Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Cookies

March 14, 2010

When my cousin Amy was 17  and I was 5, Amy brought me over to her house so we could make cookies together. Like any rational 4 year old, I was unbearably excited about this. We arrived at her house, she pulled a tube of Pilsbury cookie dough out of the fridge, and began slicing and laying the slices on the cookie sheet. And I stood there, shaking my head. “What are you doing?” I asked her. She told me she was making cookies. I said, “But, you can’t be making cookies!” Amy asked why not. I asked, “Where are the eggs?” She explained the eggs were already in the dough. “Where is the butter?” Instead of helping her I just sat at the kitchen table, dumbfounded, having no conception of how cookies where possibly going to come out of this. 

As you can probably tell from this story, my mom insisted on making everything (and I mean everything) from scratch. She is an AMAZING cook. I was spoiled rotten with fantastic food every day of my child and adult life. But the funny thing is, she couldn’t cook a single thing until she was 37. She was, in her words, “a terrible cook.”  She said she would “read the recipes halfway, assume she could figure out the rest, not pay attention to measurements, and then get mad when it wouldn’t turn out.” Then one day, after 37 years of being a terrible cook, she sat down and started cooking with Biba’s show on TV. And she actually paid attention. And the meal actually came out well. She kept “practicing paying attention” and she is now capable of the creating some of the most delicious food you have ever tasted. I tell you this story to encourage you. Because if she can do it, you can do it!

Oftentimes, it seems like cooking mistakes are often a matter of paying attention. I’m a good cook, but I still measure out 1/2 cups instead of 1/3 cups or forget to add an ingredient and realize later. Again, these are all faults of attention. I really believe that for most people, a little extra attention makes the difference between making something that is delicious instead of something that is barely edible. And I only came to this conclusion by making too much of the barely edible! 

But anyway, back to my cookies. A few years ago, I read about a lovely little trick where you can make a big batch of cookie dough, roll it into tablespoon-ish sized balls, line them up on a cookie tray, and freeze them for a few hours. Then take them off the cookie sheet and plop them into a ziploc bag. You can defrost them in the fridge a few hours before you want to eat them. Or, if you are impatient (not that I could ever be impatient, of course, especially when it comes to craving some nice hot oatmeal cookies), just bake them at 350 for 5 minutes, flip them over, then bake for another 5 minutes. The result is a cookie that is crispy on BOTH sides, and warm and gooey in the middle.  Almost makes you want to be impatient, huh?

OATMEAL RAISIN COCONUT COOKIES (adapted from the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on the inside of the Quaker Oats Container)


1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut


Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugars until creamy (about 1 minute). Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture gradually. Stir in oats, raisins, and coconut. Form into balls on cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack. Enjoy!


8 Responses to “Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Cookies”

  1. Patti Howe Says:


    I believe the addition of the unsweetened coconut is the real “treasure” in these lucious cookies. xo

  2. Leah Says:

    Your mom sure is a good cook. Maybe when I’m 37 I will be too. Miss you!

  3. Cousin A Says:

    what a great idea (frozen cookie balls).
    i may have to have these on hand for last minute playdates or mommy emergencies!
    btw, i remember that day like it was yesterday. you were so darn cute….and confused about “where cookies come from”.
    both your parents are incredible cooks, its in your genes!

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