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Recipe Tin Project: Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

A top-notch version of an absolute classic.

An Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is a classic. There’s just no arguing that fact. But a really good Oatmeal Raisin Cookie — one that’s sweet, but not too sweet, and has the perfect chewy texture — is a little harder to come by. No longer. This Chewy Oatmeal Cookie recipe hails from a vintage recipe card and while I have no idea who the author is, I’m confident in saying that they knew their cookies. This is a chewy delight of an oatmeal cookie, with a delicious added kiss of cinnamon spice.

This recipe card came to me through the Recipe Tin Project, a project where I cook my way through an old recipe tin full of vintage recipes. But you might have already guessed that. It’s chock full of old recipe cards, most of which seem to be from the ’60s and ’70s. I love food history, and the idea is to breathe new life into these recipes from the past and maybe learn a technique or two from them along the way. The recipes come from different people with different handwriting and some have sweet illustrations while others are on plain (often smudged and stained) index cards.

This card has a sweet little illustration in the bottom left-hand corner and is filled out in casual cursive in blue ink. The title says “chewey” instead of chewy and the directions are brief, at best. (I’m not complaining though — I’ve had cards with barely anything to go on at all!)

Those directions lead you through a one-bowl cookie. You sift together the dry ingredients first, and then add in some shortening, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat it all until it’s smooth. Oats and raisins get stirred in last. Easy, right? While I’m not usually one to use shortening in a cookie, I suppose the goal here is that it gives the cookies a much softer and tender texture than butter would. While you just can’t beat the flavor of butter, I can understand the motivation here — these are supposed to be chewy cookies after all, and they certainly are!

Aside from their chewiness, I really loved that these have a little kiss of cinnamon and nutmeg that you don’t get with your average oatmeal cookie. I thought they were so well-spiced so it’s not just about the oatmeal or the raisins… It’s about how it all comes together, and of course, that chew!

Yields 3 1/2 dozen cookies

10m prep time

12m cook time

Rated 3.7 out of 5
Rated by 3 reviewers
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup soft shortening
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Add shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in oats and raisins.
  4. Drop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!
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