These crispy oatmeal raisin cookies are made from my grandmother's recipe, made with buttermilk, raisins, and walnuts.
These oatmeal raisin cookies are a little airier and crispier than the usual kind, quite different than these thick oatmeal cookies and the opposite of these thick and chewy oatmeal cookies. The recipe comes from a family notebook, and they were actually labelled as "oatmeal cakes".
I wouldn't call them cakes, myself, but they are definitely a delicious, simple cookie, and really great with a strong cup of tea or coffee. They are mini-sized because I followed the directions that specifically said to "drop by teaspoonful, not heaped". You can't argue with that kind of precision.
How to make crispy cookies
If you want a crispy oatmeal cookie, as opposed to a chewy one, there are a few tricks to keep in mind next time you bake:'
- using brown sugar leads to a chewier, softer cookie, while granulated sugar leads to a crispier cookie
- adding more granulated sugar can lead to cookie spread (and increasing the sugar in general), which means the edges may become lacier and crisper.
- baking soda increases the pH of the dough, which reduces gluten formation and helps cookies spread more, which will also lead to more crisp texture
- using less flour compared to the amount of butter can lead to a thinner cookie that spreads more, thereby increasing the crispiness
- adding a little liquid to the cookie dough loosens the dough and encourages spread, which in turn leads to cookies that are more crispy
- baking longer to dry out the cookies leads to a crispier texture
Remember that for any of these tricks to work, it's important that you properly measure the baking ingredients when making the dough. A little less flour or a little more butter can really change the texture and lead to completely different results!
What you need to make these crispy oatmeal raisin cookies
- butter—I used unsalted butter in this recipe
- sugar—specifically granulated sugar which contributes to the crispy texture
- eggs—use large eggs to achieve the right cookie dough consistency
- buttermilk—where I live, buttermilk has 1 % fat
- baking soda—remember that baking soda is not the same as baking powder. If you are unsure why, read about baking soda versus baking powder.
- flour—I bake with bleached all-purpose flour, but in this recipe, unbleached should work fine
- rolled oats (or large flake oats), also called old-fashioned oats—don't use quick-cooking oats or minute oats, which will affect the texture
- ground cinnamon
- raisins—I like to use sultana or golden raisins
See recipe card for quantities.
Tip: use large flake or rolled oats, sometimes called old-fashioned oats. Finer quick-cooking or minute oats will change the texture of these and may lead to dryer cookies
Substitutions and variations
- nuts—replace the walnuts with your favourite chopped nuts. You could use pecans or almonds, or even peanuts! Use the same weight of your preferred nut.
- nut-free—replace the walnuts with the same weight of sunflower or pumpkin seeds (my personal preference) to make nut-free oatmeal raisin cookies
- chocolate chip—replace the raisins with the same volume of chocolate chips to make crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
- cranberry or cherry—replate the raisins with the same weight of dried cranberries or dried cherries
Remember that 1 cup of chocolate chips doesn't weigh the same as 1 cup of walnuts, so for some substitutions, you will be making cup-for-cup substitutions, while for others you may make a gram-for-gram swap. Get this ingredient conversion chart to guide you!
For scooping the dough, spoons work great, but sometimes a cookie scoop can make the job a little easier. This ¾ ounce scoop is what I use. It's a little larger (21 mL capacity) than what we need to make these cookies (15 mL per cookie), so don't fill it completely with dough.
Other oatmeal cookies to try
For a twist on the classic oatmeal raisin cookies, try these:
- blueberry oatmeal cookies made with chunks of white chocolate!
- thick and chewy oatmeal cookies made with milk chocolate and peanuts
Crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 115 grams unsalted butter softened
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large egg(s)
- 20 mL buttermilk (1 % fat)
- 2.5 mL baking soda
- 125 grams bleached all-purpose flour
- 100 grams rolled oats (or large flake oats) also called old fashioned oats
- 5 mL ground cinnamon
- 125 grams sultana raisins
- 12 walnuts chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar for about a minute or until properly blended and smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each and scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Stir together the buttermilk and baking soda in a small cup and then add this to the mixer bowl, beating it in.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, and the cinnamon. Add these dry ingredients to the mixer, on low, until the cookie dough is just starting to come together, then add in the raisins and walnuts.
- Drop the cookie dough by teaspoonful (not heaped) onto the prepared baking sheet and bake the cookies from 8 to 13 minutes, depending on how well done you like them. Personally, I leave them until the edges turn golden brown.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.