Heirloom Oatmeal Cookies, Updated

Posted by Brette in Food

My cousin’s son got married in October and my gift to the bride and groom was a recipe book I created of my late grandmother’s recipes (very Martha of me!). I thought this was a great gift, but given the fact that I have not yet received a thank you note, 7 weeks later, I’m wondering if they didn’t think so. It took me at least 10 hours to assemble, type, organize and edit the book and then I took it to Kinko’s to have it bound, so as gifts go, a lot of time and thought went into it!

Before my grandmother passed away, I had many of her recipes and used them often. However, one of the things she left to me was her own personal recipe notebooks, in which her recipes are written out longhand and notes are made as to where they came from. I’ve mentioned before that she was quite a cook, but it wasn’t until I assembled the typed recipe book of 63 PAGES that it struck me how deeply she affected my cooking skills and tastes.

Lately I have been craving oatmeal cookies, so I decided to make her recipe (which, according to her notes, came from her mother). As often happens when I’m cooking, I did some tweaking and ended up with a modern twist on her classic. The cookies were fabulous – crunchy, sweet, satisfying and filling.

Ruth Thompson’s Heirloom Oatmeal Cookies, Updated

1 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

½ tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

¼ tsp vanilla

¾ cup  rolled oats

¼ cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, oats, chocolate chips, and pecans. Form into balls and dip tops in white sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops are slightly crackly and the bottoms begin to brown.

Do you have a favorite heirloom recipe? I’d love to hear about it. Have you ever made a family recipe book?

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18 Responses

  • These cookies look amazing. I love oatmeal cookies. As for the wedding gift: I think that was such a sweet, thoughtful item. I would have loved getting something like that. Any thoughts of selling it?

  • When I pulled up your post and saw the title, I let out a long “Ah!!!” as oatmeal cookies are my favorite, especially since they are easier to digest somehow. This recipe is very similar to mine, minus the chocolate chips. Also, I use walnuts instead of pecans. Are the chips your addition?

    I have not made a family recipe book but contributed to a book that my daughter put together for her sister when she got married.

  • The chips and whole wheat flour are my changes. Also the pecans. She usually used walnuts.

  • I am banned from selling it because it contains my aunt’s top secret fruitcake recipe. She got upset even learning I was including it in this which is being given only to family members! Maybe if I pulled that out though I could.

  • Tara says:

    That’s one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever heard of. I wish that when I got married, someone had taken the time, care, effort, and creativity to make me something like that.

    I gave someone a very expensive present for a wedding in June and I still haven’t received a thank you note. Recently I gently asked if they had received it (as we live far away from them and I had it shipped from a company directly) and they said they had received it. Still no thank you?!!!??!

    Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who follows and appreciates the niceties of etiquette. Now I know I am not alone!

    PS I love your blog now even better than before!!

  • Tara, thank you so much for that comment. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear that people are reading, and liking what I’m doing. There’s going to be something fun and special coming up soon for those who love this blog, so stay tuned!

    The thank you note for this did finally come right after I posted this, so I take it back:) When I getting the gift ready to go, I told my mom is sort of felt insubstantial, but she reminded me that I should think about the hours of time I put into it and multiply that by my hourly rate and then I would see what a very expensive gift it really was! She was right.

  • First of all, that is one of the nicest, most thoughtful wedding gifts I’ve ever heard about. And glad you got the thank you note. I truly hope they appreciate it! Secondly, I need to make these cookies!!!

  • I agree that your gift was very thoughtful. My guess, is the bride and groom are still settling in.

    I love collecting old family photos, I wish I had some recipes to go along with some of the faces. Sadly, I only have one or two.

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe–especially since it’s 100% whole wheat. I do think you need to make one last tweak: This recipe seems like it wouldn’t make enough cookies to last over a cold weekend, does this double well:)

  • I was the only one eating them in my house, so there were enough for my indulgence! But, yes, I would double it if you’ve got a lot of hands in the cookie jar! My grandmother’s recipes tend to be small in quantity since she baked several times a week.

  • I love me some oatmeal cookies – just need to try them GF. I haven’t actually tried yet, but I don’t think it would be very hard…

  • No I don’t think it would be since the oats are the main carb.

  • i agree w/ tara that that is such a kind and thoughtful present. i wish we were related brette! my daughter and i were planning to make pb cookies today. maybe well try these instead!

  • What a sweet present and how wonderful and thoughtful of you to make it!

    I love this recipe – you read my mind – I’ve been craving oatmeal cookies!

  • Unfortunately, the women in my family are not big on cooking, but my Mom makes a delightful brocolli casserole for potlucks.

    I wouldn’t take the lack of a thank you note personally. My mother trained me and my brother to *always* send a personalized, handwritten thank you note for gifts, but not everyone is so concerned about ettiquette, especially these days.

  • Hi Martha! I’m back again — my son and I made these cookies after school on Thursday (my daughter decided she wanted to stick with peanut butter chocolate chip cookies so she used a different recipe). We made them with 1/2 agave and 1/2 fair trade unrefined organic rapadura sugar. They were fantastic though a bit too sweet — I’d suggest using quite a bit less sweetener. Also, my son flattened half of them and left the other half in balls. He decided the flattened ones (with a fork) were more delicious because they were crispy on the sides but fluffy in the middle…

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I usually leave mine in balls, but flattening sounds like it might be a good idea.

  • These look delicious. And all I can say is wow and how wonderful to have “ancestral” recipes, and so many.

  • It is really nice. I have some recipes from my other grandmother too. Someday I will find the time to sit down and make one family cookbook for my own kids.