It kinda wasn’t ever the holidays without including my Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! It kinda still isn’t. I vividly remember the platter of goodies that my Nana would bring when we all gathered in one place. Even though she hasn’t been with us for some time now, the reason I introduce her recipes to you and include them every year into our family time is my way of keeping a fresh memory of her for all of us.
Having family a bit scattered across the country, we learned to appreciate the time we could all manage to come together under one roof, break bread, catch up on life stories, and fill the air with the aroma of some great cooking and some hearty laughter. Nana was always eager to contribute her baking skills for any occasion, so I love taking the torch to contribute my own skills when I am able. Hope she’s proud!
If your family is anything like mine, it is quite a crazy time to create some incredible memories together! We are all a silly bunch of wise-crackin’ jokesters, no doubt. And how on earth do we eat so much in such a short time frame??! haha But, we do! And we never seem to regret at least some of our indulgences at every. single. meal.
For me, at some point, somehow, somewhere, sometime just enjoying a great piece of cake turns into channeling my inner Veruca from ‘Wille Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, except I seem to hear the theme song from ‘Rocky’ playing in my head while developing an involuntary boxer’s bounce and softly whispering to myself, “Aw naw people, next week I will not have ANY of this pie and there ain’t no way I’m not fighting my way back in there to get more of my OWN cake that I baked!”
Then… I end up eating way too much of it all yet again.
But I digress.
Where was I? Oh, yes… I know my Nana’s standard was that she never stamped her name on anything that wasn’t her best, present recipe included. I am sharing this particular oatmeal raisin recipe with you because it involves cooking the raisins and toasting the pecans. It may not seem like a big deal, but including these two steps really makes the flavors come alive to create the best, chewiest, most delicious version of oatmeal raisin cookies!
Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yields: Approx. 5 dozen
- 1 c. raisins
- 1 c. water
- ¾ c. shortening
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. cloves
- 2 c. rolled oats
- ½ c. chopped pecans, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast pecans for about 10 minutes, or until aroma blooms. Use caution and adjust the timing to avoid over-toasting them.
- Once the pecans are toasted, set aside to cool.
- Turn oven up to 400 degrees F.
- Simmer raisins in 1 cup of water over low heat until raisins are plump. (About 20 min.)
- When raisins have simmered, drain the raisin liquid into a measuring cup, then add enough water to make ½ cup of liquid.
- In the bowl of your mixer, cream shortening and sugar with the paddle attachment.
- Add eggs and vanilla and combine well.
- Add raisin liquid.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices.
- Stir rolled oats and chopped, toasted pecans into batter.
- Carefully fold in raisins, taking care not to break them apart much.
- Drop by the teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
I used a cookie scoop to drop my dough onto my cookie sheet. It works perfectly to create the same size cookie ball each time!
Mmmmm! What is it about freshly-baked cookies that send me back to my childhood? It makes me wanna pour a big glass of milk or a perfect cup of hot coffee with some Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee Creamer and remember what it was like to wake up on a Saturday morning for cartoons and have a few cookies to eat for breakfast on a holiday break from school! Heavenly!
Whatcha waitin’ for? There’s a lot of living out there to do. Go grab your stuff and get to baking up some memories of your own!
Comment below and let me know how Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies come out for you!
Bake on and enjoy the sweetness of life!