Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Chewiest Oatmeal Cookies


At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when everything started to close and my fears were at their highest, I discovered two delicious things. The first was the chef and author David Lebovitz live streaming cocktail hour from his Pairs apartment each evening (early afternoon here in Kansas) on Instagram. Soon I was hooked on his posts and stories, especially the ones where he unpacked his purchases after trips to the market, complete with details of what was happening on the Paris streets during the lockdown. As he pulled cheese, apricots, plumbs, lettuces, and herbs from their paper bags, I dreamed of experiencing life and eating like a true Parisian.

My daily visits to Chef Lebovitz’s posts lead to my second discovery—his recipe for Cranzac Cookies. I love cookies so full of goodness you can justify eating them for breakfast. Oatmeal, coconut, and dried cranberries tossed with flour and dark brown sugar and then held together with a little (for a cookie) melted butter and golden syrup. Lovely!
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made these cookies. I also mix things up by using raisins, dried blueberries or dried cherries instead of dried cranberries. Sometimes a mixture of all three. Mini chocolate chips were also an excellent addition. 

You can find David Lebovitz’s Cranzac Cookie recipe here.  

While I was more than happy with the recipe, I knew many of my friends and family wouldn’t like the coconut. As an experiment, I decided to leave it out and double the amount of oatmeal instead. 

Eureka! The perfect, chewy oatmeal cookie! I went with traditional raisins and added chopped walnuts. I also decreased the amount of brown sugar by 1/4 because the original amount made the cookies a little too sweet for my tastes. 

This all-oatmeal version is now my go-to cookie recipe. The ingredients are pantry staples in my house. No mixer is needed, and the dough comes together in minutes.  Humm, I wonder how diced dried apple would taste? Or maybe dried apricots and pecans? There are so many possibilities… 

Yield: 22 to 24 cookies
Author: Linda Ditch
The Chewiest Oatmeal Cookies

The Chewiest Oatmeal Cookies

This is an all-oatmeal version of David Lebovitz's Cranzac Cookies. While the recipe calls for raisins and walnuts, you can use any dried fruits and nuts you like.


  • 2 cups (190 g) old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup (185 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup (175 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) chopped walnuts
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons of water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Mix to combine, breaking up any clumps of sugar. Toss in the raisins and walnuts. Add the melted butter, golden syrup, and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir until combined, adding more water to moisten the dough so it holds together when scooped. (I typically use 5 to 6 tablespoons.)
  3. Scoop out about 1 1/2-inch ball of dough (approximately 2 tablespoons) onto the prepared baking sheets. (I use a spring-loaded cookie scoop that looks like a miniature ice cream version.) Since the cookies don’t spread a lot, I can get 12 on a sheet about 1-inch apart. Then use your hand to flatten each scoop of dough about halfway down.
  4. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 14 to 16 minutes, making sure you rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling. The cookies will keep for 5 to 7 days in an airtight container. (I use a gallon zippered plastic bag.)


I use Lyles Golden Syrup, also known as light or golden treacle in the UK. Chef Lebovitz’s original Cranzac Cookie recipe suggests substituting with 2 tablespoons agave nectar, rice syrup, or mild-flavored honey, noting it would change the flavor somewhat. I would go with honey since the consistency is very much like golden syrup. However, you can find golden syrup in the import food section of some grocery stores. I buy mine on Amazon.

Note #2: I measured my dry ingredients with a food scale instead of measuring cups.  While I give amounts for both methods, I highly recommend using the scale for the best accuracy. Oxo makes my favorite scale.

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