There are good cookies and there are great ones.
Today’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe is a great one, and also one with a surprising secret ingredient. My mother passed it down to me after perfecting it over years of tinkering (and feeding a cookie-loving family).
Stripped down to its base, it’s a pretty standard and straightforward chocolate chip cookie recipe. In order to give it some semblance of nutrition for her four ravenous children, my mother smartly added in raisins, toasted pecans, shredded coconut, and the best tool in her pantry arsenal: Grape-Nuts cereal.
It’s a bizarre ingredient to grace the dessert category, but bear with me. If you’re lucky enough to live in New England, you might have tasted Grape-Nut ice cream, which is a little-known regional specialty. In both cookie dough and ice cream, the crunchy cereal stands up surprisingly well. It retains some of its bite and imparts a delicious, nutty flavor.
I should warn you here: this particular cookie dough is incredibly good and very, very difficult to resist. I implore you to try because the cookies are even better baked, but I won’t judge you for sneaking a spoonful of the dough here and there.
A few notes on the recipe before we begin:
First, the dough has a lot of add-ins (fruit, nuts, chocolate, and so on), but don’t worry if it looks a little overloaded and the batter seems heavy. The end result is a crowded, jam-packed cookie with a wonderful jumble of textures and tastes.
You’ll want to aim for about a 50/50 ratio of batter to add-ins.
Once you try the recipe, you can tweak it to your liking. Keeping the base at a 50/50 ratio of the batter to add-ins, you can customize it however you like. Love coconut? Add more! Don’t like raisins? Try tart dried cherries. Want some spice? Swap the nuts for crystallized ginger.
This dough is a bit sticky, and you need to let it rest and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. It’s not required, but I’d recommend letting it chill even longer and keeping it overnight in the refrigerator. This firms up the dough, making it easier to work with and giving the baked cookies a better consistency.
Plus, it gives you extra hours to sneak spoonfuls of dough. Win-win!
Now on to the recipe:
Start by beating 1 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Add in your 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and add those to your wet ingredients to create your base batter.
Now mix in 3 cups of oats, 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of toasted pecans, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup of Grape-Nuts. As you can see in the finished dough below, you’re aiming for roughly half batter and half add-ins.
After letting your dough rest (you need to chill it for a minimum of 30 minutes, but as I’ve explained, overnight is ideal), scoop your dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
You can use a cookie scoop, but I prefer to use my hands because the dough has so many chunks of nuts and chocolate and cereal. Make the cookies as small or large as you like; you’ll get about 18 large, or up to 50 smaller cookies from this recipe.
Bake your cookies for 10 to 15 minutes (the shorter amount of time for smaller cookies, longer amount for larger cookies), or until they’re just beginning to brown. I recommend eating them warm, while the chocolate is still melted and oozes from the center:
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