Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brown-Bagging and Quaker's Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

As I was navigating around the grocery store tonight after work (in a post-work walking fog), I thought about what would go well in my brown-bag lunch.  Every Monday I start out with the intention of brown-bagging all week, and by Wednesday or so, for whatever reason, I leave the house with no lunch in hand.  Well, with a daughter's wedding coming up in the fall, and other family weddings and vacations to look forward to, I have to budget my pennies wisely in order to afford all the happy celebrations of 2012.  If I buy my lunch at work, it's always $7.00 or so for something simple and a drink - a bowl of chili,or salad from the salad bar,or soup and a half-sandwich.  Multiply that by 5 work days and you can see that lunch alone can come close to $150/month.  Between now and my daughter's October wedding, that's a lot of money that could be better spent on happy wedding memories.  So, I have resolved to bring my lunch as often as possible, and to avoid the Wednesday through Friday purchased lunch habit.

Anyway, rather than buy granola bars or chips or some other processed lunch add-on for my little brown bag, I decided to go home and make a batch of Quakers Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies -- fresh, wholesome, and full of good things.  I wrote about them way back in 2009, but I'm sure that, if you read that post, you've long forgotten and are open to my bringing these delicious cookies back for a repeat performance.  The recipe is on the inside of the Oatmeal cansiter's lid.  As cookie recipes go, this one is simple.  You cream butter with two sugars, vanilla, and egg.  To that you add the requisite flour, baking soda, salt, and (in this recipe) cinnamon.  The final two ingredients are the stars of the show: old fashioned oatmeal (the real deal) and raisins.  One mixer, one bowl, and you can have cookies in about half an hour.  Not bad when you're looking for instant gratification with not-so-instant oatmeal!

I actually have a little story true confession about these cookies.  In 1980, just after my daughter Meghan was born, I made a batch of these cookies.  It was January, the dead of winter, and I was at home with a newborn and her two siblings, aged two and three and a half.  When Meghan was napping, Joe, Katie and I baked oatmeal cookies.  They were so delicious.  My husband called during the day and I told him we were baking and he was looking forward to enjoying the cookies when he got home.  Except...we (an adult woman and two tiny children) polished them off before Sesame Street was over! I know, it's hard to believe (maybe not!).  We had some sort of winter gorge-fest on bendy, chewy oatmeal cookies.  I blame it on lack of sunlight, or cabin fever, or some other odd winter phenomenon. To keep our little secret, I had to make an entire new batch of cookies before my husband came home from work.  Our secret was safe, but I can't make these cookies without thinking of that day, and smiling a little bit! (Oh, and we never did that again!).

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Oven 350 degrees F
Parchment-lined cookie sheet

1 bar plus 6 tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (I used two!)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats
1 cup raisins (I used a little less)

In large mixer bowl, cream butter with sugars and vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix well.  Add oats and raisins. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheet (not in recipe, but I always use parchment paper).  I use a cookie scoop to get evenly sized cookies, but it's not  necessary.  If you have one, they're great.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  My cookies were bigger (because of the scoop) so I let mine go for 11 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two and then complete cooling on wire rack.  See if you can make them last, at least until after dinner!


  1. What a great memory and story! I love it. And I'd love to try one of these cookies!! Do you deliver to Boston??! Although, I suppose I could just make them myself too. :)

    1. Colleen, I have complete faith that you can make (and enjoy!) these as easily as I did!

  2. I was wondering if you could tell me how much in "cups" is 1 bar of butter??

  3. Jeannie, the ADK BakerMarch 31, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Hi - one bar of butter equals 1/2 cup or 1/4 lb. Good luck!