These Oatmeal Lace Cookies are one of my favorite cookies to bake when I want to snack on a cookie that is very light and not too filling. They get their name from the fact that they are very delicate and thin, with small holes appearing on the surface of the cookie that you can just about see through – just like lace. Despite their delicate appearance, the cookies are easy to make and require even less effort than your average chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The cookies start with melted butter. This is one of the reasons that they are so easy to make, since you don’t need to set aside time to soften your butter when you are in the mood for a cookie! The cookie dough gets most of its flavor from butter, sugar and oatmeal, so the finished cookies have a very buttery, nutty flavor to them with a hint of caramelized sugar that is absolutely addictive. I prefer to make these with quick cooking oats, since they give the cookies a more uniform look and a slightly lighter texture. Whole rolled oats can also be used, but they will lend a bit more chewiness to the cookies. You should not use instant oatmeal, which is too powdery for this recipe.
There is only a trace amount of flour in these cookies and they can actually be made without it if you can’t have gluten or wheat. Adding that small amount of flour does help to keep the cookies crisp and prevent them from becoming sticky over time, which the completely wheat free version can, particularly if you live somewhere that gets humid.
These cookies will spread as they bake, so you will need to leave room between the cookies to allow for spread. Exactly how much room will depend on how big you make your cookies. I use slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of batter and leave 2-3 inches between cookies, which is plenty of room for that size, but larger cookies will need some extra room. I don’t recommend making them too large, however, as they are quite delicate and may be difficult to handle if they are too big. The cookies will lose a touch bit of their initial crispiness as they cool, but will still have that ultra-light, melt-in-your-mouth texture even after storing them in an airtight container.
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick cooking or rolled oats (not instant)
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, melt the butter and allow to cool slightly, for 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, egg and vanilla extract. Pour in the cooled, melted butter and whisk to combine. Add in oats, flour and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined. Allow batter to stand for 5 minutes.
Scoop 1 teaspoon sized balls of dough and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies to allow room to spread.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Allow cookies to cool for 4-5 minutes on the baking sheet to give them time to firm up, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.