Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve been going through our family’s stash of recipes and came across my grandmother’s oatmeal cookie recipe. She passed away a few years ago at age 97 (she was born in 1899). It’s funny how just seeing her handwriting conjures up old memories of being a little girl and making cookies with grandma. She had a real sweet tooth and we are still amazed she lived so long given her penchant for cookies, lemon meringue pie, and jelly-filled donuts.

Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


1 Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2 Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water. Add raisins (if using) and nuts. Add oats last.

3 Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

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Showing 4 of 128 Comments

  • keiko

    Hi Elise – this is such a lovely post – it’s wonderful to have your grandmother’s recipe, she must have been a great cook too. The picture is really beautiful as well.

  • Jonathan

    I love cookies but I was wonderin’ if you could use butter or margarine in place of shortneng?

  • Elise

    Hi Keiko, well she came from the old school where everything was made by hand. Dad used to tell me about going into the forest to shoot squirrels so they would have squirrel stew. My god, who knows how to butcher a squirrel? Grandma could do all those sorts of things.

    Hi Jonathan – yep of course you can use butter instead (I would never recommend margarine for anything), I have a different recipe for oatmeal raisin here. The recipe on this page however came from my grandma, and from a time when people used shortening a lot more than they do now.

  • John Gotti

    this is a great recipe…I made a variation including:

    1/2 teaspoon of Almond Extract
    2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
    1 cup dried cherries (instead of raisins)

    A different idea I tried because my daughter doesn’t care for raisins.

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