Labor day weekend indicates the final “hurrah” of summer for most school districts in my area.  Most schools will have their first day of the 2017-2018 school year today or tomorrow!  So this week is pretty uniformly “back to school” week around here.

Aside from Labor Day weekend, the perfunctory red apple, and the giant “Back to School” section at Target,  there are few things I equate with the start of a new school year as much as oatmeal raisin cookies.  Every. Single. Year.  My mom made them the first week of school.  I’m not sure if this was intentional or coincidental.  Probably, a bit of both – since they still are my brother and I’s favorite cookies.

But oatmeal raisin cookies will forever be the start-of-school cookie to me.  Until the latter years of high school and those awful middle school years, I was usually excited for the school year to commence, so oatmeal raisin cookies hold nothing but good memories in my mind.  After all, I picked out my new pencils, notebooks, binders, folders, and, if i was lucky, Gel pens (it was the early 2000s folks) from Target for the occasion.  What wasn’t to love about that?   

To this day, I have never been one to say no to a soft chewy cookie that smells of vanilla and cinnamon either.  These are the perfect balance of soft, tender, and chewy.  They use the same cookie base as my apricot raisin oatmeal cookies – which naturally, are another of my favorites. 😉

Ok, I have a question/confession for you. Even if you are kid-less and school-less like me, do you still get a little giddy seeing all that back to school stuff??  I know I do!  I’m such a geek.  Maybe its the idea of a fresh start or a new beginning?  Or….. maybe its just the composition notebooks and gel pens. 😉

What things do you associate with the start of the school year?!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (I used a combination of a jumbo raisin medley and regular red raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Add raisins to dry ingredients and mix to coat.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and mix in vanilla.

Add dry ingredients in 3 additions. Mix just until combined. 

Roll cookies into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. I always bake mine on a pizza stone because I love the even heat distribution.

To yield cookies with a mound shape, do not lightly press on the tops. For more traditional looking oatmeal cookies with a flatter appearance (as pictured), lightly press on the top to flatten slightly. The cookies will flatten further as they bake. I like them both ways, but find them easier to transport and store on-the-go when they are flatter.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just slightly golden on the edge. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.  

When cool, store in an airtight container.