Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

So, I’ve been thinking for several weeks about oatmeal lace cookies. You know the ones…they are impossibly thin and crispy, yet full of oats. They are as delicate as lace and I assume that is where the name comes from. I have searched high and low for the perfect rendition and I’m getting the impression that it is a very relative thing. The disparities between the recipes I have seen are significant. I think this is just one of those things that you do like your momma did and that is the recipe that you like.

My momma was more of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie gal, so I’m flying blind and testing every Junior League Cookbook recipe that jumps out at me. I’m convinced this will be a community cookbook find. But this wonderful cookie was birthed in the lace cookie process and it is worth sharing. In fact, I love it and I hope you will try it. It is thin and it is crisp, but it has some substance to it.  It is a legitimate cookie…not a confection. Lace cookies are in the borderland between cookie and confection. The crisp and simple texture and flavor of this cookie make it great for kids and adults. There are no scary ingredients like nuts or raisins if you are catering to the whims of the little or picky. Store them in an airtight container and they are equally wonderful on day two. Mine did not make it to day three.

This recipe is adapted from the Oatmeal Wafer Crisp recipe in the Junior League of Dallas Dallas Dish cookbook which has been out since 2005. This is one of those books that is like the French Laundry Cookbook in its loveliness. It is one of those rare cookbooks that you not only use but display. It is a well thought out collection of recipes, and the photography and design are wonderful. There are but few “community” cookbooks that rise to this level of physical elegance (though you know I adore all of them in substance). I need to remember this the next time I venture out of state and need a hostess gift. I have the same affection for The Artful Table by the Dallas Museum of Art League and Stop and Smell the Rosemary buy the Junior League of Houston.

Suffice to say the title made me think it was going to be a lace cookie. But it is not. I now have three known categories of wonderful oatmeal cookies, thick and chewy, thin and crisp like this one, and lace…which is being as elusive as the sasquatch at the moment. But, no worries, I will hunt it down soon. When I told my friend Natalie that I was doing a crisp oatmeal cookie, she gave me a “bummer” look…so Natalie…if you are there sweetie…follow this link to the chewy oatmeal cookies that have organic coconut, pecans and maple sugar in them. It was posted a while back and it is a really wonderful cookie for those of you who can’t bear the thought of a crisp oatmeal cookie.

Here goes…this goes fast.

Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 25
Crisp and thin oatmeal cookies. This will become a standby recipe for any baking occasion.
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg to the butter and sugar and beat this for one minute. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. Reduce the speed and add the flour and oat mixture. Mix to combine.
  3. Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, place balls of dough on a silicone baking sheet at least 2 to 3 inches away from each other. Press down the dough with the tines of a slightly wet fork (doesn’t stick that way). Bake for approximately 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about two minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
  4. Repeat with the remaining dough.

When I make a big batch of cookies, I always use two cookie sheets, each topped with a silicone baking sheet. By doing this, I can allow the sheet to cool completely between each batch, so that when I load it up with dough again, the dough doesn’t start to melt before I get it into the oven. If you don’t have two sheets in rotation, consider taking the few extra minutes to let your sheet cool before loading it again. Your cookies will thank you. Your belly will thank you.


  1. Ann Nayfa says

    LOVE your website!! Your recipes are great. I wanted to share with you my very favorite cookbook, Beyond Parsley from the Kansas City JL. I have used it for years and I’m on my second copy!!!!

  2. Kelly says

    Thank you, Ann! I love a good rec on JL cookbooks. Community cookbooks are definitely the back bone of my collection. I will order a copy of this ASAP. I hope it is still in print. It is funny how certain ones stay around forever…the good ones always do, I guess. I go swimming through the crates of old JL and church cookbooks at Half Price Books as often as I can. There are some real classics in there. Thanks for being around. I hope you return often.

  3. Jeanie says

    Got this recipe mixed up and ready to bake. The dough is so good! Can’t wait to get them hot out of the oven. Thanks for your great recipes~

  4. Kelly says

    Ooh! First batch should be coming out any second, then. Please come back and tell me what you think. And, yes, the dough is pretty irresistible.

  5. says

    These look really great! I definitely will give the recipe a try. I have a recipe called Melt in your Mouth Oatmeal Cookies you might like on my site I wrangled the recipe out of my friend’s mom when I was in high school. I dreamed about her lacy oatmeal cookies, that’s how good they were.

  6. Sue says

    Big hit at Thanksgiving. Will bake then again as Christmas
    give aways.

    Thanks for all the delicious recipes.

  7. John says

    hey there :)

    I just made a batch for my girlfriend and she loved it! :) Thank you for helping me strengthen our relationship!

  8. Kelly says

    This qualifies as one of my top 5 ever comments on PIE. Thank you! I’m glad she liked them, and I’m particularly glad you bake for her…that is a great quality in a man, in my opinion.

  9. Jen Pratt says

    Just a little fyi for anyone who thinks these ideas sound good – I have rolled these guys in cinnamon sugar before baking…..DEElish. Also did some with crasins (gonna go get dried blueberries next I think) and some with raisins. They are FABULOUS all by themselves but these little tweaks are also yummy.

  10. Kelsie says

    Just made a batch of these. I did add some peanut butter to the batter and they came out awesome! They taste similar to my grandma’s peanut cookies, but thiner and lighter. Thank you for the recipe!

  11. Jo Ann says

    I can’t wait to try this cookie, I’ll be making it as soon as the baby goes down for a nap! I, too, have been looking for the elusive lace oatmeal cookie — let us know if you find it. In the meantime, thank you for sharing this one!

  12. Marian says

    I’m not sure how I stumbled on your blog, December 2012, but I’m so happy I did! These oatmeal cookies are the bomb. I made them last year for Christmas and everyone thought they were the best. I just baked the oatmeal today and decided to try your chocolate chip cookies. Oh my, they are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for sharing these recipes. I look forward to trying your cornbread stuffing. Again, thank you.

  13. Kelly says

    Thank you. You made my day. I’m glad you like the CCC, as that is without a doubt the recipe I make most often at home.

  14. Hurul says

    Been looking for the perfect recipe for a thin and crispy cookie and I’m so glad I found your blog! I added walnuts and choc chips and they were so yummy! Thanks a lot for sharing (:

  15. melissa says

    I am baking this cookies right now. I’m following the directions of 13 minutes of baking. I checked them up with a toothpick, just to see if they were already cooked, the toothpick came out clean but the cookie was still soft. I decided to let it a little more but it still stays very soft. I guess it’s because I’m using one of those little ovens. I don’t know if I should still cook them even a little more or I should take them out even though they don’t show signs of being crispy. Help?

  16. Kelly says

    They will become more crisp as they cool. Go for golden around the edges, and not wet looking on top. Then take them out and let them sit on the sheet for two minutes. Those little ovens can be tricky. Good luck.

  17. says

    Not very good at all — Or at least not what I expected! They were very hardy, thick, and moist, for the most part, and quite frankly the taste was quite bland. And, of course, due to the excessive amount of butter, extremely high calorie. Would not make again, disappointing results.

  18. Kelly says

    Oh gosh, Mallory. I think someone needs a hug. It’s a cookie…not diet food, thus the excessive amounts of butter. Sorry about the misunderstanding on that. As for being bland, hardy, thick, moist, etc. I’m going to have to assume from the overwhelmingly positive responses I’ve had to this recipe, that the recipe is not the issue. Keep on baking, friend. I’m sure you will get the hang of it soon. ‘Til then, here’s hoping your day improves.


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