Christina Tosi’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies

When Andy and I first moved in together a hundred years ago, there was definitely an adjustment period. What was up with him leaving wet towels on the bed post? Why did he knock his razor against the sink in the exact same rat-a-tat rhythm every time he shaved? And did the Yankees have to be on every single night, including Must-See-TV Thursdays? (I told you, a hundred years ago.) Perhaps the most alien of all his habits was that he stocked entirely different things in his pantry than I did. Things like those rice-and-bean foil pouches, Jif peanut butter (I was a born-and-bred Skippy girl), and — here’s where it gets weird — Nabisco’s Family Favorites Iced Oatmeal Cookies. When he first threw the pink package into our shopping cart at the Brooklyn Key Food, I remember thinking Who buys cookies that aren’t chocolate? Who are you?  It was unfathomable to me that there’d be anything in our treat stash besides a little white Pepperidge Farm bag (nothing said childhood to me quite the way a Brussels cookie did) or a box of anything from the Entenmann’s display. Given the stakes, though, I figured I’d trust him. We did share a passion for Mallomars, and in a way, what more does one need in terms of common interests, dessert or otherwise?

The cookies and the buyer of the cookies grew on me — in case you didn’t notice, we got married anyway — and seventeen years later when I was testing out recipes in Christina Tosi’s newest book Milk Bar Life for a spring cookbook round-up assignment, I came upon her Grandma’s recipe for Iced Oatmeals. Sure, there were buckeyes and turtles, and other more Rosenstrach-like (read: chocolate) confections, but I bypassed them for Andy’s weird (but, uh, insanely delicious) oatmeal cookies. No one said marriage would be without sacrifices.

Christina Tosi’s Grandma’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated about 1 minute. Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and coconut, if using, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Scoop and roll the dough between your palms into golf-ball-sized balls. Toss in the bowl of confectioners’ sugar until completely covered and arrange the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crackled. et cook completely on the pan.

Recipe reprinted from MILK BAR LIFE: Recipes and Stories Copyright © 2015 by Christina Tosi. Photos by Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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If I hadn’t just made oatmeal cookies, I would be softening butter to make them right now. They look fantastic!

Charlie Cook

Your initial preference of chocolate desserts over non-chocolate is so funny! I used to feel the same way until I’ve gotten a little older and now bring on the shortbread or anything with lemon and vanilla! I can’t wait to try this recipe, it looks insanely delicious 🙂 – Charlie,

Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist

Hi Jenny,
Your introduction was so charming and wonderful. I loved reading it. And I definitely would have reacted like you to the cookies. Chocolate all the way! I commend your reserve 🙂
Love this recipe. I’ll just have to dip them in chocolate!


I hope this doesn’t come across as too pedantic, but you write beautifully so I wanted to point this out: I believe you have an unfortunate triple negative in your last sentence. “No one said marriage wouldn’t be without sacrifices.” You probably meant “No one said marriage would be without sacrifices.” ?


Jenny – Have you ever made these with raisins in them? If so, how much did you add?
You rock.


There is definitely something old-school and nostalgic about an iced oatmeal cookie. If you want a change from Nabisco, check out Country Choice Organic Iced Oatmeal cookies — they are certified organic and GMO Free!


I just spent about 62 seconds staring at this post thinking, “those cookies don’t look cold at all. How did she get them to look normally baked?” Right…icing. Not iced.

Just read DALS from cover to cover. I found it in the library! You’re right. Then title is perfect.