Food On The Hill: Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

Los Alamos

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

With cookies, it seems sometimes that the population can be divided into two teams—those whose favorite cookie is the chocolate chip, and those who prefer oatmeal raisin. Count me as an oatmeal raisin team member. Even my chocolate chip cookies are simply oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead of raisins. (Try it! Delicious, if initially confusing. The chocolate chip team members usually examine them suspiciously, pointing at the dark bits, “What are those? Are there any raisins in here?”)

Predictably, the best recipe for oatmeal cookies appears on the underside of the lid of the cardboard oats canister that was ever present in so many of our cupboards growing up, featuring a genial-looking Quaker gentleman wearing a white ascot and a black broad-brimmed hat.

I modified the recipe nearly thirty years ago and haven’t wavered since—I added walnuts, decreased the sugar and increased the warm spices. The flour is already increased for our altitude. Jokes about how they constitute a healthy breakfast are common as folks reach for their second, third or fourth cookie. The oats company established in 1877 is correct:  they really do “vanish,” even without chocolate chips.

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies


14 tablespoons butter, softened (1 ¾ stick)

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cup flour (I use white, or a mix of white and whole wheat)

3 cups uncooked oats (quick or old-fashioned)

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If your oven has a convection feature, use it, as it will help all of the cookies be finished at the same time without rotating the baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add vanilla, eggs, baking soda, spices and salt and beat well.

Stir in the flour until well-mixed. Then stir in the oats, raisins and nuts until well-mixed.

Use a soupspoon to pull up a bit of dough that can be rounded like a small ball and dropped onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I usually fit 12 dough balls onto a standard single baking sheet with plenty of room between them.) Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. (Our altitude requires a longer baking time than usual.) 

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on size.

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