Nana’s Family Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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About This Recipe

There is one particular cookie recipe that is universally loved by every single member of my family. So loved, in fact, my mom used to bury tins of these cookies in the deep dark corners of our freezer so they wouldn’t all be eaten in a single day! The recipe came from my Nana – my Mom’s mom.

“Family Favourites” – this is what Nana called them. In preparation for our yearly visits, Nana would bake and bake, and then bake some more; filling her small balcony freezer up to the brim with these delicious oatmeal, raisin, and chocolate chip beauties.

I spent a lot of time as a kid baking these cookies at home with my Mom, but they never quite turned out as good as Nanas. Maybe it was because my Mom never used the same type of jumbo raisins my Nana did, but it probably was because my Mom was physically incapable of following a recipe as written. She was always adjusting ingredients to make things healthier and messing with things in ways that drove me crazy (ironically, this is something I also now do).

When my Nana passed away, I saved her little red recipe book. Inside there are index cards filled with her beautiful cursive writing and recipes clipped from newspapers. When I flip through her book, a window into another time, I am struck by a little note that occurs over and over. Besides the sugar amount in every recipe she writes in brackets “use less.”

These two little words have resonated down through generations, inspiring my Mom’s kitchen experiments, which in turn have inspired my own. I launched my company, Canyon Kitchen, with two recipes that took my Nana’s “use less” advice to the extreme. In these recipes, I cut processed sugar out completely and replaced it with real whole dates. In order to do this, all baking takes place in a blender where I can emulsify the dates, and where I can also use whole apples and zucchini to achieve muffin and cake textures I never knew were possible!

Recently, at my daughters’ request, I revisited my Nana’s “Family Favourites” recipe, following her handwritten notes from her little red book. Surprisingly, there were very few instructions on the index card, just a list of ingredients and then words like “mix” and “combine.” If I hadn’t made these as I kid, I would never have known to roll the batter into little balls and then gently press them flat with a fork that needs to be dipped in water to prevent the batter from sticking. Some family traditions are preserved, not by writing them down, but by experiencing them and sharing them from generation to generation.

recipe book where grandma had her cookie recipe
Courtesy of Sarah Silverman

As I baked and followed my Nana’s notes, I was transported back in time, lost in delicious memories. The house was filled with nostalgic scents. And when the cookies came out of the oven and my daughter took her first bite, she closed her eyes and exclaimed, “Oh the memories!” I was initially taken aback by her reaction, but it dawned on me…the power of these cookies. Every bite connects me to my Nana, and every bite also connects my children to my mother who carries on the same tradition by filling her freezer with “Family Favourites” in preparation for our visits.

The recipe for “Family Favourites” that follows is my version of Nana’s original, adapted to infuse a little more nutrition into every bite, and also eliminate the need for an electric mixer because who really enjoys cleaning those?! In this recipe, I have swapped out enriched flour for sprouted spelled, added chia and flax seeds, and I use coconut sugar, adjusting the amount to “less” just like Nana suggests.

Ingredients

all ingredients laid out together
Courtesy of Sarah Silverman

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

½ cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1½ cup spelt flour

2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

½ teaspoon baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ cup raisins

¾ cup chocolate chips

Cookware

Baking sheet

Two mixing bowls

Fork

Cooling rack

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease a baking sheet with butter or oil (if you have a stone baking sheet you can skip this step).

3. In a medium mixing bowl, smash butter with a fork. Add sugar and mix well.

4. Crack eggs into the center of the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and use your fork to smash and mix until everything is well combined.

mixing wet ingredients together
Courtesy of Sarah Silverman

5. In a separate bowl add the flour, oats, chia and flax seeds, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir and create a small well in the center of the mixture.

mixing the dry ingredients together
Courtesy of Sarah Silverman

6. Pour your wet ingredients into the well and mix thoroughly.

7. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips.

8. Scoop about a tablespoon of batter into your hands and roll into a ball. Place balls on a baking sheet and space them about 1-inch apart. You should be able to fit about 20 balls on a standard baking sheet.

9. Use a fork to gently flatten each ball. Dip your fork in a cup of water if your batter starts sticking.

10. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Makes about 28 cookies.

11. Let cool and store in an airtight container. My family prefers to eat these frozen!

the cookies baked and ready to eat
Courtesy of Sarah Silverman
the cookies baked and ready to eat

Nana's Family Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This one particular cookie recipe is universally loved by EVERY SINGLE member of my family."
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 28 cookies

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • Fork
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a baking sheet with butter or oil (if you have a stone baking sheet you can skip this step).
  • In a medium mixing bowl, smash butter with a fork. Add sugar and mix well.
  • Crack eggs into the center of the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and use your fork to smash and mix until everything is well combined.
  • In a separate bowl add the flour, oats, chia and flax seeds, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir and create a small well in the center of the mixture.
  • Pour your wet ingredients into the well and mix thoroughly.
  • Stir in raisins and chocolate chips.
  • Scoop about a tablespoon of batter into your hands and roll into a ball. Place balls on a baking sheet and space them about 1-inch apart. You should be able to fit about 20 balls on a standard baking sheet.
  • Use a fork to gently flatten each ball. Dip your fork in a cup of water if your batter starts sticking.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes. Makes about 28 cookies.
  • Let cool and store in an airtight container. My family prefers to eat these frozen!
Keyword chocolate chip, cookies, oatmeal raisin

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Sarah Silverman. You can find more of her recipes on her website and download a FREE collection of Canyon Kitchen recipes HERE. Submit your own story  hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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