Friday, January 22, 2010

Historic Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

It's Friday night and the house is currently overrun with an extra helping of 3rd grade ladies in honor of Sissy's recent birthday. It's sleepover night at the Rational Living household and the amazing energy of these three extra girls plus our two puts caffeine to shame (and lucky for us, they haven't had any caffeine!).

While the girls are giggling and wrestling and being wild and (eventually, please God) settling down to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Sissy's sweet on Orlando Bloom), The Man of the House is busy in the kitchen cooking up a batch of what has become a staple in the Rational Living household: oatmeal raisin cookies.

The recipe, which is posted at, says it's a 1940s recipe. From the recipe research I've done I'd said it's authentic and true to the period. Basic ingredients, simple methods and delicious results have made it very popular in our house. In fact, we've had them so often that The Man of the House just about has the recipe memorized. Here it is!


2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 eggs, beaten
5 TB light molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional - we don't use them because Sissy is distrustful of all nuts)
1/2 cup raisins

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In another large bowl, beat the sugar with the shortening until smooth and cream.
  • Mix in the beaten eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in walnuts and raisins (the goo is usually so thick by now that we mix the raisins in literally by hand).
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls (we actually shape them into larger cookies) onto ungreased baking sheets.

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes approximately 3 dozen tablespoon-sized cookies.

Warm, soft and pleasantly (but not overly) sweet. Absolutely delicious and the only rationed items used are sugar (a modest amount thanks to the molasses), shortening (easier to purchase with points compared to butter) and raisins (not too expensive in blue/green points). I suppose if "shortages" arise then we could lighten up on the shortening, decrease the amount of sugar while increasing the amount of molasses and reduce or omit the raisins.

Until then, we're happy to have this new tradition in the house.

--Rational Mama

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