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The BEST Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on a teal plate

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are quite possibly my favorite drop cookie (aka cookies that are made by “dropping” cookie dough onto baking sheets).  These cookies have a crisp outer edge with a soft and chewy middle.  They are filled with plump raisins, chewy oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a touch of vanilla.  These easy oatmeal raisin cookies are a winner!

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Ingredients for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Equipment

How Do You Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Soft and Chewy?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have eaten many oatmeal raisin cookies that were essentially hard little nuggets of dry dough and raisins.  When I think of a good Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (or really any drop cookie), I am looking for a recipe that results in a slightly crispy outer edge and a soft and chewy middle.  But how you make oatmeal raisin cookies stay soft and chewy?  Here are a few tricks to help you out:

  • Look for a recipe that has more brown sugar than granulated sugar.  The added molasses in the brown sugar increases the moisture level in the cookie which helps the cookie stay soft.
  • Avoid overmixing the dough.  The more flour is beaten, the more gluten develops.  While gluten development is ideal when making bread, it should be avoided when making cookies.  This will cause the cookies to stay small and the texture will be tough. 
  • Underbake the cookies slightly to keep the cookies soft.  The longer a cookie bakes, the crispier the dough will become. 
  • Using plump and soft raisins also help to make oatmeal raisin cookies soft and chewy.  The moisture from the raisins helps keep the cookie soft. 

Should You Soak Raisins Before Baking Cookies?

It is not necessary to soak raisins before baking with them if they are fresh.  If, however, the only raisins you have are hard little nuggets that have been in your cabinet for a very long time, then soak them in hot water for approximately 30 minutes, drain the water off, and dry them thoroughly before adding them to the cookie dough. 

Soaking the raisins allows the water to help plump them up and make them soft and chewy.  This, in turn, helps to keep your cookies soft and chewy as well.  I frequently soak raisins in hot spiced rum rather than water to add some extra flavor to them. 

Making the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough

Place the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar to break up any clumps.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough - Creamed butter and sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), use a paddle attachment to beat the butter on medium-low speed until smooth.  Add the sugars and cream together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes.  The mixture should be fluffy, lightened in color, and increased slightly in volume. 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough with eggs added

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until just combined.  Avoid over-mixing the egg because it can cause the cookies to spread and deflate while baking.  The mixture might look curdled at this point, but it will come together when the dry ingredients are added.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions and mix on low speed until most of the flour is combined.  Add the oats and pulse on low (i.e., quickly turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and then immediately off) about 10 times to combine.  Then add the raisins and pulse an additional 10 times.  At this point, the oats and raisins should be distributed throughout the dough and all the flour should be combined. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the dough to cool.  This will help the butter to firm back up and reduce spreading while baking.

Baking the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in vertical fan

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C with the rack in the middle of the oven. 

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (this will make fairly large cookies) and roll into a ball.  Each cookie should weigh approximately 72g. 

Place 6 on a pan to bake at a time and allow the dough to come to room temperature before baking.  Adding more than 6 will lead to the cookies touching while baking.   

Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.  If your oven has hot spots, rotate your tray of cookies halfway through baking (i.e., front to back) for even baking.

Remove the cookies from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are best the day they are baked; however, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are fantastic for freezing.  Weigh and roll the dough into balls.  Then place the dough balls into the freezer on a baking sheet or plate without the balls touching each other.  When the dough has completely frozen, move the balls into a freezer-safe container.  Whenever you want to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie, remove one ball (or however many you want to make) from the bag and allow it to thaw to room temperature.  Then bake it the same as above.  The cookies can be stored in the freezer up to 1 month.

Freezing is a great option if you have a small family, or if you live by yourself and don’t want to be tempted to eat an entire batch of cookies in one sitting.  My husband and I do this frequently so we can eat freshly baked cookies without having to dirty a bunch of dishes. 

Freezing Pro Tip: Label the freezer container with the name of the cookie, the date they were put into the freezer, the date for when they should be removed from the freezer (i.e., thrown out), and instructions for baking (i.e., thaw to room temperature, bake for 18-20 at 350°F/160°C).  Life is so much easier when you don’t have to guess or remember what is in the freezer.  Trust me on this one. 

Notes

This recipe was adapted from the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook

Want More Cookie Inspiration?

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I’d love to know how it turned out!  Please let me know by leaving your thoughts below.  Or snap a photo and share it on Pinterest or Instagram (@windycitybaker). 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on a teal plate
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Servings: 12 cookies

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or dry measuring cups and measuring spoons)
  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment (or large bowl with hand mixer)
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • Whisk
  • 2 Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Wire rack

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 tsp (144g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp (7.7g) ground cinnamon
  • tsp (7.4g) baking soda
  • ¾ tsp (3.6g) salt
  • ½ cup + 3½ Tbsp (140g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 ½ Tbsp (69g) granulated sugar
  • 11 Tbsp (155g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large (62g) egg
  • tsp (7.7g) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (155g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (156g) raisins

Instructions

Making the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough

  • Place the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar to break up any clumps.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), use a paddle attachment to beat the butter on medium-low speed until smooth. Add the sugars and cream together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes. The mixture should be fluffy, lightened in color, and increased slightly in volume.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until just combined. Avoid over-mixing the egg because it can cause the cookies to spread and deflate while baking. The mixture might look curdled at this point, but it will come together when the dry ingredients are added. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions and mix on low speed until most of the flour is combined. Add the oats and pulse on low (i.e., quickly turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and then immediately off) about 10 times to combine. Then add the raisins and pulse an additional 10 times. At this point, the oats and raisins should be distributed throughout the dough and all the flour should be combined.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the dough to cool. This will help the butter to firm back up and reduce spreading while baking.

Baking the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C with the rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (this will make fairly large cookies) and roll into a ball. Each cookie should weigh approximately 72g.
  • Place 6 on a pan to bake at a time and allow the dough to come to room temperature before baking. Adding more than 6 will lead to the cookies touching while baking.
  • Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. If your oven has hot spots, rotate your tray of cookies halfway through baking (i.e., front to back) for even baking.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • These cookies are best the day they are baked; however, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • These cookies are fantastic for freezing. Weigh and roll the dough into balls. Then place the dough balls into the freezer on a baking sheet or plate without the balls touching each other. When the dough has completely frozen, move the balls into a freezer-safe container. Whenever you want to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie, remove one ball (or however many you want to make) from the bag and allow it to thaw to room temperature. Then bake it the same as above. The cookies can be stored in the freezer up to 1 month.
  • Freezing is a great option if you have a small family, or if you live by yourself and don’t want to be tempted to eat an entire batch of cookies in one sitting. My husband and I do this frequently so we can eat freshly baked cookies without having to dirty a bunch of dishes.
  • Freezing Pro Tip: Label the freezer container with the name of the cookie, the date they were put into the freezer, the date for when they should be removed from the freezer (i.e., thrown out), and instructions for baking (i.e., thaw to room temperature, bake for 18-20 at 350°F/160°C). Life is so much easier when you don’t have to guess or remember what is in the freezer. Trust me on this one.

Notes

This recipe was adapted from the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook.

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