Aunt Bev’s Oatmeal Cookies

When I was twelve years old, I gave my mother a recipe box for Christmas. I know this because she scratched “FROM CHARLES XMAS 1955” on the back of the box. Some of the paint has worn off, but the flowers are still cheerful and if you turn it over, you will learn that it was “MADE in U.S.A” by the Ohio Art Company.

My sister Patsy loaned me two of Mom’s recipe boxes, and they have taught me some new things about my mother. Here are three of them. First, she was an avid snipper of recipes from boxes, newspapers and magazines. Second, she collected lots of recipes from relatives, friends and neighbors. And third, she really liked cake and cookie recipes. Supporting this conclusion is the fact that the soup section of the box includes recipes for “Krunch Drops” and “Chocolate Drop Cookies.”

One of the recipes I found was headed “Bev’s Oatmeal Cookies.” Aunt Bev was my mother’s youngest sister. She and her husband live in Barron today, and she still has coffee and snacks ready when I visit.

Here is her recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies, simple to make and tasty to eat. Plus, with all that oatmeal, they are good for you. I love health foods that taste good!


1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T condensed milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick cook oatmeal
3/4 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350º and grease one or two cookie sheets.

Cream together the shortening and sugars. Stir in the egg, vanilla and condensed milk until you have a smooth batter. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda by thirds into the liquid ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a soft dough.

Stir a cup of oatmeal into the dough, then add the raisins and stir to mix thoroughly. Finish by adding the second cup of oatmeal and stirring until all the ingredients are moistened and mixed evenly together. You should have a very stiff dough. If necessary, add another tablespoon of flour.

Drop rounded teaspoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for twelve minutes and cool them on a rack.

NOTES: This recipe makes about thirty cookies.

You can substitute whole milk, half and half or cream for the condensed milk.

These cookies are nice and chewy a few minutes after they come out of the oven, but they get crunchy if you let them sit out on a plate. If you want them to stay chewy, put them in a storage bag with a slice of bread when they are still slightly warm.

As an experiment I made a batch of these cookies using only light brown sugar and think that they have an even better flavor.

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

Here is a bread that tastes good and is good for you. Oatmeal is an excellent source of iron, thiamine and dietary fiber and helps lower your cholesterol. Oatmal bread doesn’t have a lot of the grain, but it is a delicious way to get some of these important vitamins, minerals and fiber.

I have been making variations of this recipe for many years. This version is my favorite.


2 cups water
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter
1/4 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 to 5 cups all purpose flour


Put a half cup of warm water (105º to 110º) into a cup or small bowl. Stir in a quarter teaspoon of white sugar and two teaspoons of dry yeast. Allow the yeast to proof.

Bring one and a half cups of water to a rapid boil in a saucepan and stir in the oatmeal. Once the oatmeal is boiling again, reduce the heat and cook it for about three minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot oatmeal into a large bowl.

Stir in the butter, salt, brown sugar and buttermilk and allow the mixture to cool if it seems warmer than 115º. Stir in two cups of all purpose flour, then add the yeast and beat the batter until smooth. Stir in more flour a cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough on to a well-floured board and use a spatula or baker’s scraper to begin the kneading by turning the dough until the surface is floured. The dough will be sticky to start with. Knead well until the dough becomes pliable and elastic. Add flour to the board as necessary. You will see and feel the oatmeal as you knead. Kneading this dough will take eight to ten minutes.

Grease the bread bowl with butter or shortening and put the ball of dough in it. Turn the ball to coat the surface with grease and cover the bowl with a damp tea towel.

Put the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and remove the dough to the lightly floured bread board and knead for about one minute.

Grease two bread pans. Divide the dough in half and form two loaves. Put a loaf in each pan and cover them with a damp towel.

While the loaves are rising in the pans preheat your oven to 375º. When the dough is even with the tops of the pans, put them on a middle shelf in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when you tap on it.

Let the loaves cool (at least a little while), then slice and enjoy!

NOTE: Do not use quick-cooking or “instant” oatmeal to make this bread.