12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Oatmeal Lace Cookies

For these cookies, we’re going back another generation. I’ve written about the cookies my grandmother and grandfather baked each year; oatmeal lace cookies were my great-grandmother’s specialty.

These cookies are very thin and have almost no flour in them. They are delicate and mostly consist of butter and sugar. It’s best to cook them on parchment paper or aluminum foil and peel them off, rather than try and scrape them directly off a cookie sheet.

The progenitor of this recipe didn’t have the luxury of using aluminum foil (Reynolds Wrap was first sold in 1947), and my grandmother remembers watching her mother-in-law carefully removing her just-baked cookies from their cookie sheets.

Oatmeal lace cookies almost dissolve on your tongue, and they are a delicious combination of butter and nutty oats. One look at the photo of the cookie and you know how it got its name.

This recipe makes 24-36 cookies.


  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 2. Stir the oats, sugar and melted butter together, then sprinkle the combined dry ingredients on top and mix in.



Step 3. Add the vanilla and egg and stir again until everything is well mixed.




Step 4. Using a small spoon, drop dollops of dough on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or aluminum foil. The size of dough ball shown to the left will get you 30 cookies. Fit nine cookies max on one cookie sheet. These cookies do spread considerably.

Step 5. Bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. When the edges begin to brown, slide the parchment paper and cookies to a wire rack to cool.

I find it’s easiest to store these cookies by leaving them on the parchment paper and simply cutting the paper to fit your cookie tin. It’s important to put a divider between each layer of cookies or they will stick together.

  • Lily

    I used to make these in high school, they are great!  And also, if you bake them a little on the “crispy” side, you wait for them to cool and then you can spread a little chocolate on the tops and sprinkle with crushed nuts.  It’s very similar to the Italian “florentine” cookies that are always in those variety Italian cookie trays.  Yum!

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