Most oatmeal cookies have one place of origin: Quaker’s Best Oatmeal Cookies recipe. But why are they ubiquitous when the result is usually dry, cakey, overly spiced rounds? We ran every variable through the wringer to achieve an oaty cookie with crisp edges and a dense, chewy middle. We took a big step in the right direction when we adjusted the fat content: Instead of using all butter, we introduced vegetable oil, an unsaturated fat that’s fluid at room temperature. The right combination of unsaturated and saturated fats results in chewy baked goods; a ratio of nearly 3 parts unsaturated to 1 part saturated was the sweet spot. Decreasing the flour further mitigated cakiness, while adding an extra egg yolk boosted moisture. Blooming the cinnamon in the butter intensified its flavor so we didn’t use excessive amounts. To avoid beating too much air into this dough, we mixed it by hand. Regular old-fashioned rolled oats work best in this recipe. Do not use extra-thick rolled oats; they will be tough. If you don’t add the optional raisins, the recipe will yield 18 cookies.
- Yield: 20 Cookies
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (9 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in bowl.
- Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling skillet occasionally. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan with heatproof spatula, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer browned butter to large bowl, scraping skillet with spatula, and stir in cinnamon.
- Whisk brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil into browned butter until combined. Whisk in egg and yolk and vanilla until smooth. Using wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until fully combined, about 1 minute. Stir in oats and raisins, if using, until evenly distributed (mixture will be stiff).
- Divide dough into twenty 3-tablespoon portions (or use #24 cookie scoop). Space dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets, 10 per sheet. Using your dampened hand, press each dough ball until 2½ inches in diameter.
- Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are set and lightly browned and centers are still soft but not wet, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack with wide metal spatula. Let cookies cool completely before serving.