From the Recipe Box: Southern Oatmeal Cookies

by kitchenarian on January 27, 2011

I recently found this recipe tucked inside of an old cookbook. It was written on an index card in the deliberate handwriting of a young, but serious child – that would be me. The recipe was for my sister’s favorite cookies. I have two sisters. We don’t really look alike and our lives seem to head in completely different directions, but we love spending time together whenever we can. I am the baby. (Just thought I would throw that in there; my sisters are now rolling their eyes!)

This recipe was one that my oldest sister made often as we were growing up; it was her signature cookie. I remember when she would bake them. I would sit on the counter and watch her and talk to her while she cooked. We always ate the raw cookie dough – it was the 70’s you know, everyone did it. I am not sure where she got the recipe – probably some hip teen magazine of the time.   I doubt it, but that is how I remember it.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick oats

Cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, salt and soda. Add to creamed mixture. Fold in oats. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll into small balls and place on baking sheets lined with silpat or a slightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes.

Kitchenarian notes:  You can add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, craisins or anything you would like to the dough.  We never did, but you can.


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina January 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm

That’s wonderful- keeping a recipe from when you were kids. I love the photo. 🙂


Leanne @healthfulpursuit January 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Loving the picture of you and your sisters! I love finding old recipes, making them, and getting flashbacks of my childhood. These look absolutely delicious!


Sandra January 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Perfection! Love how they look!!


Food Frenzy January 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Wonderful picture and even better recipe. These look fabulous.

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Brooks at Cakewalker January 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm

The cookies depicted are rocking the oatmeal texture that we all know and love. Lovely too is the history behind the recipe. How sweet it is!


Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs January 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I love recipes that have a story behind them. They look delicious.


Kate @ January 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm

OH my that picture is beautiful!! Adorable little girls!
I love your cookies…especially since they come from an older sister 😉
I am the older sister, and my baby sister always asks me for recipes. I like that :).


Jill Colonna January 28, 2011 at 5:31 am

What a lovely story. I love the comment that you had the cookies plain. We always want to add our signature to cookies, adding a bit of this and that but when it comes to the plain recipe it always brings back floods of happy memories in the kitchen!


Happy When Not Hungry January 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

These look delicious! What a great family recipe. Your photo is so cute too!


Curmudgeon January 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

What great cookies and a great story. You are also the best sister too – but I’m very biased.


Sister January 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I’ll let the Curmudgeon’s comment pass – after all he IS the Crumudgeon. Thanks for sharing since it brings back many sweet memories. The sweetest is my baby sister who wanted to do everything I did and who I now rely on to teach me “all things pertaining to the kitchen”. Kisses!


Gayle Martin January 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

That’s a good classic recipe. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still eat the cookie dough.


briarrose January 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

So cute. What wonderful looking cookies. I crave the beloved oatmeal now. 😉


torviewtoronto January 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

oats look delicious cookies look wonderful


Rose Gold February 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Your recipe is so simple. I should better try this one and make some frosting to make it yummier.


Melanie Schoenhut February 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

This is really so simple. I think I can make it later on after I buy all the ingredients.


Dianna April 29, 2011 at 3:26 am

These look and sound delicious. Are they crisp or chewy cookies?


kitchenarian April 29, 2011 at 7:35 am

I cook them so they are chewy, but if you prefer crispy just cook them longer.


Kimberly Mayo September 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I am trying out your recipe right now! I have tried unsuccessfully to make a decent batch of oatmeal cookies and when I read that you were the youngest of 3 sisters, I HAD to try yours. I am also the youngest of 3 sisters and none of us are alike, but we love to get together too! I live way too far from them, as I am in NC and they are both in Pa, but every year we get together for a “Sister Vacation” It is so much fun and we truly are blessed to call each other sister! Here’s hoping my cookies turn out! 😉


Kimberly Mayo September 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Okay….I just baked some up and it’s official. I SUCK at making oatmeal cookies. 🙁 I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I put in the exact amount of ingredients, went by the instructions COMPLETELY and they STILL ran all over the pan. Can you help me?


kitchenarian September 30, 2012 at 9:34 am

I have often found that when the butter is too soft the cookies spread too much in the pan. Don’t melt the butter, but let it soften to room temperature naturally. Also, when I make cookie dough, I often refrigerate the cookie dough for a couple of hours after I make the dough and before I bake the cookies. I hope this is of some help!


Linda McCollum May 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

I have made this recipe for years. It was given to me by an elderly neighbor nearly 50 years ago. Her recipe called for shortening instead of butter and she added 1 cup of chopped nuts. Her recipe was also called Southern Oatmeal Cookies. These cookies keep beautifully. My sister made batches of them and froze them in a large container. They would just take out what was needed. Always just as crisp and fresh as they day they were baked.


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