If you’re a busy parent like me, you know that holidays can be a particularly stressful time –– especially Halloween, with all the requisite costumes, activities, parties, and crafts. But Halloween fun doesn’t need to be stressful –– in fact, it can be incredibly easy! That’s where these simple, wholesome oatmeal raisin cookies come in. Simply bake up a batch of delicious cookies, make an easy cookie frosting, and get started decorating. If only all family fun could be so easy!
Head below for a classic and wholesome oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and step-by-step cookie decorating instructions.
Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
makes about 28 cookies
If possible, make the dough ahead of time and give it at least 30 minutes to chill. For this recipe, the cold dough bakes into an optimal cookie.
for the cookie dough
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (less if table salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon orange zest (I used clementines)
1/4 cup cacao nibs or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
In a large bowl, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until well-incorporated. Scrape down the sides, and then add the egg and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, sea salt, and spices.
With mixer on low, fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Next add the raisins and zest, and the cacao nibs and ground flax seed if using.
Cover dough, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, leaving two inches of space on each side. Using a spoon, press the dough gently to flatten into a round disc.
Bake cookies for 10 – 12 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes, and then remove to a flat surface to cool for about 15 minutes.
for the quick cookie icing and decorations
2 cups powered sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons water
a handful each of raisins, dried cherries, and cacao nibs
In a medium-sized bowl, stir the water into the sugar. If lumpy, mixture will smooth out after a few minutes.
Drizzle or spread icing onto the cooled cookies and decorate as you like.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days.