Sheet Pan

Chubby Chewy Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies

May  6, 2013
15 Ratings
  • Makes about 20 large cookies
Author Notes

These are always a big hit at my farmer's market stand. Plus, someone asked me for the recipe, so here you go. These are adapted from my Chubby Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies -- I wanted the chewiness of that cookie, but with oatmeal and whole wheat flour. Healthy!

I leave my cookies plain and unspiced, except for vanilla. That way, the butterscotch and toffee flavors of the brown sugar and molasses really shine. Feel free to add a teaspoon of your favorite spices and/or a cup of additions, like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds cranberries, raisins -- whatever you fancy, really. If you're using any additions, your cookie yield will be greater.

My favorite way to eat these is when they're still warm from the oven, or even better, when they're warmed by the afternoon farmer's market sun. But if it's a chilly day and you've got cookies, nuke in the microwave for 15 seconds. And try them with a dollop of jam for breakfast -- super delicious.

Lastly, the key to chewy cookies is not to overbake. Be vigilant with the oven timer! —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

Wow, these cookies are everything mrslarkin says they are and more! They come together so easily and the taste is buttery and the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I rolled mine in a mixture of oats, cinnamon and turbinado sugar (we liked the extra crunch). I halved the recipe and made 20 medium-sized cookies that took just under 18 minutes to bake. A fantastic recipe -- I've already sent it to the chewy cookie lovers in the family! —drbabs

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour (weighed, 1 pound 2 ounces)
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups rolled oats, plus extra for tops of cookies
  • flaky salt for topping cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 heavy-duty cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together butter, sugars and molasses in mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment.
  3. Add vanilla and beat for a minute or two.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until combined.
  5. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda and add to the egg mixture. Pulse until flour is just incorporated, then beat on medium speed for a minute or two. Stop the mixer, and using a spatula or plastic bowl scraper, mix in any pockets of flour underneath.
  6. Add oatmeal and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape bowl. The cookie dough will be very thick and stiff. If you've got a small stand mixer, the cookie dough will try to escape -- just push it back down into the bowl.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough balls that are about 3 ounces each (smaller than a tennis ball, but bigger than a ping pong ball). With your hands, roll dough into balls to smooth the edges.
  8. Dip tops of each dough ball into a small bowl of extra oatmeal. Place back on pan. Press balls gently with the back of a fork or your fingers to slightly flatten. (I use a flat-bottomed 3-inch-wide 1-cup measuring cup and press the dough until it's the diameter of the cup.) Sprinkle with a little flaky salt.
  9. At this point, cookies can be frozen and baked off at a later time. Place them in one layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Stash in the freezer overnight or for several hours. (I prefer this freezing method, and I'm convinced it produces a chewier cookie, but I could also just be imagining it all.)
  10. To bake the cookies right away, place them a few inches apart on parchment-lined pans. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, and no more. Rotate pans back-to-front and top-to-bottom at midpoint.
  11. Again, don't over bake your cookies or you'll lose the chewiness. When finished, the edges will feel set and the centers will feel soft. They'll be pale on top and lightly golden brown underneath. Let cool 5 minutes on pans, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Now, go get a cold glass of milk and eat your cookie.
  13. Store cookies in an air-tight cookie jar or sealed plastic bag. Cookies reheat nicely in the microwave for about 15 seconds. They also freeze very well.
  14. Alternatively, for a small cookie, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan about 1-inch apart. Dip balls into extra oatmeal. Slightly flatten balls. Sprinkle with a touch of flaky salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. If necessary, press cookies down at midpoint. Makes about 4 to 5 dozen small cookies. (Small unbaked cookies can also be frozen and baked off at a later time.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • DeArmasA
  • PRST
  • SunBunny
  • Kristen
  • Jill Jones
    Jill Jones

22 Reviews

Layla97 August 1, 2020
Oh, my, Mrs. Larkin! I had a hankering for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and found your recipe in my bookmark file. I'm so glad I did. These are so delicious, pillowy, and nuanced with the whole wheat flour and touch of molasses. I use King Arthur Flour but didn't have their white whole wheat so I used whole wheat and their unbleached white flour. Added 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and an extra tablespoon of my home made vanilla. You are right about baking time. Baked in approx 17 minutes. Perfect! Thank you!
Jackie September 5, 2018
These cookies are everything Mrs Larkin promises- chubby and chewy. But most importantly, they are amazingly delicious! They have the perfect balance of butterscotch flavor and salt. This is Mrs Larkin's second recipe to make it into regular rotation in my house (recipe #1 is her Royal Wedding Scones- yum).
mrslarkin September 5, 2018
Oh that’s so nice to hear, Jackie! I love this cookie, and I’m so glad you do, too! Also glad you like the scones. 🤗
Alyssa June 10, 2018
Lovely little things! I halved the recipe the first time I tried it and it still came out beautiful. The salt on the top was a good thought. It seems this is the kind of recipe that could be riddled with, like adding choco chips or raisins or cranberries....
DeArmasA October 14, 2017
I needed cookies to take to a housewarming party I forgot about, so no time to run to the store. The only substitution I did was using whole wheat graham flour. WOW. Seriously the best oatmeal cookie I've ever had! Everyone at the party loved them as well. Thank you so much for sharing this one!
Sigita May 8, 2016
These are wonderful and make a large number which is also a good thing for gift giving. I add some chopped walnuts and chocolate chips which made them very special. Yum. And for sure 10 sec in the microwave makes them taste like they just came out of the oven.
Janelle November 3, 2014
These cookies are awesome! I swapped a stick of butter for 0.5 cup coconut oil; recipe is a keeper. Great sweet/ salty balance
PRST July 8, 2014
Ms. Larkin. I just made these and despite being a diehard crisp cookie fan, these are delicious. I used King Arthur whole wheat flour and added raisins. I assumed the 1 cup of brown sugar was meant to be packed but I only packed it lightly. Next time I'll think I'll pack it more. Thanks for a great recipe!
SunBunny January 10, 2014
mrslarkin I went for honey instead. They are delicious and different than anything else I've had...very cool. I used steel oats instead of the rolled oats- very good. Can't wait to see more of your recipes.
SunBunny January 10, 2014
Ekkks! I have no molasses to speak of. Any suggestions for a sub?
mrslarkin January 10, 2014
Hello SunBunny, I would just omit the molasses. They cookies are great without it, too.
Kristen August 15, 2013
These are fantastic! Nicely sweet and moist, I'm in love with this recipe. I substituted white wheat flour for whole wheat flour, and one cup of flax meal in place of one cup of flour. I also added butterscotch chips and cashews. The family loves them!
mrslarkin August 17, 2013
I'm so glad you like these, Kristen! Love your additions. Thank you!
Jill J. June 26, 2013
Mrs. Larkin: we meet again! I loved these cookies for a couple of reasons ... (1) ummm, they're delicious; (2) the dough is easy to make and great to work with; (3) I absolutely love that you can put the unbaked cookie in the freezer for easy baking and enjoying anytime. Who wouldn't like fresh baked cookies in 20 minutes? These might also make great cookies for ice cream sandwiches, maybe with a little of that butterscotch sauce layered in there too. :)Thanks for another great recipe.
mrslarkin June 26, 2013
You're welcome, Jill! I'm so happy to hear you liked these cookies. I love your ice cream sandwich idea. I've eaten this cookie, warmed, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of The Sauce, and some roasted peanuts. It's pretty darn good.
calendargirl June 22, 2013
Oh mrslarkin, these are glorious and will confirm you as a family fave. The photo is amazing. BTW, my daughter asks for lemon posset All The Time. Thanks for both recipes!
mrslarkin June 22, 2013
you're welcome, cg! i'm thrilled you like my recipes. did you make the cookies big or little? i made a batch today, but kept them in 2 minutes too long. sad face.
calendargirl June 23, 2013
Smallish, well medium I guess, and with golden raisins and currants. Sigh...
mrslarkin June 25, 2013
mrslarkin June 21, 2013
I can't edit right now, but if anyone makes these in the large size, baking 18 minutes total will get you a super chewy cookie. Edges will be firm, middle will look underdone.
drbabs June 10, 2013
Oh, I love these. (My husband is in the crispy oatmeal cookie camp, but I like them soft. Also without cinnamon.) thanks for posting this.
mrslarkin June 11, 2013
You're welcome, drbabs. I think I'm addicted to these. :)