The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies // Secret Family Recipe from To Love and To Learn
Desserts, Here's What's Cooking, Recipes, Secret Family Recipes

Secret Family Recipe: “My Boys’ Favorite Cookies”

The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies // Secret Family Recipe from To Love and To Learn

The past few family recipes I’ve shared have all been from MY side of the family, but luckily for me, I married into a family of phenomenal cooks (especially my mother-in-law, who has the happy talent of being able to seemingly come up with delicious meals out of the most random odds and ends, and whose intuition is so strong in the kitchen that I’ve never seen her use a recipe).

However, this recipe I’m sharing today is actually from my father-in-law, who is a bit famous in our little clan for these beauties. Matt grew up in a family of five boys (no sisters), and he says that this was a regular favorite for them. Having grown up with my own family’s tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe, I was quick to scoff at the idea that any cookie might trump those beloved childhood favorites that I had growing up, but, you guys—

These cookies totally beat mine out.

(And the one time I recently made my own family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, I actually had to acknowledge AGAIN that his family’s was just better. They’re now basically the only chocolate chip cookies I make.)

His dad happened to make these soon after we were married, and I was quick to make sure Matt obtained a recipe ASAP so I could add it to my own repertoire. When I saw the printed-out recipe titled “My Boys’ Favorite Cookies,” I knew that this would be a family favorite for generations.

(Note: I have now brought these cookies to numerous gatherings and made them for several of my friends, and without fail, I am pretty much ALWAYS asked for the recipe. This one’s just a winner, folks.)

Secret Family Recipe from To Love and To Learn = The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


My Boys’ Favorite Cookies

(aka Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies)

Makes: 2 -3 dozen (depending on how big you like your cookies, and on how much of the dough you snitch)


1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup shortening

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1-1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats

1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Cream the two sugars and the shortening together.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until the consistency is smooth and even.
  3. Add the flour, soda, salt, and oats. Mix well, making sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula to distribute the dry ingredients evenly throughout.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of cookies onto a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes.


Note #1: While I grew up using the two-spoon method to form cookies and drop them on the pan, I’m eternally grateful that as an adult I heard of cookie scoops, which are basically an ice cream scoop but smaller. I got this set of 3 variable-size cookie scoops a few years ago for Christmas, and I literally have almost never gone back to forming cookies (or ladling out muffin or cupcake batter) any other way. The set I have is a little on the cheaper side at $17 for the set (word to the wise: do NOT try to use these to scoop ice cream, as they don’t hold up well, even though the advertising says otherwise), so when these inevitably give out in a year or two, I’ll probably invest in a set more like this, which costs twice as much ($34.99) but has a much better rating on Amazon.

Note #2: A few months ago, I shared a baking hack I’ve been using my whole life that cuts the amount of fat in a recipe in half (so, the shortening in this case) and adds an extra egg, in order to try and make certain baking recipes at least a *little* healthier. I’ve tried that hack a few times with this recipe, but I will admit, it doesn’t work as well in this as it does in most cookie recipes, probably because of the high ratio of oats, which need more fat to bind them together.

The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies // Secret Family Recipe from To Love and To Learn


If you’re looking for a great cookie to share at your Superbowl party or for Valentine’s Day, these are sure to be winners with pretty much everyone! (Or, if you want a more typically themed (and colored) cookie for the Holiday of Love, check out my recipe for Red Velvet Love Cookies.)

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