Some of you readers may remember my old blog back on NotPopular.com (Thanks to Josh Highland for the hosting space!) on which I posted a bunch of recipes and ramblings back in the day. One of my favorite entries on it was my Oatmeal Raisin Hell cookie recipe. Raisin haters be damned! (Fine, I’ll give you some tips on how to substitute them. Punks.) These cookies are my go-to when I need cookies in a flash and don’t have time to shop for new ingredients since pretty much everything in it is stuff you most likely already have in your pantry anyway. They’re always a hit wherever they show up, and a batch makes quite a few of them. Sometimes I even make bags or tins of them as gifts for the dudes in my life that enjoy food more than gift cards. And the best part is since they’re egg-free, you can eat tons of the (DELICIOUS) dough without a worry that Salmonella is going to ruin your whole cookie-inhaling experience. My grandma clipped this recipe out of a newspaper in the ’50s or ’60s, and made these cookies for many decades. I’m proud to carry on the tradition, with a somewhat updated and veganized edition!
A few notes:
- These babies are a tad on the salty side of your average cookie, and I think it gives them a little somethin-somethin’ since these are also nice and sweet and spiced, but you can take it down to 3/4 teaspoon if you like. Try it with a full teaspoon the first time and see what you think.
- A #40 cookie scoop (completely full and then scraped against the side of your mixing bowl) works great for these. You want smallish cookies, no bigger than a rounded tablespoon or so.
- I like mine soft so I find that 10 minutes at 375 F is pretty much the sweet spot in my oven. You can go higher, up to 12 minutes (and even turn the heat up to 400) if you’d like crispy cookies to dunk in your tea or something, but I really love these chewy and they can burn pretty easily if you don’t watch them.
- I also really like using my little mini measuring cup plunger for measuring out the molasses. That way you really get every drop out. I use mine anytime I’m doing syrups or other thick sticky liquids. Not necessary, but nice to have!
- If you don’t dig on raisins, you lamewad, then any other chopped “plump” dried fruit like chopped dried apricots, craisins (crazy raisins!), cherries, or even chopped nuts or chocolate chips will work just fine.
- In my old recipe I used Ener-G egg replacer, but over the years I’ve swapped it for flax eggs. Ground flaxseed works great in this crunchy oaty cookie, but I wouldn’t use it in a lighter cookie or cake. I haven’t gotten on the chia egg train yet but I bet it would work great here too.
- As to rolled oats, you can use whole or quick-cooking (which I prefer just because it’s a bit smaller and makes for easier mixing and more even cookies), but not instant.
- This is one of those easy-ish recipes that you can actually mix entirely by hand. I use my stand mixer to cream the shortening with the sugar just because it goes faster, but it’s totally not necessary if you have a good sturdy mixing spoon and a strong bicep.
- You can easily double this recipe! I’ve done it many times. You’ll be in the kitchen swapping out sheets a lot more frequently, but you’ll have dozens and dozens of amazingly chewy gooey hearty cookies at a moment’s notice.
Oatmeal Raisin’ Hell Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies (give or take how much dough you eat)
- 1/2 c shortening
- 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 6 T dark molasses
- 1/4 c ground flaxseed meal
- 6 T water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- generous 1/2 c raisins
- 2 c rolled oats
Place rack in center position of oven and preheat to 375 F. Grease (or attack with nonstick spray) 3 cookie sheets. (You can use 2 but it just means you’ll have to re-grease one of them after the first batch is done.)
In a small bowl, mix together flaxseeds and water with a small whisk or fork. Set aside while you mix other wet ingredients. Give it a couple of minutes to sit and get funky and weird.
In a large bowl, with either a stand mixer or a mixing spoon, cream together shortening and sugar as much as possible, then add molasses and vanilla extract. By now the flaxseed sludge should be thick and gooey and pretty much a solid mass. Add it to the other wet ingredients and mix well.
In a separate medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon with a whisk until well-combined. (This is a great sifting shortcut! I only use my sifter when I’m working with powdered sugar or cocoa since it’s such a pain to clean. This works just as well for airing out the flour and mixing the dry ingredients.) Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined, then add the rest. Add in the raisins and stir to mix, then the oats one cup at a time. Stir to make sure everything’s well-distributed and no oats are left lonely and dry at the bottom of the bowl.
Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonful (see note) onto greased cookie sheets at least an inch or two apart. These won’t spread too terribly much if you keep them small.
Pop in the oven on the center rack and bake for 9-11 minutes one tray at a time. Let each batch cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Store covered in a cool, dry place. Serve with a few shots of almond milk and a smile.