 7).
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 13-14 minutes on the center rack, until golden at the bottom and edges (Pic 8).
  • Wait for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack for cooling.

Why Are My Oatmeal Cookies Hard?

Oatmeal cookies have a bad reputation for being hard, brittle or crumbly. A few troubleshooting techniques to keep in mind include:

  • Adding too little flour can cause flat, greasy, crispy cookies.
  • Adding too little baking soda can cause flat, lumpy cookies, but too much baking soda will result in a bitter, soapy aftertaste.
  • Using too little butter can cause the cookies to be tough and crumbly, whereas too much butter can cause flat and greasy cookies.
  • Adding too little brown sugar will result in pale cookies.
  • Using too few eggs can result in dry, crumbly cookies.
chewy cookies with rolled oats on cooling rack

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Variations

These scrumptious oatmeal cookies are easily customizable with a few ingredient and mix-in swaps. Try:

  • Peanut Butter Chips: Add 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, which give you that peanut-butter-and-jelly flavor
  • Chocolate Chips: Replace the dried fruit with an equal amount of milk, white or dark chocolate chips, or a combination of all three
  • Butterscotch: Swap out the dried fruit for butterscotch chips
  • Cinnamon: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients for hints of cinnamon throughout the cookie batter
  • Coconut flakes: Add a few tablespoons of sweetened shredded coconut to this recipe
  • Browned Butter: Since the recipe already calls for melted butter, if you have an extra 5 minutes, up the flavor profile with super nutty browned butter. Follow this guide on How To Make Browned Butter.
oatmeal cookies on black plate with glass of milk

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Believe it or not, but these oatmeal cookies are easily adaptable to be plant-based and vegan. The vegan cookies will not spread as much, but they are certainly delicious! Simply:

  1. Use melted and cooled coconut oil instead of butter. The batter will seem oily, but the cookies will bake up to deliciousness. Allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes to allow the oats to absorb the added moisture. The cookies will have a hint of coconut, but if you do not want any coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil.
  2. Make a flax egg to substitute the egg. Mix together 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 Tablespoons water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir into the batter just as you would an egg.

Make-Ahead Storage Instructions

These soft oatmeal cookies will keep best stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 7 days. Store in the fridge for up to two week. They freeze well too (see notes below).

Unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This allows you to bake a few now and save the rest for later.

Note: Even though these cookies are delicious baked right away, chilling the dough makes the cookies chewier and thicker!

easy oatmeal cookies on cooling rack

Freezing Cookie Dough & Baked Cookies

Yes – both the cookie dough and baked cookies can be stored in the freezer for longer storage.

  • To freeze cookie dough: Scoop the cookie dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, flattening as directed. Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour, or until each individual cookie dough ball is frozen. Transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. No need to thaw before baking, simply add an additional 2-3 minutes to the baking time. (This is my preferred method)
  • To freeze baked cookies: Cool completely and transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in the toaster oven or microwave when ready to enjoy!

Recipe Tips:

  • Melt the butter and bring the egg to room temperature. The key to a soft, chewy oatmeal cookie is melted butter. Rather than creaming to create structure, the butter provides moisture and flavor and ultimately will make the cookie chewy. Just make sure to cool slightly before mixing. A room temperature egg ensures better emulsification. To speed up the process, add the egg to a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before mixing.
  • Add more brown sugar for cookie sweetness. The sweetness in these cookies is more like a snack bar. Add an additional 2-4 Tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark) for a sweet cookie recipe.
  • Use a small cookie or ice cream scoop to portion out the cookies. This makes it easier to ensure you are forming cookies all roughly the same size.
  • Bake to desired tenderness. My girls baked them for 13 minutes, which made for well-done cookies where the edges were set, but the centers were slightly chewy. For super soft oatmeal cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. The oatmeal cookies will be very soft as soon as they come out of the oven. Make sure to let cool for at least 2 minutes on the baking sheet to allow them to set.
  • Bake some now and save the rest for later. The unbaked cookie dough will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze cookie dough, scoop the cookie dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, flattening as directed. Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour, or until each individual cookie dough ball is frozen. Transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. No need to thaw before baking, simply add an additional 2-3 minutes to the baking time.
  • To freeze baked cookies, cool completely and transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in the toaster oven or microwave when ready to enjoy!

More Oat Recipes From My Kitchen

More Teen/Tween-Favorite Recipes By the Girls

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stack of soft and chewy cookies with glass of milk

Easy Oatmeal Cookies

These Easy Oatmeal Cookies are soft, chewy and a delicious way to enjoy old fashioned oats with a touch of sweetness – no chilling required.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 92kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
  • Using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed. When it looks whipped, add egg and vanilla and whip again until the mixture looks light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mix and whisk till the batter looks fluffy.
  • Add all the mix-ins, including chopped nuts and dried fruit and using a spatula, fold everything in till incorporated.
  • Using a cookie spoon, scoop and drop the dough on a parchment or aluminum lined baking sheet, leaving a 1½-2 inch gap between cookies. Wet your fingers and gently press down on the cookies to flatten them a little.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 13-14 minutes on the center rack, until golden at the bottom and edges.
  • Wait for 2 minutes after which transfer the cookies to a wire rack for cooling.

Notes & Recipe Tips

Recipe Tips:

  • Melt the butter and bring the egg to room temperature. The key to a soft, chewy oatmeal cookie is melted butter. Rather than creaming to create structure, the butter provides moisture and flavor and ultimately will make the cookie chewy. Just make sure to cool slightly before mixing. A room temperature egg ensures better emulsification. To speed up the process, add the egg to a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before mixing.
  • Add more brown sugar for cookie sweetness. The sweetness in these cookies is more like a snack bar. Add an additional 2-4 Tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark) for a sweet cookie recipe.
  • Use a small cookie or ice cream scoop to portion out the cookies. This makes it easier to ensure you are forming cookies all roughly the same size.
  • Bake to desired tenderness. My girls baked them for 13 minutes, which made for well-done cookies where the edges were set, but the centers were slightly chewy. For super soft oatmeal cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. The oatmeal cookies will be very soft as soon as they come out of the oven. Make sure to let cool for at least 2 minutes on the baking sheet to allow them to set.
  • Bake some now and save the rest for later. The unbaked cookie dough will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze cookie dough, scoop the cookie dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, flattening as directed. Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour, or until each individual cookie dough ball is frozen. Transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. No need to thaw before baking, simply add an additional 2-3 minutes to the baking time.
  • To freeze baked cookies, cool completely and transfer to a plastic freezer storage bag, seal tight, label, date and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in the toaster oven or microwave when ready to enjoy!
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates for one cookie based on 36 servings. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chewy oatmeal cookies, easy oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cookies recipe
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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