My friend Donna’s Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

My friend and hiking partner Donna mentioned that she was going home after our hike to bake her favorite oatmeal cookies, a recipe from Alice Waters.  Donna is a wonderful cook and I remember from previous year’s Christmas cookie exchanges that she always brings delicious cookies.  Donna also happened to give me a copy of  Alice Water’s ‘The Art Of Simple Food’ which has the recipe for these cookies.  Intrigued -I can’t resist a good oatmeal cookie recipe, I went straight home and found the recipe.  I also curiously checked my blog to see how many oatmeal cookie recipes I’ve posted.  Not many, only two recipes for oatmeal cookies came up- Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Rolled Tropical Spelt Cookies, the latter one not really an oatmeal cookie.  I would also like to add more chocolate chip cookies recipes.  This past year I seemed to have jumped on the bar cookie bandwagon and neglected one of my favorites -drop cookies, especially the chocolate chip variety.  That’s probably why I shared the Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk recipe-trying to play catch up in my neglected chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie recipe category with a kind of hybrid chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe.

But, that’s all behind me now.  I’m proud to write that I’m back on track with this crispy  oatmeal cookie recipe that was inspired by Donna and of course Alice Waters.  These cookies are very good, definite favorites for the cookie jar, if they last that long.  I plan to share them with my ‘littles’ when they come to visit this week, so for now they are sealed up in airtight containers that probably should have locks on them.

My Friend Donna's Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.


  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1&1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon boiling water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to375F.
  2. Center an oven rack.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Put currants and water in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the currants are plumped and water is absorbed, stir in the orange zest-set aside.
  5. Place the rolled oats into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until ground.
  6. Transfer the ground oats to a medium bowl and stir in the flour, salt and cinnamon.
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars, scraping down a couple of times, until light and fluffy.
  8. In a small bowl mix together the baking soda and boiling water, stir this mixture into the butter mixture.
  9. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  10. Stir in the dry ingredients and the plumped currants.
  11. Scoop the dough into small 1" balls and place about 2 inches apart on the parchment lined sheets.
  12. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the middle of the cookies are still soft but the edges are dark brown.
  13. Cool on metal racks.

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  1. Cristina says:

    I do love a good homemade oatmeal cookie. There will be favorites for various reasons, but it’s good there’s a variety of recipes that lend different textures and highlight different flavors. I bet the orange zest adds a tasty detail. Wonder what the boiling water does? Thanks for sharing, Patty. Beautiful and vibrant colored pics. :)

  2. Cookies are the best track to be on! ;) These look fabulous, I can never say no to an oatmeal cookie!

  3. I love your bar cookies but that’s not to say that I’m disappointed to see these drop cookies–no way. I love, love oatmeal cookies and I do believe I have that Waters book already. Did I mention that I ordered the rustic desserts cookbook based on your recent posts? It’s sitting on my to-read pile and I can’t wait to be inspired by it as you have been. :)

    Love these cookies!

  4. My “little” is visiting in a couple of weeks, and cookies are definitely on the menu. These look great!

  5. I loved that you used the zest of one orange in these cookies – I can imagine how yummy they must be!

  6. these look yummy Patty. I think i’ll try making them with the boys for our next cooking project. was fun seeing you the other morning at BCM!

  7. These cookies sound pretty amazing, I too love a good oatmeal cookie. One can never have too many oatmeal cookies recipes :) thanks for sharing these cookies Patty. Have a great week.

  8. I love oatmeal cookies. These look indeed crisp and yum!

  9. Sometimes a good drop-cookie is just what’s needed. These oatmeal cookies look perfect and cosy!

  10. Alice Waters recipes are sure to please! I have several of her cookbooks, but not The Art of Simple Food. Another book to find at the used book store! With orange, cinnamon and oatmeal the Oatmeal Cookies must be heavenly! (BTW, my mom always used currants in her recipes. She didn’t like raisins!)

  11. So interesting the boiling water and baking soda…I like the currants and the orange zest…it sure give the cookies a fruity flavor.
    Have a great week Patty :D

  12. Like Cristina, I found the boiling water intriguing; thanks for teaching me something new! These cookies look wonderful, I would need too keep them locked away, too, if they were under my roof ;)

  13. Oh, phooey….I need to figure out how to save to my Recipe Box via ipad. I adore oatmeal cookies and these look terrific. I’m certain the littles will make them disappear! xo

  14. Oh, now these just look fabulous! So soft, chewy and perfect for enjoying with a nice cup of tea. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing, Donna and Patty!

  15. Hiking to baking cookies! Sounds like a fun day. I didn’t know the existence of oatmeal cookies for half of my life in the US. I was so silly. I always picked chocolate chip cookies and never really gave a chance to pick up oatmeal cookies (because I am not a fan of breakfast “oatmeal”). Such a bad choice. Now I’m catching up on my oatmeal cookie share… they are so good. I can imagine these cookies are so good. One day I have to make my first homemade oatmeal cookies. Saving your recipe – thanks Patty!

  16. Love how you styled these cookies for the photos! The cookies really stand out!

  17. There is nothing like a good oatmeal cookie. I prefer drop cookies to bars and oatmeal and chocolate chip are very high on my list. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the cookbook, I’m going to check Amazon right now. Have a great weekend and enjoy you “littles”.:)

  18. I’m a huge oatmeal lover and I bet I’d love these cookies in a heartbeat!

  19. Marline Lutz says:

    They sound terrific, so I’m off to the kitchen and I’ll be bringing the results to my church’s coffee break on Sunday.

  20. These sound DIVINE! And if you say they are delicious, then I know they truly are. Thank you for sharing and will be pinning shortly and making soon! Happy Saturday Patty!

  21. These do look so good and I’ve love to try them on my ‘littles’ too :)

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