BA's Best Oatmeal Cookies

Trending 1 month ago 315

This recipe for chewy oatmeal cookies results in an amped-up version of the childhood favorite, with pecans for nutty, crunchy interest and your choice of dried fruit to make them personal. (Raisin haters, this one’s for you. Raisin lovers, it’s for you too.)

But be warned: Don’t try to make these with quick-cooking oats. Quick oats are rolled thinner than old-fashioned oats (sometimes called rolled oats). The two absorb liquids at different rates; swap the quick-cooking version into this recipe, and you’ll end up with dry, cakey cookies instead of buttery ones. For extra nutty flavor, we toast the oats (and pecans) before stirring them into the cookie dough, resulting in the best oatmeal cookies of your life.

Of course, there are a few other contributing factors. We use a high proportion of brown sugar, plus a glug of maple syrup, to boost the cookies’ classic butterscotch notes. And, perhaps most important, we made them choose-you-own-mix-in-adventure cookies. We’re well aware that not everyone loves a raisin (just ask half our colleagues). So scour your cabinet for the dried fruit you like best and use it instead. Traditionalist? Oatmeal-raisin cookies it is. Cherry lover? Ginger fiend? Current connoisseur? Go your own way. (Looking for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe? We’ve arranged that elsewhere.)

The dough should rest at least 1 hour after mixing (but before forming) so the dry ingredients have time to hydrate fully—you can also make the dough a day ahead, cover it well, and stick it in the fridge overnight. Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to portion the dough. For the chewiest oatmeal cookies, reduce the baking time by 2 minutes—if you prefer crisper ones, flatten the dough balls slightly before baking.


Makes 24 cookies


cups (178 g) old-fashioned oats


cup (100 g) pecans, chopped


cup (125 g) all-purpose flour


tsp. Diamond Crystal of ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt


tsp. baking soda


tsp. ground cinnamon

tsp. freshly ground nutmeg


cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature


cup (packed; 156 g) light brown sugar


cup (50 g) granulated sugar


large egg, room temperature


Tbsp. pure maple syrup


tsp. vanilla extract or paste


cup raisins, dried sour cherries, and/or dried cranberries

PreparationStep 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 2 cups (178 g) old-fashioned oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup (100 g) pecans, chopped, toss to combine, and continue toasting until pecans are fragrant and oats are deep golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Let cool sightly.

Step 2

Whisk 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ⅛ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg in a medium bowl; stir in cooled oats and pecans.

Step 3

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, ¾ cup (packed; 156 g) light brown sugar, and ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add 1 large egg, room temperature, 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and 1 cup raisins, dried sour cherries, and/or dried cranberries and continue to beat, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until just combined. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour to hydrate oatmeal.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop (or ¼-cup measuring cup), portion cookies and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 3" apart (cookies will spread as they bake).

Step 5

Bake cookies, rotating cookie sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown and firm but centers are soft, 15–17 minutes. Let sit on sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks; let cool.

Do ahead: Cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead; store chilled in an airtight container. Let dough come to room temperature before baking. 

Editor’s note: This recipe was first printed in September 2016 as “Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies.” Head this way for more of our favorite cookie recipes →