Emily's Best Oatmeal Cookies and a Smile

Watch out, Chocolate Chip Cookies, there may be a new favorite in town!  This past summer an old friend of our family, Emily, visited us and brought her family, fond memories and... her White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies!  I have never had such a delightful surprise in an oatmeal cookie before.  Such a perfect combination of flavors, I had to get the recipe!

Emily is the daughter of my father's best friend.  She is one of three daughters, all of them older than me and two of them my brothers' ages.  Each summer our families would spend two weeks vacationing together on a lake, many years even sharing the same cottage.  And for a little girl with two stinky older brothers, spending two weeks out of every year in the company of these girls was heaven!

When I was just 6, the girls were young teenagers, and I was absolutely fascinated by them.  Their clothes, their hair, their makeup, their nailpolish...it was all so new and interesting.   I was enthralled by the way they giggled, the way they turned their collars up, and the way they wore their bracelets. It was wonderful.  Although I love my brothers, I found the difference between them and these girls to be vastWhile my brothers mainly treated me to tickling, teasing, and other forms of big brother torture, these girls played Barbies with me and french-braided my hair.  They also seemed to have a magic power over my brothers, and commanded their attention in a way I couldn't understand. 

Of Emily, I remember her smile the most from those days.  She seemed to have the biggest smile on her face all the time, and to my childish mind, I thought that meant her life must be perfect.  When Emily came to visit us this past summer, I figured as an adult, I would see her differently.  But the smile was exactly the same, and again, I thought that must mean her life is perfect.  Although I find it hard to believe anyone's life is perfect, I am now of the belief that a smile can go a long way to giving that impression.   So, smile, folks!  :)

No matter if your life is perfect or not, I am certain Emily's Best Oatmeal Cookies would be a perfect addition to it.  Emily's recipe calls for one cup of mix-ins, so you could make Emily's Best Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies, or Emily Best Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, or whatever combination you can dream up, but the White Chocolate Cherry combination is truly amazing.  I recommend you start with that one.  And if these cookies don't put a smile on your face, then I'll eat my hat.  So, here it is:

Emily's Best Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sugar + additional
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup mix-ins (see note)

1. Preheat oven 350 F.

2. Cream together shortening, oil, 1 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in water and vanilla extract.

3. Sift together flours, soda, and cinnamon. Add to sugar mixture and mix well.

4. Mix in oats and your choice of mix-ins.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheets lightly coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Flatten dough with glass bottom coated with cooking spray and dipped in white sugar.

6. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly brown.

7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Emily's note: Choose your own combination of mix-ins for this recipe.  Total amount should equal one cup.  Try dried cherries and chopped almonds, cranberries and white chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins or macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.


  1. You've sold me! I'm making these this week. Yum!

  2. Ali, let me know how they come out!

  3. These are good. Trust me, I'm a Doctor.

  4. Two winners--Em and her cookies!

  5. Holy cow...those look fantastically yummy...another winner, Mary!

  6. I'm the "dad" in the story, and I can testify that the cookies can't be beat and neither can Em's smile.

  7. Mary - You're so sweet to share this recipe with so many people. I adapted an old recipe from my mother that was called "Selma's Best Oatmeal Cookies." Who Selma was is lost to history. I've lightened the recipe to enhance its appeal. Pair it with a Keuka Lake Reisling and anyone's smile will be brighter too. - Emily-


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