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Lisa’s Basic Oatmeal Cookies – A Beautiful Mess

Once we came home from the hospital after the birth of our son, we had lots of neighbors and friends bring of us meals while we adjusted, recovered, and spent most of our time falling in love with our baby. Normally, I love to cook but I really didn’t have the time or energy to do much cooking or baking for those first two months, so this was SUCH a blessing. I thought I’d share a few of the recipes from these meals with you all in the coming months. We had many delicious meals, plus I feel a little nostalgic about this simple and incredibly kind gift (of food!) we received. I felt so loved and supported … and more than a few people brought cookies with their meals. Praise.

The first or second day we came home, our next door neighbor, Lisa, saw us arrive and brought us a lasagna and these oatmeal cookies. It was SO thoughtful and very, very helpful as that’s basically all we ate for two days until it was gone. Ha.

These oatmeal cookies are basic, but please don’t mistake that for boring. They are far from it! They may look unassuming but these basic oatmeal cookies are very addictive. A good friend was helping watch our son the day I baked this batch to photograph and so I sent her home with about half and she said her (and mostly, her husband) ate most of them in one day. The other half that Trey and I kept went just as quickly. They are too good! I love chewy oatmeal cookies and these fit the bill, right alongside my first love: no-bake cookies.

The recipe below makes a pretty large batch of around 30-32 cookies. If you don’t want to bake these all at once, you can also freeze the dough in balls and bake just a few at a time.

These are delicious as they are, but if you’d like to spice them up a little for autumn try adding 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the recipe below.

I hope you enjoy these basic oatmeal cookies as much as we do! xo. Emma

Lisa’s Basic Oatmeal Cookies

a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie recipe

  • 3/4
    butter, softened
  • 1
    brown sugar
  • 1/2
    granulated white sugar
  • 1
  • 1/4
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • 1
    all purpose flour
  • 1/2
    baking soda
  • 1
  • 3
    quick oats

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Then stir in the egg, water, and vanilla extract.

  2. In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and quick oats.

  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until a dough ball forms.

  4. Spoon the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake at 350°F for 11-12 minutes until the edges turn a deep golden brown and the centers look soft.

Lisa’s original recipe calls for shortening instead of butter. I bake more often with butter, so that’s what I use (and it works well here), but you can use either if you already have shortening on hand. 

I have baked the dough just after mixing, and I’ve also baked it after letting the dough chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Both work well and didn’t affect the bake time. I have yet to bake these from frozen dough, that might require another minute or two of bake time. If you try it, let us know in the comments how it goes. 

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.

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