Mama’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oct 23 2013

by Terri Duhon

A heartier version of a cookie jar favorite, perfect for fall:

Mama was known in our small town for her oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. When the other kids at school sold Krispy Kreme donuts for fundraisers, I sold her cookies and she donated the ingredients so the organization could keep all of the profits. When I was in high school, I would bring a huge shopping bag filled with gift bags of cookies for friends and teachers. The second year I did that, I was met at the bus by people looking for their cookies. My seventh grade English teacher offered me $25 for the recipe. Several friends from high school messaged me about Mama’s cookies when they first found me on Facebook.

One day, in eighth grade PE class, I had some left-over cookies in a bag and I gave them to my PE teacher. She told me I didn’t have to bother dressing out that day. Now, the women in my family loathe PE. I love watching sports and supporting athletes, but I despise PE. When you have no athletic ability and the teacher makes the losing team run laps with no extra time to get dressed, you come to dislike the class. Needless to say, that teacher got a lot more cookies over the course of that school year and I got a few extra “no-dress” days, I’ll admit.


She kept the recipe in her first cookbook, a 1955 Betty Crocker book she bought for Home Ec. class in junior college. It’s one of my prized possessions. Mama had hundreds of cookbooks, but this is the one that kept my attention as I was growing up. I spent hours reading it and looking at its faded pictures. She gave it to me before she passed away, along with a second copy she bought at a garage sale.

Honestly, I can’t duplicate her results exactly with her recipe. I realize that part of the reason is the emotion tied to my memories of Mama. *She swore by Winn-Dixie’s Superbrand margarine. I know purists say butter, and I am normally in the purist camp, but there is something about margarine and shortening that gives cookies just the right texture and crumb. So, I sometimes use a combination of half margarine or shortening and half butter. Butter for the taste, the other for the texture, just like my pie crust.

Mama’s recipe, in her own hand:

Here’s the recipe, with notes and additions:

Mama’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened (see note above)*
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (not in original recipe; I don’t think Mama added it)
1 teaspoon water
1 1/2 cup oats
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cream sugar and butter until blended. You may use a mixer, but I have found the best results by mixing these cookies with a wooden spoon.
Add eggs. Stir in dry ingredients well. Add water, oats and chips. Stir well.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 1 minute on sheets and remove to cool on wire baking racks.


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2 responses on “Mama’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. pamelamason

    These sound delicious! But what I love even more is your mother’s beautifully written recipe. We just don’t see that any more, and it brings that person back, doesn’t it?

    Thank you for sharing your memories!

  2. tamaraeckles

    Such a sweet memory! I have a handwritten recipe from my grandmother, but it’s not as legible as yours. I treasure it none the less! It’s a recipe for chocolate pie.

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