Tag Archives: history of oatmeal cookies

[Recipe] Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 May

If you need any proof that I’m getting older, look no further than my cookie preference, which used to look something like this:


Once appalled at the fact that someone would ruin a perfectly good cookie by putting raisins inside, I oftentimes find myself rejecting the classic chocolate chip in favor of the formerly shunned oatmeal raisin cookie.


It’s shocking, really.


Well, I love Josh Groban, so I guess that makes me an old person who likes raisin cookies.

Actually, I am hesitant to even call these cookies, because they’re really more of a breakfast food. The only “dessert”-y aspect is the added sugar – all the other ingredients could be in your morning oatmeal! But they look like cookies and they bake like cookies so that’s what we are going to call them.


These little nibbles are super tasty and uber healthy for a dessert. If it makes you feel better to call them something else, by all means label them “circular breakfast bars” or “round chewy old people treats”. A rose by any other name, right?


Oatmeal raisin cookies are old. They are a later version of oat cakes, which have been popular in Scotland and England since oat harvesting first began in 1,000 B.C. Somewhere along the line, it occurred to somebody to add some raisins for some sweetness and since the Middle Ages, “oat cakes” have contained nuts and raisins. The first recorded oatmeal cookie (albeit sans nuts or raisins) recipe was written by Fannie Merritt Farmer in 1896 (here’s the original recipe!). It was touted as a “health food,” because sugar hadn’t been demonized in the 19th century. They were too worried about famine or something to focus on counting calories. Anyway, they became super popular and by the early 1900s (which is why all the old people dig them), an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe appeared on every container of Quaker Oats.

Nowadays we know better than to think anything with this much sugar is a health food, but I still maintain that these cookies are perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast. Think of it as baked oatmeal. In delicious cookie form. I wouldn’t be opposed adding a scoop of ice cream to them either. Versatility: I like that in a cookie. Are they growing on you yet? Here’s the recipe. Give it a go and try not to age 50 years in the process.


Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes 2 dozen, 2″-sized cookies


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional, but I like the added crunch!)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, sugar, yogurt and vanilla until smooth and well-combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add raisins and optional chopped walnuts/pecans.
  6. Bake cookies on lightly sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheet. Even without the spray and parchment I found that they only stick a little, but this will make your life easier.
  7. Bake cookies for ~12 minutes, depending on your oven. You’ll know they’re ready when they are golden and crisp around the edges, but soft (almost undercooked) in the middle.
  8. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then eat 1 or 4 as soon as you can and tell me it doesn’t taste like breakfast!



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