These Chewy, Vanilla-Rich Oatmeal Cookies Are a Classic Done Right

Source: POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry
Source: POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Like Phoebe Buffay's heirloom "Nestlé Toulouse" recipe — aka the iconic recipe listed on every bag of Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips — the recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies printed on the bottom of the lid of every tub of Quaker Oats oatmeal is not half bad; it's pretty great, actually.

This classic has been my go-to for oatmeal cookies for the past decade-plus.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Over the years, I've made some tweaks here and there: namely, amping up the vanilla and cinnamon and increasing the amount of additions by 50 percent. And raisins, well, they're fine and all, but I prefer dried cranberries and chopped toasted pecans. Most importantly, I pull them out of the oven as soon as they start to brown on the bottom — they look slightly undercooked at this point — so they stay chewy, never overcooked and dry.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

With these small tweaks, the recipe goes from pretty darn good to a favorite that nearly always elicits queries of, "Can I have the recipe?"

Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Yield4 dozen cookies

Adapted from Quaker Oats


    • 14 tablespoons (7 ounces) butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups (11 ounces) old-fashioned oats
    • 3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
    • 3/4 cup dried cranberries


    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    2. In large bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix until nearly combined. Add the oats, pecans, and dried cranberries (you might have to do this in multiple additions). Mix until combined.

    3. Drop the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased half sheet pans. (Add 15 cookies to each half sheet pan, leaving some space in between as they'll spread slightly.)

    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just browning on the bottom (lift one cookie to check). They'll look slightly undercooked on top, but will continue to cook once removed from the oven. Cool 2 minutes on the cookie sheets; remove to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.


    Dried tart cherries, walnuts, pistachios, raisins, and chocolate chips are all good alternative additions; keep the total volume to 1 1/2 cups.