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BA’s Best Oatmeal Cookies

3 Oatmeal Raisin cookies stacked on a white plate
Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Emilie Fosnocht, Prop Styling by Emma Ringness
  • Active Time

    15 minutes

  • Total Time

    90 minutes

This recipe for chewy oatmeal cookies results in an amped-up version of the childhood favorite, with pecans for nutty, crunchy interest and your choice of dried fruit to make them personal. (Raisin haters, this one’s for you. Raisin lovers, it’s for you too.)

But be warned: Don’t try to make these with quick-cooking oats. Quick oats are rolled thinner than old-fashioned oats (sometimes called rolled oats). The two absorb liquids at different rates; swap the quick-cooking version into this recipe, and you’ll end up with dry, cakey cookies instead of buttery ones. For extra nutty flavor, we toast the oats (and pecans) before stirring them into the cookie dough, resulting in the best oatmeal cookies of your life.

Of course, there are a few other contributing factors. We use a high proportion of brown sugar, plus a glug of maple syrup, to boost the cookies’ classic butterscotch notes. And, perhaps most important, we made them choose-you-own-mix-in-adventure cookies. We’re well aware that not everyone loves a raisin (just ask half our colleagues). So scour your cabinet for the dried fruit you like best and use it instead. Traditionalist? Oatmeal-raisin cookies it is. Cherry lover? Ginger fiend? Current connoisseur? Go your own way. (Looking for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe? We’ve arranged that elsewhere.)

The dough should rest at least 1 hour after mixing (but before forming) so the dry ingredients have time to hydrate fully—you can also make the dough a day ahead, cover it well, and stick it in the fridge overnight. Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to portion the dough. For the chewiest oatmeal cookies, reduce the baking time by 2 minutes—if you prefer crisper ones, flatten the dough balls slightly before baking.


Makes 24 cookies


cups (178 g) old-fashioned oats


cup (100 g) pecans, chopped


cup (125 g) all-purpose flour


tsp. Diamond Crystal of ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt


tsp. baking soda


tsp. ground cinnamon

tsp. freshly ground nutmeg


cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature


cup (packed; 156 g) light brown sugar


cup (50 g) granulated sugar


large egg, room temperature


Tbsp. pure maple syrup


tsp. vanilla extract or paste


cup raisins, dried sour cherries, and/or dried cranberries


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 2 cups (178 g) old-fashioned oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup (100 g) pecans, chopped, toss to combine, and continue toasting until pecans are fragrant and oats are deep golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Let cool sightly.

    Step 2

    Whisk 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ⅛ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg in a medium bowl; stir in cooled oats and pecans.

    Step 3

    Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, ¾ cup (packed; 156 g) light brown sugar, and ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add 1 large egg, room temperature, 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and 1 cup raisins, dried sour cherries, and/or dried cranberries and continue to beat, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until just combined. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour to hydrate oatmeal.

    Step 4

    Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop (or ¼-cup measuring cup), portion cookies and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 3" apart (cookies will spread as they bake).

    Step 5

    Bake cookies, rotating cookie sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown and firm but centers are soft, 15–17 minutes. Let sit on sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks; let cool.

    Do ahead: Cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead; store chilled in an airtight container. Let dough come to room temperature before baking. 

    Editor’s note: This recipe was first printed in September 2016 as “Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies.” Head this way for more of our favorite cookie recipes

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  • For those who have a Trader Joe's near by, their old fashioned rolled oats come pre-toasted. A nice time saver! You could always toast them a bit more if you want for extra flavor, but I made them with oats right from the cannister and they were nicely flavorful. I have one of those cheap-o Princess sized mini ranges in my apartment so it's hardly a high quality oven so I find I always end up having to flatten cookies before baking in order to avoid dome-shaped lumps of unappealing half cooked dough. That aside, a solid recipe with various dried fruits and assorted types of nuts. All worked great.

    • Anonymous

    • San Francisco

    • 7/26/2023

  • Nice texture. but a bit too sweet. The batter came out quite stiff so I was worried that it wouldn’t spread and surely enough After 5 mins in the oven I noticed that the cookies did not spread at all so I took the tray out and flattened each cookie otherwise I would say cookies had wonderful texture. Crispy on the edges and chewy on the inside I didn’t want the cookies to be too large so I used a cookie scooper that was about 1oz or 1/8 cup had to adjust the baking time to 13 mins. As I mentioned it was a tad too sweet but for a cookie lover the sweetness was just right.

    • Anonymous

    • San Francisco

    • 12/21/2022

  • So good! I used organic everything except the flour and cane sugar, mixed half dried cranberries and half raisins. Also used about a third cup of toffee covered penuts, and for the vanilla I used two beans.... absolutely delicious 🍪!!

    • Khearia

    • Houston, Texas

    • 11/24/2021

  • Really great recipe. Super texture and very flavorful. I loved the idea of toasting the oats. I did not follow the given time, I just toasted them until they looked right. I have no patience so i waited about ten minutes before baking instead of letting the dough rest. Baked exactly 15 minutes (my oven is wonky) and they came out light & crispy on the edges, dense and chewy in the center. This is how we like our cookies. My adjustments—I melted & browned my butter, cut back 1/4 cup on the brown sugar, doubled the cinnamon, halved the raisins, skipped the nuts, and immediately removed the cookies from the sheet after baking. I feel like recipes are guidelines, not strict rules. The author gave me two new ideas I’d never considered before which really made my usual recipe considerably better than before. I saw dried bing cherries and cranberries suggested below. I’m going to try them in place of raisins next time I make these. I’ll also reduce the sugar another 1/4 cup; the maple syrup adds a fantastic, rich, sweet flavor that I feel replaces a good bit of the sugar, at least for my fam. I probably will be making this recipe repeatedly throughout the fall & winter.

    • RobinHood

    • Portland

    • 10/19/2021

  • I'm not sure what happened but these are terrible. I followed the recipe and found them to be extremely dry.

    • K$

    • Vermont

    • 3/13/2021

  • There's a reason why they call these BA's Best! The cookies are amazing. Like some other reviews, the 425 was too hot and too long for my oven. The pecans and oats were very toasted and on the way to burnt after a total of 8 minutes at 400. (I took them out just in time) I would start out low and just watch them like a hawk. Other than that, awesome! I subbed dried cranberries for the raisins and that worked well. Ended up with 18 cookies, using my 1/4c measuring cup to portion out.

    • Andrea C

    • Vancouver, Canada

    • 1/12/2021

  • Great cookies. Wish Brad would come over and make them with me. Maybe sprinkle some Jacobsen salt on them when they come out the oven...

    • Steve Zissou

    • Corvallis, OR

    • 12/22/2020

  • These cookies are delicious. The feel and texture in the mouth is good. I used dried cranberries, nice tart contrast and let the dough set for over two hours, that is a terrific tip. Carol B.

    • Carol B

    • Cambria, CA

    • 12/13/2020

  • OH my...what a great reacipe..I gave cookies to two different men and they both called and told me how good they were~I used dried cherries which I think enhanced the flavors. I also let it sit for 6 hrs. before I baked them.

    • Anonymous

    • santa barbara, calif.

    • 10/21/2020

  • I need to try this one again. The dough abd cookies were dryer than I'd have liked. It would be helpful if baking recipes included measurements in grams. That said these were "actually pretty good" the next day. So, I think there's hope!

    • Anonymous

    • Seattle

    • 9/5/2020

  • Absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe to a T. It was perfect. The oats did brown in the oven quicker than 12 minutes. A few turned black, but they were ok. The key was to let the dough sit for an hour for the oats to absorb some of the liquid. They were perfect.


    • Newark, Ohio

    • 6/20/2020

  • These were just lovely ! I baked them chewy for me and crispy for my partner. Had to watch the oats closely - I set off my fire alarm and the ones on the edge had started to turn black much faster than 12 total minutes, but I was able to salvage most. I used a smaller ice cream scoop after reading that these were really big, and I'm glad I did - we prefer smaller cookies for better portion control in my house. They were a lovely balance of sweet, rich, tangy, warm flavoured biscuits - so much better than store bought.

    • Isabel hello

    • Montreal, QC

    • 5/15/2020

  • These are VERY good IF you let the batter sit overnight before cooking and also maybe even let the cookie sit after baking about a day. I got impatient and cooked a few after 20 min of the the batter sitting and ate out of the oven and the oats seemed fine but the taste was a bit bland. However, the ones I baked the next day were so so so good.

    • johanna lichtman

    • San Francisco

    • 5/5/2020

  • Wow! These were delicious. I didn't have any maple syrup so used honey instead. I used a mix of dried golden raisins, cranberries, and cherries. Other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. I didn't have any issue with the oatmeal or pecans burning. I used a light metal pan to toast them. Perhaps if you use a dark pan you might have more of the problems other commenters noted. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out the cookies and ended up with 20. Will definitely be making these again!

    • cew003

    • Arkansas

    • 5/3/2020

  • Did this recipe last night and it turned out great! Did not have any issues with the oats burning at any point, and I really liked the addition of nutmeg and maple. Makes for a great cookie!

    • NTapias99

    • The Netherlands

    • 4/24/2020