Daniel’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Reuben-Approved Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

As I type this, I wonder … does it seem boring to post a recipe for a common cookie like Oatmeal Raisin?  Perhaps. However, these are anything but boring for those who love this old “standard”.  Late this winter, when I was in California taking care of my three grandkids for a week, I cooked my brains out and wanted to leave food behind so everyone would miss me after I returned home.  My son Daniel always has loved these cookies that I often made for catered events; after all, they are a non-chocolate option (as you may recall, Daniel – unlike me – is not a huge chocolate fan. Go figure…).  

Levi & Yael give them the thumb’s up too

The original recipe started with Gayle’s Bakery near Santa Cruz, California where Sister Sue lives.  I adore Gayle’s — I love their bakery and every item on their menu. In fact, everything I have ever made that was inspired by what I’ve devoured at Gayle’s has been perfect.  From the original recipe I did cut the sugar down and find them still plenty sweet!

For this recipe, soaking the raisins and adding some cinnamon, then changing proportions a bit makes these the best recipe ever.  They remain chewy and soft, And for your information, I did leave about 30 dough balls in my son’s freezer, ready for when they have an urge for freshly baked cookies. Yes, they love me. And so I present:

Fresh out of the oven!

Daniel’s (Really, modified Gayles) Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes about around 35 large cookies or 60 smaller ones


  • 1 C (2 sticks) salted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed (I use dark brown sugar but light brown is fine too)
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 egg  yolk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 C unbleached white flour
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • 3 ½ C raw old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 ¼ C brown raisins (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, then drained well)

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Cream butter & sugars. Add eggs, one at a time; mix in vanilla

In a separate bowl combine cinnamon, flour, salt & baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture just until incorporated.

Add oats and raisins and mix until just combined

Refrigerate the dough in the same bowl for a ½ hour, then spray or oil a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop and scoop the dough into cookies balls, two inches apart.  Smash down the balls into disks about three inches in diameter for large cookies  If you prefer smaller cookies, use a 2 Tbsp scoop but still smash them flatter than balls.   Place the cookie sheet on the center rack for 12-14 minutes or until golden and still soft in the center. Cool on wire racks

Cook’s Notes:

You can substitute chocolate chips (regular or bittersweet)  in lieu of the raisins for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I don’t do this but I’ve had them, and they are good.  

I have made these with tart dried cherries, adding some grated orange zest rather than using raisins.  This is my preferred combination since I am not a raisin lover, but my kids like the original raisin variety.

I also pre-scoop balls of dough, flash freeze them and then put the dough balls into a container in the freezer.  If you get the urge for a cookie at night, simply defrost the cookie dough ball for about a half hour, smash it down with the heel of your hand into a circle and bake in a preheated toaster oven (on a small sheet lined with parchment) for about 10-12 minutes.  For me, I prefer to “bake as I go” so I rarely bake a huge batch of cookies at one time. 

My California grandkids dipped the warm cookies in milk.  I am not a dipper but my kids and husband love to do this.  

Cookies or dough can be frozen for up to six months.

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