Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

By • July 20, 2010 • 99 Comments

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Author Notes: Chocolate chip cookies are delicious. So are oatmeal raisin cookies. But in my opinion, the king of all cookies is a hybrid of the two. For years, I'd been sampling and comparing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but had never tried making my own. Until this week, that is. After one misguided attempt resulting in insipid, cakey little domes that dried out almost instantaneously, I took a step back for a minute. I thought about a standard chewy oatmeal raisin cookie -- the kind that bends as you bite into it and leaves behind a rich, spicy aftertaste. And then I thought of the chocolate chip cookies my mother used to make when I was growing up. She took the recipe from the Nestle Toll House chocolate chips bag and tweaked it so that the cookies came out flatter and crisper around the edges, with rich caramel undertones. I decided what I was really looking to achieve lay somewhere in between these two.
The resulting cookies were crisp indeed, almost lacy, with little pockets where butter and sugar had pooled to create crackly deposits of caramel. The spices were pronounced without being overbearing, and every cookie promised at least half a dozen chips. It was difficult to wait until they were cool enough to handle. I may never make plain old chocolate chip cookies again!
Merrill Stubbs

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the flour and spices in three additions, beating until just combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Do not overbeat!
  3. Stir in the oats and the chocolate chips, distributing evenly. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons on parchment-lined baking sheets, keeping the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Flatten gently with the back of a spoon and bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. The cookies are done when they turn lightly golden around the edges, and the tops look almost dry. Cool on the baking sheets for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies are best still slightly warm, but you can successfully store them in an airtight container for up to a few days.
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Comments (99) Questions (2)


10 days ago Wendy

A little to much cinnamon for me, but Alvin liked them.


2 months ago Rick

Spice mix was excellent. I replaced some of the butter with coconut oil and added some shredded coconut. Came out beautifully after 10-12 minutes.


4 months ago Jef

Just made these and they are wonderful. I did make a few adjustments to my liking… I substituted half the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I added 1 tbs barley malt power and omitted the allspice and nutmeg. They have a wonderful, warm flavor.


6 months ago Pat in SoCal

These are pretty darn good! I added nuts and made half with chocolate chunks for the husband and the other half with raisins for me. They are crispy and chewy at the same time. The dough is very crumbly and dry feeling. I found it easier to pick out a small ball and shape and flatten by hand. These won't last long! Thanks for all the experimenting you did to get here.


7 months ago grace

These are fine: definitely crispy but the flavor isn't vastly different from other oatmeal cookies. I also tried browning the butter and using orange sugar but that didn't put it over the top either. I wanted a more pronounced nuttiness, but I think the chocolate blots this out. I might try it with nuts instead of chips.


7 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Wasn't aiming for a unique flavor, as much as a texture I love -- let me know if you try them with nuts!


7 months ago Abbie C

Just took a batch out of the oven! So delicious!


9 months ago Kelly Dennison

Wow. I made these last night and they are gone. All gone. I decided it would be the height of selfishness to keep these to myself, so I shared them with my neighbors. All were disappointed when we ran out! Thank you so much for this recipe! It's a keeper!


12 months ago M. Burke

Heed the addiction warnings in previous posts! To prevent eating an entire batch in one sitting remove all cold milk from your home, and if necessary, bake in the presence of a vegan.


12 months ago Zagrod

Simply astounding. These were my first go at baking cookies, and everyone at my work said they were absolutely heavenly and devoured them :)


about 1 year ago Guinevere

I made a new batch of these every couple weeks for a few months. They are so addicting, and they truly are the best cookies. I tweaked the proportions of a few ingredients to account for my poorly-insulated oven in my current apartment, and to achieve my preferred cookie texture. I will certainly be making a lot more of these as the holidays approach.


about 1 year ago rpacheco

These are delicious. The spices definitely make them more interesting than your typical cookie...


over 1 year ago tilemaker

So good! I used half unsalted butter, half salted because I like the salty sweet combo. Also one less cup of oats because I thought it was getting dry and added 1/2 cup walnuts. I love the way they turned out! I have never succeeded in getting a crispy cookie like this. I made them for a gift and there were some left over after I filled the tin, thank goodness!


over 1 year ago Crispy

They are addictively delicious! I found that storing them in a glass container keeps them crispy for days!


over 1 year ago Fox Sutherland

Excellent recipe! The best cookies I have ever baked :)


over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you like them!


over 1 year ago ericarw

just made these last night - spice blend is perfection!


over 1 year ago Anubha

Can I make theses without eggs. Pls suggest as I would love to make them for my ten yr old son who loves cookies.


over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I haven't made them without the egg and don't feel I have the specific expertise to instruct you on how to adapt the recipe. Maybe try an egg substitute?


about 2 years ago Lunadalutti

I have to admit: I was a "virgin" cookie baker until today - cookies were not really a Brazilian tradition as I grew up, so I had no childhood memories nor any previous baking experience to compare this to! I wasn't sure of how the dough should look like, I ran out of oats, my husband bought the wrong chocolate for the chips... all odds against me! But I thought "Hey! This is Merril's recipe!!!". I'm so happy with the results!!! They're both crisp and soft, and spicy and chocolatey and... healthful (the oats, people, the oats!). Thank you so much! Food52 is my safe haven for cooking premieres!!!!
My tweak: I divided the batter in two and added unsweetened cocoa powder to the second batch, which came out less sweet (and more to my taste).


about 2 years ago korn muffin

I just made these last night and brought them to soccer practice this morning for an after practice snack. They were a hit! Thanks for the AMAZING recipe!


over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

My son summed it up when he came bounding down the stairs (after I'd left a plate of these and a glass of milk on his desk, while he was showering after a hard bike ride), declaring happily, "Mother, this is my kind of cookie!" They're quite possibly the best oatmeal cookie I've ever made. ;o) P.S. I added a big handful of chopped walnuts, and not quite so many chocolate chips. Great, great recipe!


over 2 years ago Manhattan Tart

I bake cookies for my high school-aged daughters (and their friends!) all of the time, but NEVER make plain chocolate chip. They specifically requested "plain" chocolate chip this morning, so I knew I'd find something lovely on Food52. Holy COW, but these are terrific. I used classic rolled oats (not quick-cooking) and they lend such great texture! I chickened out and only added 1/16th-ish tsp. of Allspice and went light on the chocolate chips, using about 1 1/2 cups (and there are still PLENTY). I made them larger (using a #16 scoop) and baked 'em a bit longer, reserving about half of the raw dough in the 'fridge (there's a terrific NY Times article about allowing cookie dough time to "season" over the course of at least 24 hours THEN baking). These aren't going to last long. They are really complex, have really great texture and are really, really lovely! Thanks, Merrill!


over 2 years ago Matilda Luk

Looks like I'm super-late to the game, but I made these last night and they are my new go-to cookie! I love the warmth and roundness the spices (which I nearly skipped in my haste to get cookies in my mouth). I subbed 1/4 cup of dried cherries for part of the chocolate chips (because I ran out) but the cookies were still delicious. I socked 3/4 of the formed dough balls in the freezer in case of a cookie emergency. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!