iced oatmeal cookies

What normal people often do is take a recipe for something floury, buttery and indulgent and try to make it healthier. Maybe they use less butter. They might dial back the sugar. But more often than not they swap in a little whole wheat or alternative grain flour and at least make something with more nutrients.

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But we’ve established by now that I’m not normal, and so, I did the opposite. I took a recipe for an oatmeal cookie with oat, whole wheat, rye, millet and barley flour within and I swapped in some unbleached all-purpose flour. And I did it for you! Yes, you.

iced oatmeal cookies-2

Let me explain: I tested these cookies for the first time last month as part of my duties as a judge in Food52’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks. I bought all of the flours I didn’t have already and I made them as written. They’re fantastic, by the way. A little lacy, reminiscent of something store-bought, you know, if store-bought cookies weren’t loaded with freaky ingredients like “raisin paste” and didn’t always taste like pale imitations of homemade. They don’t taste like something from a health food store, or something you’d make in January, because you were trying to be “good”. And I really wanted to tell you about them but I also really wanted you to make them. But to make them the way they were written in Good to the Grain (yes, my obsession continues) you’d need to buy a lot of flours I suspect most of us don’t normally keep stocked.

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So I reversed engineered them to remove some of that whole grain goodness — it sounds so evil, right? And then I stole candy from a baby! Turned carolers away! Laughed when someone tripped! I kid, I kid. But I wanted to make sure they still worked no matter how few flours and am delighted to declare that whether you use white, brown or gray flour, it will have no effect on the speed in which they disappear, or my sadness that they are no longer, as I have had a profound cookie hankering since I was roused from sleep at 5:30 a.m. And no, not by a cookie offer but kid, if you want to mix that into your morning routine, your daddy and I might look a little less like death warmed over when we stumble into your den.

iced oatmeal cookies-5

One year ago: Vanilla Roasted Pears (Promise you’ll make these? Pinky swear?)
Two years ago: Cabbage, Apple and Walnut Salad, Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust and Veselka’s Cabbage Soup
Three years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
Four year ago: Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake, Apple Pie and Infinitely Adaptable Blondies

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Good to the Grain

Unlike most cookies, where spreading is a cause for concern, here, it is encouraged as it leads to a thinner, lacier cookie. (More or less, you want to do the opposite of everything suggested here.) Because the condition of my baking sheets is reprehensible, I lined mine with parchment paper instead of buttering them, but unfortunately, this impeded the spreading a little. I’m sure you all have unblemished and lovely baking sheets, and therefore are encouraged to butter them, as the recipe suggests.

Aside from playing around with the flours, my other changes were to streamline the oat measurement to include the oats you can use to make oat flour. I added weights as well, but don’t use them for the alternatively suggested flours, as they may weight more or less.

Yield: 30 3-inch cookies (with a 2 tablespoon or #40 scoop), larger if your spread more

Butter for baking sheets
2 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (8 1/4 ounces or 231 grams) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces or 65 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour*
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt**
1 cup (8 3/8 ounces or 238 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (2 grams) freshly grated nutmeg (I used less, because I was nutmeg-wary, but wouldn’t have minded more)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs

2 1/4 (9 1/2 ounces or 270 grams) cups powdered sugar
5 to 6 (75 to 90 ml) tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon (6 grams) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt**

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Rub two baking sheets with butter. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of oats to a fine powder, then add remaining oats and grind them all together until it resembles coarse meal, with only a few large flakes remaining.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of grains or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. In a small bowl, whisk butter and eggs until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Scoop balls of dough about 2 to 3 tablespoons in size (I used a #40 cookie scoop, which scooped 2 tablespoon-sized balls) onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. When tops are evenly brown, take them out and transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Let cookies cool completely before icing.

In a bowl, whisk icing ingredients together until smooth. It should have a honey-like consistency. Drizzle the frosting over the cookies. Let the frosting set for 30 minutes (or more; it took longer at my place but by the next day, was fully firmed up) before eating. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

* The original recipe replaced this volume with a multigrain flour mix that worked out to 1/2 cup barley flour + 1/4 cup millet flour + 1/4 cup rye flour. If you have any of these flours, swap them in and reduce the volume of all-purpose.

** Saltiness of kosher salt varies by brand. I’d recommend 2 teaspoons if you use Diamond kosher salt, and about half as much if you use Morton kosher salt or another brand.

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209 comments on iced oatmeal cookies

  1. Hey – we are ALL for taking a healthy-ish recipe and fattening it up a bit – so these cookies sound just fabulous to us with all your modifications. And really, our iced cookie weakness means we will be making these asap.

  2. These look pretty and also delicious. Are you growing out Jacob’s hair until his third birthday? His curls are so beautiful, I just wondered if you know of this Jewish tradition. My baby Aaron is only 3 months but I can already imagine the hair he will have by 3 years!

  3. I’ve never had homemade iced oatmeal cookies! Usually the kind I make are thick, soft, and chocolate chip-filled. That really was kind of you to figure out how to take all the good stuff out for us. ;) They look delicious and cinnamon icing sounds amazing!

  4. It’s so good to know that Kim’s recipe works without all the unusual flours. Then I can decide if I want a ‘healthier’ cookie or the real deal. The icing looks AMAZING–is that your addition to her recipe?

  5. If it makes you feel any better, I recently took greek yogurt, which is perfectly healthy and stuffed it full of confectioner’s sugar and butter to make a cookie glaze. It felt so wrong. But oh so right. I really should start cooking from good to the grain more. I feel like i’m missing out on so much!

  6. I’ve been wanting to make oatmeal cookies for quite some time, and as I’ve only ever used the recipe from the lid of the oat can, these seem like a nice variation to try. I never have those flours (millet, rye, etc) on hand, but I do stock whole wheat, so thanks!

    (P.S. I can’t remember the recipe on the can completely by heart, but (minus the different flours) it does seem a quite similar to this one, if I’m not mistaken.)

  7. Who are these people that try to make desserts healthy?! (Though, I do like the sound of both versions of the cookies.) Nevertheless, it’s the holidays. Go camp out by the buffet, eat Christmas cookies until your stomach shakes like a bowl full of jelly: have at it Santa, baby!

    Thanks … your post made me chuckle.

  8. As much as I try to healthify items, around the holidays is typically one of my few times I like to indulge. Also, as much as I love trying recipes with different flours and grains, realistically I know I can’t spend that type of money stocking my pantry for just one recipe. I appreciate you taking the time to reverse engineer this cookie recipe so that the masses can much more easily enjoy it!

    1. deb

      In regards to the icing, I wanted to add that it packs a serious cinnamon punch. If you’re like me and use a fancier cinnamon (and I use mine at 2/3 levels of whatever I share here, as Penzey’s suggests on the bottle), it’s especially bright — almost spicy. It’s a cool effect, if you’re into that.

      About the multigrain flours, if you have them, I definitely advise using them. It’s not a healthy thing, or at least, not for me. There are two sticks of butter here, afterall. My hands-down favorite thing about this baking book is that the whole grains aren’t trying to make you a better person, they’re not trying to make you feel like eating a pile of these cookies is healthy, they’re just trying to make the cookies taste better than they would with regular old flour. It’s a flavor thing, too.

  9. Erica

    Don’t judge, I laugh when people trip :-p These look great, thank you so much for using the all purpose flour, I would have skipped right over it with the multi-grain requirement

  10. Susan

    Deb, you rebel! I’m glad you reworked these, not because you are a rebel, but so that we could make them with what we have on hand, but am also glad you showed the original proportions of-and grains used. I happen to have a couple of them. I am usually one that doesn’t like a salty finish to anything, let alone a cookie, but oatmeal needs more salt than other grains, otherwise it’s to paper-y tasting.

  11. Nicole

    Wow – I just noticed that you’re baking these things three and four at a time! How you have the patience to bake a full batch of cookies, I’ll never know! I’m thinking more fondly of my 31 year old, dirt-cheap (but full-size!) oven.

    These look great. I have an oatmeal cookie recipe that I adore, because it tastes more like oats than anything else, but I’ll have to give this one a try someday. Thanks also for the experiment with AP flour – I already have too many kinds of flour as it is without having to run out and buy two more!

  12. Sally

    The cookies look delicious, but your son is just scrumptious! The ringlets… Ahhh… My daughter has such gorgeous hair (imagine Jacob’s in three years) that we didn’t cut it till she was 4+. People thought I was insane, but that’s what happens when you’ve grown up in the 70’s and had a boy’s haircut for years…

  13. NC

    Totally with you regarding putting taste ahead of health. In any case a few of those yummy cookies still has less sugar than a can of coke, and far more nutrition from oats and wholewheat flour. Butter and sugar is needed to balance out the extra nutrition from the healthy ingredients:)

  14. CJ

    On the “Good to the Grain” obsession (your link above) – part of the genius of those rustic rhubarb tarts is that they can be frozen unbaked and then baked individually in the toaster oven when you just have to have a treat. I have a (dwindling) stash in the back of the freezer that no-o-o-body knows about. Just the thought can brighten one’s day.

  15. These look amazing!! I guess I’m one of those normal people who always try to make bad recipes a little healthier, but I don’t mind going the other way for these delicious looking cookies! I very much appreciate the revision, just because, like you said, I don’t keep those flours stocked nor do I want to just go buy them solely for one recipe. great post!

  16. Mala

    I usually do away with parchment and use non-stick aluminum foil instead. It doesn’t interfere with spreading since it is just as slick as a buttered cookie sheet, and it makes clean up a breeze – just ball it up and throw into the recycling bin!

  17. I have totally been meaning to bake these cookies…basically since I got Good to the Grain. I am one of those people that went out and lugged home 6 bags of flour and was so happy I did. That said, something you just need to keep it simple!

  18. I love Good to The Grain, unfortunately I can’t get my hands on some of the flours in my corner of the UK (amaranth where art thou? I want to make the muscovado sugar cake!) so it’s good to know that the recipes work even when the ingredients are a little different. Have you tried the peach muffins? They are to die for!

  19. Just made the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from the same cookbook, and they’re AWESOME. You must try ASAP.

    I love molasses cookies, and I’m thinking this cinnamon icing might be a nice addition to those cookies (as if they need one). Happy Holidays!

  20. Killian

    I’m dying to make these, but I despise crunchy cookies.

    I want to hear from someone who made them (or from Deb!) as to their texture before I dive in, though.

  21. Joanna

    Oh, I’m so happy you wrote what you did in comment #33, because these were my thoughts, exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself; Kim Boyce’s recipes are not about being healthy, but rather making use of and opening our eyes (and mouths) to a variety of fantastic-tasting grains. It ain’t all about the AP, yo.

    Lovely to see one of my favorite baking books make a cameo on my favorite baking website – thanks!

  22. I am a huge fan of oatmel cookies and these are just gorgeous! I don’t know why but i never make oatmeal cookies, maybe because i seems to have friends that are great at them, i need to try this recipe just to tell eveyone i made them. But it will have to be after my julfeast.

  23. I am proud of my blemished baking pans. It seems they can’t stay perfect forever!

    The cookies look great. I like adding wheat germ or oat bran to cookies (and even in cornbread, love the crunch it provides) to just bump the fiber and nutrients a bit with out changing the recipe too much.

  24. Janie

    These are fantastic looking and I’m definitely going to try them. My mom used to make (and I still do) an oatmeal cookie that is very similar but she added about a tablespoon of strong coffee to the icing and it was outstanding! I believe the recipe came with my grandmother who immigrated from Sweden in 1901.

  25. This is going to totally blow the lid off oatmeal cookies being healthy BUT…cream cheese frosting – just a thin spread of it sprinkled with a bit of ground ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg – makes for pretty much the most crazy delicious cookie ever. They’ve never lasted beyond a day or two, which is sad, since the batch makes about 24…

  26. Jen

    I just posted on my blog yesterday about a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe from Good to the Grain. If I don’t get this cookbook for Christmas I think I will cry :)

  27. They look awesome, and I’m all for making baking less healthy too.

    In the cake shop I used to work in, people were always coming in asking ‘What’s the most healthy cake?’ like it wasn’t a contradiction in terms. It drove me crazy…

  28. all of my favorite cookies have oatmeal. it gives them a superior chewy consistency. if i wanted something crunchy i would have grabbed a cracker. the only time i would want something crunchy like a chocolate pistachio biscotti would be when i’m drinking tea, or if i cared for it, coffee. i’m making maple pecan cookies with chocolate and butterscotch and of course oatmeal this weekend. can’t wait to see how they come out!

  29. Elisabeth

    I baked these as a little surprise for my husband this afternoon and he loves them!! This is a great twist on the classic oatmeal&raisin – thanks a million, Deb! Wonderful, as always. : )

  30. Jason

    Yum! Half the batch is already gone, and they have barely set yet. I decided to try something kind of closer to the original: I blended, er… “ground” a multigrain rolled “oats” (oats, rye, barley, wheat) and since I can’t have oat meal cookies without walnuts, I threw 1/2 cup of walnut pieces in with the oats while I was grinding them up. This also tricked my kids; no complaints about yucky stuff in the cookies. I will need to make another batch as written above to compare. You know–for science, of course.

  31. I love you. In the scant 5 days I’ve known about you and your delicious recipes and food photography I’ve fallen in love. I’ve had the garlic butter mushrooms twice this week and will be sure to get a start on these this weekend. I also can’t wait for all my prints to arrive so I can decorate my kitchen walls a bit.

  32. Rose

    I don’t have millet, barley, or rye, but I do have something called “graham flour”. Would that add any additional flavor, or is it the same as whole wheat?

  33. I just made oatmeal cookies yesterday! The idea of making cookies less healthy is a funny one. :) I throughly enjoyed your writing in this post. The stealing candy from a baby and turning away carolers part was my favorite, made me smile!

  34. Katha

    now thats totally not on!
    first you make me do your pecan, oat and chocolate chip cookies. twice. cause they were soooo good. and now these? seriously … ;)
    also thank you so much for your gramm measurements. i always have trouble figuring out how many american cups my improv cup really is (though it doesnt seem to matter your recipees always end up delicious)

  35. maggie

    I’m going to make these for the office party next week. That, and those “buckeyes” you posted weeks ago. I love that it’s not polluted with dried fruits or nuts, both of which tend to make family members kind of stop breathing. Which is never a good thing. But these look heavenly.

  36. I worked at a bakery this summer and this was one of my favorite cookies to make. I wasn’t in charge of icing them, but mixing up the batter always smelled so good and full of spices!

  37. Rachelbear

    I love the swapping in-swapping out options, since I do have lots of rye flour left over from making your rye bread last snow day (when else do you have time for, what, a proof and three risings). I also hang with really weird healthy people who ask about the whole grain and locavore content of my rich sweet cookies.

  38. I just got Good to the Grain and flagged this recipe right away! I was tempted to make them once without the fancy flours just to avoid a trip to the store — until I remembered that I’m out of all-purpose flour, too. Oh, holiday baking.

  39. BoiseLeah

    Are these crunchy or soft/chewy? They look delicious and I am planning on making them on Sunday, but I hate crunchy cookies. Does anyone know?

  40. jane9

    I don’t have a flickr account and would otherwise post this there on each of the pics of Jacob: Delicious baby, nom nom nom. Thanks for sharing all the photos!

  41. It’s true, so often I see a recipe for a healthier cookie/cake/what have you with all sorts of flours I don’t have on hand and I always just end up subbing in all-purpose flour. Thanks for doing it for us with this one! They look scrumptious!

  42. kim

    just made these cookies last night! they made the house smell soo good. they were tasty too, just a little on the crispy side for my taste.

  43. Lila Ferraro

    I love these cookies. I think it’s such a sweet twist to add cinnamon to the glaze. I’ve never done that before!
    Lila ferraro

  44. These remind me a lot of Australian ANZAC cookies, which are a similar concept but made with golden syrup… I might try icing my next batch with chocolate…mmmm. If you likes these you should check out the Anzac biscuit, I think you’d enjoy it. Thanks for the great blog. J

  45. I love that you included the measurements in grams. I’m recently a convert to strictly weighing ingredients after I did a test and was so surprised to find how inaccurate measuring with cups can be. I also love how you un-healthified this recipe. Four flours is a bit too much, unless of course you just so happen to have them in the pantry, which I do not.

  46. I was so inspire by this post. Just reading it made me feel good. I shared it with my friends and as I was wring about it I realized that I was having trouble spelling the word “recipe”. I then realize that the reason for this particular problem was because I know this word in many different languages. This is one of those essential words that I have always believed is essential to my global survival. Like, hello, no, please, thank you, bye, help,stop, and the sort.

    And as a person is one of those words that are essential to my personal survival. I love it when people tell me how and why they are doing/making something. Specially something that will make others feel good. And that is why I was so inspired by this post.

  47. Marissa

    Got hooked on your site a couple days ago! I’ve been looking for a good food + recipe blog for a while, and this is the one. Been looking over the recipe index and drooling over the pics. Love the photography and your style of writing.

  48. love the idea of icing on oatmeal cookies! just been making some christmas-spiced ones at home and might have to try it out. and thanks for the tips on avoiding cookie spread too, so useful…

  49. Lovely unblemished baking sheets? Bwaahaahaa–not in MY kitchen! Mine have done hard time (including some kid activities that are unrelated to baking) and are rather the worse for wear. Parchment paper it is . . . .

  50. Bonnie

    Mine turned out a little salty, so I left salt out of the icing. On a whim I decided to zest some tangerine into the icing at the last minute, and it makes the cookies so delicious and aromatic.

  51. Dear Deb, I just got back from my friend’s house. See, every year the three of us get together and bake 4 or 5 different cooky recipes to asseble gift-bags. Every year we must try new ones. I often bring something from yuor site, because I know they’ll come out perfectly. Well, this year again, you have not dissapointed! these were outstanding! I did the multi-grain flour miz and it was a great touch!

    We also tried your lime meltaways today – perfect! And the candied grapefruit peel – ditto!

    Thank Deb, for another wonderful year of baking :)

  52. Juliebuns

    Hello, I made these cookies last might with the grain mix flours and the flavor was amazing. They came out very thin and crisp. I iced them this afternoon and left them on the counter to dry… Came back later to my dog sitting on the table gobbling then up. I was litterly heartbroken, one tray was salvaged and I’ll be making more tomorrow to give as holiday gifts to friends and co workers. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  53. Becca (she bakes)

    I’ll try to keep things G-rated here, but my husband actually moaned when he ate these. The two of us polished off a full pound of these babies in like 10 min. OH MY THAT WAS SO GOOD.

  54. Shannon

    I don’t have a food processor for grinding down the oats, but is there a measurement of oat flour (if there even is such a thing) that I can use instead to still make these cookies? I’m guessing that using the same volume measurement of flour as you list for the oats would be too much, but perhaps the same measurement by weight would work?

    1. deb

      Shannon — The original recipe calls for 2 cups old-fashioned oats (which it then asks you to grind a bit, but not so much that a few oats won’t remain) plus 1/2 cup oat flour. (I found I needed 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon oats to yield 1/2 cup oat flour). You might try to use instant oatmeal, the most instant you can find, to make up for not being able to grind up the 2 cups of oats at all.

      zamira — Here, powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar and icing sugar are the same thing.

      Natalie — Great idea, thanks. Really want to do the salad dressings too.

  55. Your oatmeal cookies looks delicious. Just right for the season. I found your post in google and I felt like commenting because I was benefited. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Holidays!

  56. These look amazing, Deb! Thanks for sharing. A site-organizing idea/request — with all your abundant free time, I know, I know, but it would be terribly helpful to have an “icing” tab underneath the “Sweets” header in recipes, so all the various buttercreams, ganaches, 7-minute frostings, etc etc would be collected in one place. Easier to compare and contrast! That would be a lovely thing to consider next time you, you know, find yourself wondering how to fill your empty, boring days. ;)

  57. PatW

    Just made a batch of these. Mine didn’t spread, but that’s no biggie. I opted to brown the butter, which gave them a lovely depth of flavor. Also threw in some raisins. Made a maple icing for them. They’re delicious! Thanks for the recipe, Deb!

  58. Lucy

    I made these for my family last night and they loved them! I buttered the cookie pans which helped them spread a little, although not as much as I would have thought. Delicious none the less. I love the cinnamon icing on top :)

  59. Hi Deb,
    I’ve been reading your blog religiously for a couple years now. I wanted to express how much I love a cookie recipe made with melted butter–so easy! I’ve already burned through two hand mixers creaming butter and sugars.

  60. Shannon

    These are the best oatmeal cookies I have every had! They are seriously addicting! I buttered my parchment paper with the inside of the butter wrapper and that seemed to do the trick, I too have sad/well used cookie sheets. I have a teeny tiny sifter, so although I sifted, I threw the oat chunks in with the mix they were pretty tiny after the food processor.

  61. Eeks! I think I’m going to have change the oatmeal cookie recipe this year to try this. They look scrumptious!

    And who does have all those flours handy anyway? I seem to never have the right flours for recipes no matter how many types I keep in stock!

  62. Gina

    These came out great…the second time. The first time I forgot the brown sugar and they were so dry, crumbly and did not spread at all. Oops!
    Second time around, they spread out nicely, were delicious and just the right balance of spicy Saigon cinnamon and brown sugar sweet.

  63. Katie

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve tried about 6 of your recipes now, and I can’t get enough! My family is loving me (and hating me) at the same time. They can’t stop eating the delicious things I’m making. I have a bookmarked folder on my computer with literally 20 of your recipes I’m dying to try! My question is this, do you have a pastry recipe book you would recommend that is currently being published and is stocked on shelves?

  64. i just got these out of the oven and they taste terrific!! These are the best oatmeal cookies i’ve ever made. EVER. I havent even frosted them yet! Cant wait to taste it with the frosting :)
    Awesome recipe again, Thank you!

  65. Nicole

    A Christmas miracle. You somehow managed to post the one and only thing I wanted to make for the holidays (as if you read my mind). Can’t wait to try (to make, to eat, to digest) these. Iced oatmeal is THE best cookie (sorry chocolate chip).

  66. JJ

    I made these tonight and substituted 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour for all the multigrain mix. No all-purpose flour. (I kept the oats at 2 cups, processing for 10 seconds as the book instructs.) Refrigerated the dough for a couple of hours, baked them on parchment, and cooled them on the baking sheets. Too lazy to make the icing, so I just finished them with a dusting of powdered sugar. They are the BEST oatmeal cookies we have ever eaten. Thin, but chewy, sweet, a little salty and perfectly spiced. So now I’ve made the whole wheat chocolate chip, the gingersnaps and these. I love this book!

  67. Dane

    These were absolutely amazing! Sweet and salty! yum yum yum! I brought these to work last week and my co-workers couldn’t get enough of them. I also made them for Christmas and will continue to make these every year along with my usual chocolate chip and mexican wedding cookies. The only change i made was I didnt use any of the whole wheat flour. (only because I ran out) Thank you for posting this. : )

  68. These are the BEST oatmeal cookies. I cut down on the salt and made them gluten-free (ground up some buckwheat and millet), dairy-free (used coconut oil) and sub’d mace for the nutmeg. Yummy! We’ll be making more today! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, I make them all the time.

  69. This recipe looks delicious! It’s great to know how to spice up oatmeal cookies – I will definitely be attempting these! Thanks for the great photos and tips.

  70. I have a batch of these in the oven right now:: they smell absoLUTEly heavenly. They will be served at tomorrow’s ‘Resolution Run’ here in the Eastern Townships of Québec, as a post-race snack! (now, doesn’t that sound like a great way to start the year on the right foot? cookies and running!) I added a handful of dates, chopped fairly small and soaked in hot water, just because I had ’em…. All the best to you and your family for the coming year!

  71. kathy in st louis

    My sweetheart tasted one and said, oh, these are great — not too sweet. Again, this is why we appreciate your sweet recipes, Deb — they are well-balanced and interesting.

    I made a few changes to reflect what I had on hand:
    – had just two cups of rolled oats, so made up the difference with a quarter-cup each of the flours
    – made smaller cookies that baked off to about two inches in diameter, which meant that I made about 50% more icing
    – used 1.5 cups granulated flour plus a couple tablespoons of molasses instead of dark brown sugar
    – used Vietnamese cinnamon (and heavy cream plus water) for the first batch of icing, then used Indonesian cinnamon plus a pinch of cayenne for the second
    – baked in two batches; the second, fridge-chilled batch were easier to form into balls

    The finished product is delicious and handsome, a sweet way to start 2011. Thank you, Deb!

  72. Mariana

    These look delicious and I want to make them for my son’s class but had a quick question. When you say sift the dry ingredients do you mean the oatmeal too? The way I am reading the recipe is to totally grind half a cup and then only somewhat grind the remaining oatmeal. Seems like it will be too big for a sieve. Am I reading this wrong or making it more complicated than it needs to be?

  73. Nicole

    So just stuck a batch in the oven, but my college kid can’t-really-cook-or-bake-but-wants-to came out for this recipe. I forgot to melt the butter until AFTER it was in the mix (don’t ask how I rectified that) and my scoops were way too big. Mammoth cookies baking in the oven now (it’s morphing into one big mass on the baking sheets), wish I could post a picture (for comedy’s sake).

  74. Nicole

    They’re bigger than my hands but they taste awesome. All is well. (This is the Nicole from one post above but not two posts above.)

  75. Sarah

    Mine are in the oven, spreading quite nicely.

    I made these using homemade brown sugar from your Tips section. (The official start of the holidays is the day before I make pumpkin pie. I get a fresh bottle of molasses and throw out the nearly full bottle of molasses I bought the previous year. This tip is a perfect way to use that up!) I noticed that the sugar looked like dark brown sugar, except that the consistency was much wetter than store-bought. Seems like this recipe is hearty enough to stand up to the slightly wetter sugar, though.

    (My kitchen smells so delicious!)

  76. Jacqueline K

    i really like these! :) I tried making the chewy raisin ones that you have on the site, but they weren’t as chewy as Ii expected them to be. I guess I was a bit impatient and didn’t chill the dough as prescribed… These on the other hand.. they seem to be kind of versatile in that when I baked them for 10 mins, the bottoms were crisp, but the top kind of chewy! I added white chocolate chip and craisins because I am not icing mine. Seemed like a good substitution! :)

  77. Anna

    Your blog is my favorite go-to foodie blog when I need inspiration! I can’t tell you how many recipes I have made of yours in the past year since I found you that have gotten rave reviews from others! And I am a serial ‘changer’ and ‘improver’ of my favorite recipes to make them my own, so I appreciate your style. All that said, I have never posted here, but my husband was so blown away by these cookies I just had to say thanks! An easy, deliciously layered, iced cookie – and a little healthy, too – perfect! I am of the camp that says butter and anything not (too) processed is healthy, anyhow :) So I can not feel too guilty letting my 3 and 1 year olds partake, too!

  78. Dani

    Made these for my mother- and sister-in-law. They were such a hit, I gave them a bag to take home with them. I picked up some rye flour because the store had it and it was relatively inexpensive but otherwise I went by your modifications. At first I thought they didn’t need icing so I only iced half, then I realized the icing the delicious. I’m making more the first chance I get and icing all of them. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  79. Erica

    oh my god i can’t stop eating these. i only made one tray and i’ve already eaten half of it. WHY GOD, WHY DID I ONLY MAKE ONE TRAY???????? Amazing. After 3 or 4 different oatmeal cookie recipes, i have finally found the perfect one. Thanks you so much for sharing.

  80. Britt

    Hi Deb,

    I’m a little confused about the instruction to sift the flours. If we’re supposed to only do a course grind on the oats, won’t sifting take out any large bits? Don’t we want those large bits because otherwise we could just finely grind the whole 2.5 cups?


  81. deb

    Hi Britt — The directions are to “Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of grains or other ingredients that remain in the sifter.” So, you can toss larger bits back in. The sifting here is to fluff the ingredients.

  82. Britt

    Thanks! I just made them with the whole grain suggestions and they were SO AMAZING. Really full, warm flavor. I altered the glaze by subbing a tablespoon or 2 of apple cider syrup (cider reduced til syrupy) and a tablespoon of maple syrup for 2-3 tablespoons of the milk. It was fab. Thanks again for pointing out what was already on the page ;)

  83. betty

    Not sure where I went wrong with these. My older Cuisinart couldn’t grind the 2 cups of oatmeal that fine but I followed all the other steps and it was too rugged a cookie for me (and I am a whole-grain gal). I made them half the size and cut down cooking time, but I didn’t have time for the icing.

  84. Amy

    These look so absolutely perfect . . . except . . .might I suggest just a soupcon of maple flavoring in the icing? Then—-perfection in all its glory! I may have to run an extra mile today just so I can make a batch of these and eat as many as I’d really like to. #slowmetabolismstinks

  85. thinkyinky

    We loved these cookies! Me and my friend Bobby G are both gainfully unemployed right now at the same time and we decided to do a cookie a week. This was our first. Loved them. A few suggestions. We weren’t sure if we were supposed to pour the oats that didn’t sift back into the bowl. But then we figured our we should. So do. Also make sure you icing is THICK so it can harden rather than melt into the cookie. Thanks! We also loved the snickerdoodles!

  86. Kathryn

    When the lower element in my oven died, we had to wait two weeks for the delivery of my new stove. What is the first thing my husband requested that I bake? These cookies. So guess what’s for dessert tonight…yum. Thanks for being so consistently delish, Deb.

  87. DP

    These are lovely! Maybe the most picturesque of the cookies i have ever made. I made 2/3 of the glaze, with 4T of milk, which was too thin, and didn’t really leave the nice ‘drizzle-marks’ – it more absorbed into the cookies. And there was so much glaze left over (next time I would half it).

  88. Margaret

    WOW these are the most delicious cookies I think I have ever baked. But, some comments on the recipe. First, I was totally confused by the “sift dry ingredients” instruction. Does dark brown sugar count as a dry ingredient? I may have a terrible sifter (I’m sure I do) but this did not work at all. I had almost the same problem with the oats. Why not just mix everything together in the food processor until it’s a fine powder / coarse meal? Or just skip the sifter and dump the oats in with everything else unsifted? (Or just sift the wheat and AP flours?) I’m convinced this could be easier. When I baked them I used one unblemished cookie sheet spread with butter, and another not-so-nice sheet lined with parchment. There was no difference in spreading between the two. Lastly, I made the first batch way too big and they all spread together into huge oatmeal cookie goodness. My family all said these were their favorite cookies of all time.

    1. FizzyBlonde

      I sifted all the dry ingredients (white flour, ww flour, sugar, leavening, spices, salt) together, then mixed in the brown sugar by hand. I don’t think brown sugar goes through a sieve easily – too much work! Added the oats afterwards. (I think if you blitzed it all in the food processor the cookies would lose that great oat-y texture.) Then eggs and butter last.

      1. k

        Glad to see this discussion here. I simplified this even further by whisking everything but the flours and oats (which I didn’t grind), and quite thoroughly – and then I stirred in those, and then the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Anymore, I frequently simplify many cookie (and occasionally, cake) recipes by beating in the flavorings and leavenings with the wet ingredients.

  89. FizzyBlonde

    Fantastic as always and I can pretty plausibly make the case that these are “health” cookies. Or certainly breakfast cookies with all that whole wheat flour and oatmeal. The cinnamon seems like it’s going to be way too much in the glaze but it is perfect – so redolent of fall/Christmas. I used a little less milk in the glaze so it was less runny. I also didn’t put the brown sugar through the sieve – doesn’t really work. But I did sieve the flours, white sugar, spices, salt and leavening. Then mixed in the brown sugar and oats. Then the egg/butter. I baked nine cookies per baking sheet and ended up with 34 of them. So so good.

  90. I made these for my D&D group. They turned out nice and crisp and the icing is lovely. Heeding the comment section, I added the milk into the icing tablespoon by tablespoon. At 4TB it was just shy of where I wanted it – so 4.5TB was the final number that worked for me. My advice for others: icing/frosting consistently is subjective, as well as dependent on the type of liquid (whole milk, 2%, skim; maple syrup, as some suggested; etc.) – so add things in slowly, as you can always add more! And then do a test cookie! My two 4TB icing cookies turned out a little blobby, as the icing needed to be a bit thinner. I ate them myself, and took the pretty 4.5TB ones to share. Overall: would highly recommend!

  91. K

    For various reasons, my dough was more like batter. I buttered a 9×13 pan and scraped it in, then kept my nose tipped kitchenward until I could smell that it was done. For anyone who’s curious about adapting these to bars, go for it, but know that they might fall in the center as mine have. (Not a bug, a feature – and especially for an iced cookie!) I continue to retain ardent love for these cookies, no matter the format or icing status.

    1. k

      To follow up on my attempt to bar-ify these: it worked perfectly in a half-sheet pan, even with two cups of peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks added. I did have to approximately double the icing, too. (Also: didn’t grind the oats and used spelt flour in place of whole wheat since that’s what I had.

  92. Erica

    I suggest either making these smaller or only baking 6 on a sheet at a time. They spread quite a bit! Also, they are VERY delicious!

  93. L

    The first time I made these I wasn’t sold on the flavor. The next time I made them I added lemon juice and a little nutmeg to the icing. A total transformation! I’m hooked now

  94. Made THESE today. Fabulously FRAGRANT while baking and most tasty. I Love Your Sense of Humor. A godsend during these times. August, 2020. My first comment on your site. Have tried several of your recipes, all of which we’ve enjoyed.

  95. leah

    I accidentally bought too much oatmeal from Costco and I’ve been looking for ways to use it up. This cookie fits the bill with 2 1/2 cups of the stuff. I did make some changes by using a total of 1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour instead of apf and semi-sweet chocolate for the glaze. I also did all the grinding and mixing in the food processor. No need to dirty another bowl. The dough was dry initially but I just kept pulsing and it came together beautifully. The first batch of cookies spread quite a bit but the last two batches, not so much. I have no explanation. I only used 2 oz. chocolate for the glaze. Next time, I will double this. DH loved them.

  96. APo

    I just made a batch, so thought I’d add that this is my go-to recipe for BLUEBERRY oatmeal cookies. I’m in Downeast Maine so I have access to the tiny wild berries that are often firmer and drier than their cultivated cousins but I don’t see why those wouldn’t work as well. And if a little grated lemon peel makes its way into the mix well, I’m sure heaven will look kindly on you, as my mother used to say.