Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

By • September 20, 2011 • 55 Comments

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Author Notes: The oatmeal part of the recipe comes from "Ruth's Oatmeal Crisps," winner of the 1966 Kentucky State Fair cookie contest. I added cocoa, chocolate and walnuts, and left the golden raisins and pecans on the cutting room floor. The shortening makes this a super crisp cookie. Seek out organic shortening.Amanda Hesser

Makes about 60 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Beat the shortening and sugars in a large bowl just enough to blend well. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the oats and chocolate, and mix again. Add the flour mixture, mixing well. Stir in the nuts.
  3. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until toasted on the edges but still moist in the center, about 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.
Jump to Comments (55)

Tags: bake sale, lunch box

Comments (55) Questions (4)

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7 months ago Maia Brumberg-Kraus

Would Earth Balance baking sticks work as shortening?

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7 months ago maryke

I made these last night but tweaked it a bit (quite a bit!). Left out chocolate and nuts (it being month end after a VERY long month) and added just under a cup of coconut. Also cut back on the sugar and substituted shortening with sunflower oil. Came out delicious and my kids LOVE it (and I do too :))

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8 months ago LynneT

OMG these are outstanding! I'll make these again and again.

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9 months ago Patricia Bennett

This may seem like a pretty dumb question, especially for experienced bakers, but could someone please clarify "shortening" for baking? Does it mean Crisco, canola oil, butter, olive oil, what???

Stringio

9 months ago Sarah Cherry Jumel

Not a dumb question. It means Crisco, but you can use other fats instead. It might make the cookie flatter is all. Sometimes, if you want it JUST LIKE the picture, you should go exactly as they say, but I use what is healthiest (I'm gonna be eating it). Canola oil.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

9 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hi Patricia, Sarah is right -- shortening means something like Crisco. But there are other varieties of shortening -- for instance, Spectrum shortening is non-hydrogenated and is made with palm oil: http://www.spectrumorganics...

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9 months ago Patricia Bennett

Recipe for Ruth's Oatmeal Crisps, please?

Stringio

9 months ago Sarah Cherry Jumel

I made it replacing the white sugar with a Truvia blend. Fine, except it seems the Truvia cooks a tad faster. Take off two minutes and you are good. Also, I used canola oil, not shortening, and a little more oats, no nuts. Still great.

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about 1 year ago maryw.s.

Don't be afraid of shortening, people!

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about 1 year ago Kerry James

Made a half batch of these last night using unsalted butter instead of shortening because I didn't have any. They were still amazingly delicious! As you pointed out, I think the roughly chopped dark chocolate is what makes these so yummy and gooey. Mine did turn out looking brown like chocolate cookies rather than the picture, so I'm guessing maybe that has to do with using butter instead of shortening? Or, perhaps the kind of cocoa powder I used? Will try again soon with shortening.

Stringio

over 1 year ago adele93

would unsalted butter work as a substitute for the shortening?

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about 2 years ago Randi

We are a nut-free home. Would you add anything to replace nuts, or just leave them out?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You can just leave them out -- no problem. And I think that's a better way to go than adding anything else. Although if the cookies are not for children, gin- or run-soaked raisins are great in chocolate and oatmeal cookies.

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over 2 years ago Mianna

Yummy, these were perfect. Thanks for so many good recipes.

Coopers

over 2 years ago aussiefoodie

I don't have any dark chocolate... Has anyone tried these as a white chocolate chip/pistachio cookies? Thinking I will out the cocoa, but not sure how the oats will go with white chocolate?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you'll try it and report back -- sounds good!

Coopers

over 2 years ago aussiefoodie

I tested it out - substituted dark chocolate for 1 cup white chocolate chips and walnuts for 1 cup chopped pistachios. I omitted the cocoa and instead used 1 3/4 cup All Purpose flour. I used 1 scant cup brown sugar, loosely packed. The key difference is the white chocolate adds a lot of sweetness, so next time I would probably used 3/4 cup brown sugar (loosely packed). But they have worked out great - I like the texture from the oatmeal. I probably over-cooked them slightly (I need to remember they keep cooking on the tray out of the oven) as I would like them a little more chewy. Great recipe! Thanks! I look forward to testing with dark chocolate.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great -- thanks for the follow up. Hadn't thought about the white chocolate sweetness issue. Makes sense.

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over 2 years ago sharli13

just took them out of the oven...this is just not fair....they are unbelievably without a doubt indisputably incredible.....I have to get away from this blog....it's driving me insane..all I want to do is cook...bake....cook...bake....HELP.....you are just wonderful....on the other hand....don't stop....:)

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over 2 years ago sharli13

just put them in the oven....scoop size....will report shortly....

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over 2 years ago sharli13

just put them in the oven....scoop size....will report shortly....

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over 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

These are AMAZING!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you think so. Thanks for the report back.

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over 2 years ago lschrive

Beautifully snow day - so my daughter helped me make these today. She was very glad to not have to wait and let the butter come up to room temperature as it is shortening recipe. Everything turned out well - and I love the crispy yet chewy texture. Will definitely toss this recipe into the cookie rotation. Thanks!

Lil_piggy

over 2 years ago DanaYares

This is a wonderful cookie. I made it just as the recipe says and they turned out great!

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almost 3 years ago mdonovan33

I've been wanting to make these for a while and with company coming for Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a batch. They were an absolute DISASTER!! I took the advice of others and did half butter/half shortening, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. The cookies came out of the oven as one giant, flat cookie. They certainly don't look like the picture! Are they supposed to be that flat? I chilled the dough after the first batch, and that helped a bit, but I also found the flavor lacking. They have both cocoa and chocolate, yet all I taste is oatmeal!
A VERY disappointing recipe.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Very sorry you had a bad experience, but it's not fair to change a recipe and then blame the recipe! I've made this many times with all shortening and the photo you see above is what it looks like -- because that is one of the batches I made and that photo was taken in my apartment in Brooklyn. Still, I don't want you to have a bad experience. I gather that butter contains more moisture than shortening so I'm wondering if this extra moisture is what caused your cookies to spread.

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almost 3 years ago mdonovan33

Amanda, you're absolutely right. I should not criticize the recipe after changing ingredients and I most humbly apologize. There's another oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie I make that has half butter/half shortening and I thought I could make the same substitution here. I will try this again, with all shortening, and hopefully they'll hold some shape. As I said, I was making them for house guests, and when I pulled them out of the oven, I was so disheartened by how they looked that I wrote the above comment in anger. On the plus side, I've taken these "lace" cookies and used them to make really tasty ice cream sandwiches!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

How thoughtful of you to write back! And glad there was a silver lining -- ice cream sandwiches sound great! Hope the next batch works out better.

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almost 3 years ago Nela

I made two batches with and without walnuts, (for the finicky eaters). And all my students gave these an A+. Thank you!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad they were a success!

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almost 3 years ago CrazyDaisyZ

I, too, used butter instead of shortening. I also used special dark cocoa instead of regular cocoa and they turned out fabulous! My family loved them! My kids are asking me to make them again.

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almost 3 years ago kerbi

I also made them with butter (shortening just scared me) and they are going to be a new staple in our cookie repertoire. They were absolutely delicious! They had the right balance of sweet but not too sweet.

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almost 3 years ago everblessed

Just made these tonight, but with all butter and two cups of oats (I live in a humid climate and the dough looked too wet)...delicious!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Everyone is having such success with butter, I think I'm going to have to try it myself! Thanks for your comment.

Monkeys

almost 3 years ago monkeymom

Made these the other day with the 1 cup of oatmeal. Also did half shortening and half butter (because I ran out of shortening). My kids (and I) loved them! They have a perfect texture - crisp edges and chewy middle. Thanks for a new family favorite!

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almost 3 years ago loves2eat

Can't wait to try it. How well do they freeze? I have an event coming up next month and would like to make ahead. Thanks.

Claire

almost 3 years ago midnitechef

I'm also curious how long they store for (air-tight on counter, or frozen)? My other oatmeal cookies tend to be best within the first day or two, then they don't taste as good and dry out.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I haven't frozen them so I'm not sure. A safer bet would be to freeze the dough and bake off the cookies the day before the event. Also, they are best eaten within a day.

Claire

almost 3 years ago midnitechef

Thanks Amanda!

Coopers

over 2 years ago aussiefoodie

Would you freeze the dough in one batch, or separate it into cookie sized portions before freezing? Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You could go either way. I'd probably freeze in one batch (to avoid freezer burn or other freezer issues) and defrost for a day in the fridge.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hey all -- I made a mistake when I added the recipe to the site. It should be 1 cup oats, not 3 cups. Apologies to anyone who made the recipe and had a problem.

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almost 3 years ago TaffyIsVictory

Don't understand, three cups of oats?? That really dried out the batter. Slideshow only shows one cup going in. What's the deal here?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hey -- thank you SO much for catching that. That was a typo. It should be 1 cup!

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almost 3 years ago ssharma1121

These cooks are just okay. Followed the instructions... the dough seemed a little dry. Hubby said they tasted more like brownies than like cookies.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

So sorry -- I make a mistake when I typed in the recipe. It should have been 1 cup oats, not 3 cups. That would account for the dryness. Again, my apologies!

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almost 2 years ago durun99

The original recipe for "Ruth's Oatmeal Crisps" calls for 3 cups of oats. Everything else is pretty much the same as your recipe except for the 1/4 cup cocoa and swapping out raisins and pecans for dark chocolate and walnuts. Why would using 3 cups of oats in your recipe dry your cookies out but not the original recipe?

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almost 2 years ago durun99

So I went ahead and made the recipe with 1 cup of oats and the batter was way too moist. I added in another cup of oats and it worked fine. I think it could've taken even more than that and still not been dry. Tasted great, too, everyone loved them.

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almost 3 years ago thespicegirl

Delicious looking cookies. I just made a batch of my own version of chocolate oat cookies (healthy version) but will definitely give this a go next time. The crispy aspect coming from the shortening sounds like a real winner! Thanks for sharing.

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almost 3 years ago ashleypiersonchasesdinner

What a wonderful recipe! I love oatmeal chocolate cookies! I am less inclined to feel guilty with the oatmeal being so healthy and all!

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almost 3 years ago Trifunster

Just made these, yummy. Only thing is mine are not as flat as picture. Wonder why.

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almost 3 years ago Lizthechef

What is your favorite cocoa powder to use here? In general, I prefer Droste.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I like Droste. Also Scharffenberger.

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almost 3 years ago Dave_Fouchey

Amanda this looks just yummy.

Dave