These classic iced oatmeal cookies are old-fashioned style with soft centers, crisp chewy edges, and are topped with vanilla icing that sets after a couple hours. Pulsing the oats before adding to the cookie dough will give you a compact and uniform textured cookie.
Welcome to day 5 of 2018 Sally’s Cookie Palooza! If you’re just joining us, here are all the recipes published so far this week:
- Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Spritz Cookies
- Christmas Cookies in a Jar (with free printable!)
- Santa’s Whiskers Cookies
Day 5 means we’re halfway through the 10 day cookie countdown, so I’m sharing an extra special recipe. These iced oatmeal cookies are old-fashioned style with buttery soft centers, crisp chewy edges, and plenty of cozy spice flavor. They’re topped with a light coating of vanilla icing that sets overtime, making cookies perfect for stacking and gift-giving. You know the packaged iced oatmeal cookies you can buy at the store? That’s what these are but, you know, fresh from your oven and without all the sketchy preservatives!
How to Make Iced Oatmeal Cookies… like a boss
This recipe is adapted from my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies: soft & chewy oatmeal cookies that you can fill with raisins, butterscotch chips, or dried cranberries and white chocolate. Since I love it so much, I used this recipe as my starting point today. I played around with the ingredients so that I could replicate the texture of store-bought iced oatmeal cookies with the taste of homemade.
Texture: We want a compact oatmeal cookie with soft centers and crisp edges. I switched up the oats to flour ratio in my original recipe. Less oats and more flour proved successful. I went even further and pulsed the oats a few times to gently break them down into a coarse powdery consistency. Ding ding ding! This was the winning answer.
Taste: Now that the texture is spot-on, what about the flavor? To instill that delicious old-fashioned oatmeal cookie flavor, make sure you reach for:
- brown sugar
- and a spoonful of molasses
Consider these 4 ingredients as flavor powerhouses. The brown sugar actually plays two roles: flavor and softness. Its soft and moist texture translates directly into the baked cookie.
The Trick is Pulsing the Oats
This is an extra step, but– as mentioned above– taking an extra minute to pulse the oats will completely transform your iced oatmeal cookies. No matter if you’re using whole oats or quick oats, you must pulse them a few times in your food processor to obtain the correct consistency. I used my ninja. Here’s the texture you want:
THIS COOKIE DOUGH SMELLS LIKE HEAVEN.
This is a soft cookie dough and will over-spread in the oven unless you chill it. Chill the cookie dough for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.
Use a cookie scoop. Can I admit something? I never use a cookie scoop when making chocolate chip cookies, but I swear by this tool for oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cookie dough is sticky, textured, and soft. A cookie scoop not only prevents a mess, it helps ensure all cookies are the same size and shape. I recommend the medium cookie scoop which holds 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough. The cookies spread nicely, so I recommend only 8-9 cookies per baking sheet.
How to Ice Oatmeal Cookies
There are two tricks to icing oatmeal cookies.
- Thick icing. The thicker the icing, the more likely it will set. This vanilla icing is super thick. Start with sifted confectioners’ sugar and a splash of vanilla extract, then only add enough milk until you have a perfectly thick and creamy texture. Literally only 2 Tablespoons. Very little liquid.
- Light dip. Want to replicate the crackled icing appearance? The trick is to *lightly* dip the tops of the cookies into the icing. Don’t submerge the cookies; just a quick dip!
With every cookie recipe I test, I always set 6 or 7 cookies aside to see how they’ll taste a few days later. Results are often mixed– sometimes cookies lose their softness or just taste old… you get the idea. These iced oatmeal cookies? Still tasted fresh 1 week later. 1 WEEK.
As the days past, the spice flavor intensified. The centers were softer, the icing settled into the tops. By no means will your batch of iced oatmeal cookies last an entire week, but use my test as proof that these are damn good cookies!
One batch of these iced oatmeal cookies will launch you into cookie stardom. They evoke emotion. They’re the kind of nostalgic cookie that grandma used to make, which is why they’re so popular on store shelves. I’m confident that this recipe will result in marriage proposals, 1st place medals, and sold out signs at bake sales!!
Exaggerating? I would never.
What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?
Sally’s Cookie Palooza is a tradition since 2013. Every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 brand new cookie recipes as well as giveaways, the December Baking Challenge, Christmas cookie video tutorials, and so much more. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂
Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!
These classic iced oatmeal cookies are old-fashioned style with soft centers, crisp chewy edges, cozy spice flavor, and are topped with vanilla icing that sets after a couple hours. Pulsing the oats before adding to the cookie dough will give you a compact and uniform textured cookie.
- 2 cups (160g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon unsulphured or dark molasses1
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1.5 – 2 Tablespoons milk
- Make the cookies: Pulse the oats in a food processor 10-12 times until you have a variety of texture– chopped oats with some oat flour. See photo above for a visual.
- Whisk the pulsed oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick and sticky. Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before scooping and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Scoop cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Make the icing: Place sifted confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of milk. Use a fork to whisk until combined. It will be impossible to fully combine because this isn’t enough liquid. Add only enough extra milk to make a very very thick icing. I only add about 1 more Tablespoon of milk. You want a very thick icing. Lightly dip the tops of the cookies into the icing. Icing will set after a few hours, so you can stack and gift the cookies.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies with or without icing freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Cookie Scoop | Baking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Cooling Rack | Ninja Food Processor
- Oats: Pulsing the oats in step 1 is the trick to this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. Even if you’re using quick oats, pulsing the oats is necessary– you just won’t have to pulse them as much as whole oats.
- Molasses: 1 Tablespoon of molasses helps give these cookies incredible flavor. If you don’t have any, use pure maple syrup instead.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: Sift confectioners’ sugar before measuring.