Moms oatmeal cookies DSC1468

Mom’s oatmeal cookies

When I was young, my mom did things differently from the other mothers. When the other kids were eating sugary cereals, I had to eat Uncle Sam. When the other kids were drinking milk shakes, I had to drink raspberry kefir. And when the other kids had smooth, flat store-bought cookies in their lunch boxes, I had chunky, lumpy homemade oatmeal cookies that looked like golf balls.

Appearances aside, I loved these oatmeal cookies as they were spiced with brown sugar and dotted with chocolate chips. But they looked strange, definitely not like the other kid’s cookies or something you’d find at a bakery. And when you’re in elementary school, appearances mean everything.

In the fifth grade, we had assigned seats at our lunchroom table. I was seated next to a boy named Vance. I knew him from our country club as we had taken tennis lessons together that past summer, but over the course of the school year we became better friends and he asked me to “go with him.” I thought he liked me because I was cute and lively (my nickname was Spaghetti Legs) but in time, I realized the truth.

Mom's oatmeal cookies | Homesick Texan

Once I became Vance’s girlfriend, he told me that what was his was mine and vice versa. So I got to eat his Oreos and he got to eat my mom’s cookies. I thought that I was getting the better end of the deal and he was just being kind.

But one day I didn’t want to eat Oreos—I wanted my mom’s oatmeal cookies. Vance threw a fit. “You don’t want to trade? Your mom’s cookies are the best cookies I’ve ever had. I wish I had a mom who made cookies as good as these! And you don’t even appreciate them!” he said.

I was shocked at his outburst. Someone would choose lumpy, chunky cookies over perfect store-bought cookies? And that’s when I knew—my mom’s cookies were indeed superior.

I held my ground and told him I’d be happy to trade my peanut butter and banana sandwich on homemade bread for his baloney sandwich on Mrs. Baird’s, but it was no deal. He wanted those oatmeal cookies.

Mom's oatmeal cookies | Homesick Texan

We broke up soon after—it was fifth grade after all—but remained good friends throughout our grade-school years. And sometimes, when I was feeling generous, I’d share with him my mom’s oatmeal cookies—no reciprocation necessary.

5 from 2 votes

Mom’s oatmeal cookies

Servings 48 cookies
Author Lisa Fain


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Cream together the butter, sugar and egg. Stir in the vanilla, rolleed oats, flour, salt, baking soad, and chocolate chips, and mix well.
  • Working in batches, place 1 teaspoon-sized balls of dough on a greased or parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool before serving.

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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. My mom is from New Mexico, raised in Texas, and then moved out to California. I can't ever remember her baking. But that's o.k. I have other fond memories of her. I on the hand love baking. I tried your recipe, and they were great!

  2. Aw, these are perfect mom cookies, not what you would want from a bakery, but exactly what you want with a cup of tea when your house is cold and you´re a bit homesick. I think it´s unlikely that this batch is going to make it 24 hours. Thanks for this.

  3. Ashley B. says:

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe?

    I made these this past weekend for a party, everybody loved them. We did notice that they seemed a little salty. It didn't detract from the awesomeness of the cookie but it was definitely there. I didn't check the butter I used, it may have been salted, but I do know that I only used a teaspoon of salt.

    I made a variety of flavors with this recipe. I made them with dark chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cappuccino chips and cappuccino chips with semi-sweet chips. All turned out great, sadly the cappuccino chips weren't full of cappuccino flavor. They were more of a toned down white chocolate.

    Thank you, for an amazing recipe!

  4. I just recently came across your site. I was looking down your list of recipes and the first one I had to check out was your oatmeal cookie.

    Your cookie story made me laugh. I'm also from the Houston area and for as long as I can remember my lunch contained homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My mom would make dozens of them and freeze them three to a bag. Every lunch got a bag of cookies (and I usually had another bag when I got home).

    I didn't get my first boyfriend until much, much later than 5th grade. But on the bright side, I never had to share my cookies with anyone.

    I'll have to give your cookies a test drive and see how they stack up to mom's.


  5. Anonymous says:

    What a great story! Just made these cookies and they were fantastic! Thanks so much for this recipe. I poured a little bit of milk in to make it a bit runnier as I think the portion sizes are a bit different here in the UK. I received many compliments on these cookies.

    Texan living in London