Make the Best Oatmeal Cookies

Reader Contribution by Wendy Akin
article image

Don’t tell the kids: These are actually nutritious!

My favorite, best cookie recipe just happens to actually be pretty healthy and a good choice for after-school snacks. I’ve been making these for more years than I can remember. I used to keep a tin in my office, available to anyone who hadn’t had time for lunch. They have enough protein, iron and whole grain to make them guilt-free.

This recipe makes a big tub of cookies — about 60 two-inch cookies. They freeze well.


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (12 oz)
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown cane sugar or organic brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, such as King Arthur traditional or white whole wheat or your own
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats, not “quick”)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup broken pecans
  • 1/2 package dark chocolate chips (the minis if you can find them)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Have a rack set in the middle. You don’t need to grease your cookie sheet for these.
  2. Have the butter and eggs at room temperature.* Begin to cream the butter, add in the sugar and cream well. Add in the peanut butter, eggs and vanilla and beat on speed 6 until quite fluffy.
  3. Stir the baking soda, baking powder and salt into the flour and dump it in to the wet ingredients all at once.
  4. With the mixer set on 1 or “stir,” stir in and then add the oatmeal and stir in. Add the raisins, chocolate chips and nuts, just stirring — you don’t want to over mix after the flour goes in; this develops the gluten and makes your cookies tough.
  5. Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto your cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between.  Hold a clean, wet sponge in one hand and dampen the fingers of the other hand. Press each cookie flat, re-dampening fingers for each one.
  6. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, adjusting for your oven and cookie sheet.
  7. Cookies are best baked on a cold, dry day.  In hot, humid summer weather, pat the dough into a 9-by-13 or larger pan and bake like brownies, for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

*Did you forget to leave the butter and eggs sitting out? Fill a bowl with tepid water and drop in the eggs and the wrapped sticks of butter in for about 15 minutes while you gather the rest of the ingredients. Your butter will be ready to cream, soft but not melting.

Wendy Akin is a happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS postshere.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.