Best Oatmeal Cookies

Hope you’re not the indecisive sort, ’cause this best oatmeal cookies recipe requires some big decisions, and we don’t just mean semisweet or milk chocolate chips. The recipe is actually a brilliant blueprint that entrusts you with some serious choices in terms of what type of fat, flour, flavoring, sugar, spice, and stir-ins you like. It’s sorta like those choose-your-own-adventure books we had ages ago as kids. (Remember those? Ah, good times…) Let the baking hijinks begin.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC The Choice Is Yours Note

Researchers have recently begun to assert that too much choice can be a bad thing. That the human brain isn’t designed to be confronted with the countless options we’re confronted with on a daily basis in contemporary times. (You know the feeling of overwhelm we’re talking about—just think back to the last time you stood in front of a slew of olive oils, breakfast cereals, toothpastes, or the like.) But we assert that there’s also beauty and brilliance in choice. That it’s simply a matter of selectively allocating your attention to the really important decisions like, gosh, let’s see, what ingredients you want in your oatmeal cookies. So here is quite possibly the world’s best oatmeal cookie recipe, for the simple reason that it puts you in charge.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Servings vary


  • Fat (see below)
  • Sugar (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Spice (see below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Flavoring (see below)
  • Flour (see below)
  • 3 cups regular or quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup Stir-Ins (see below; optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the Fat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the Sugar, baking soda, Spice, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and Flavoring. Beat in as much of the Flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining Flour and the oats. If desired, add the Stir-Ins.
  • 3. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons, tablespoons, 1/4 cups, or cookie scoops on unbuttered baking sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart.
  • 4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for rounded teaspoons or tablespoons or 12 to 14 minutes for 1/4-cup or cookie-scoop portions, or until cookies are lightly browned and centers appear set. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.


  • Fat Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Note: Cookies made with all butter tend to be thin and crisp.)
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 1/2 cup shortening
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Sugar Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup molasses (add 1/4 cup additional all-purpose flour)
    1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup honey
  • Spice Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon apple pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Flavoring Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • Flour Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup oat bran
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • Stir-In Choices (Choose 1/2 to 1 cup any of the following)
  • Raisins or snipped dried apricots or dried red cherries or other mixed dried fruit
    Semisweet or milk chocolate, chips or chopped
    White chocolate, chips or chopped
    Butterscotch chips
    Peanut butter-flavor baking pieces
    Flaked coconut
    Chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, or other nuts
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