Family Recipe Friday: The Cooper Family Oatmeal Cookies


Cooper Family Oatmeal Cookies

Lee Family, Cooper Family, Green Family, Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

The ‘new’ tradition of brides to have a dessert table with favorite family recipes is just lovely! For those who are privileged to contribute a dessert, baking becomes another chance to contemplate the new life of the dear bride and groom. The sweet becomes more than just flour, sugar, and vanilla- it is full of love, hopes, and dreams for the new couple. And maybe a few tears add just a touch of salt…

Following is the recipe for oatmeal cookies made by Bess Dorothy (Green) Broida (1891-1978) and passed down to her daughter Gertrude (Broida) Cooper (1911-2011), who passed it to her children; they passed it down to their own progeny and married-ins. It is a delicious cooky that can have added flavors as desired: nuts (cashews are very good and unexpected), chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee, raisins, even butterscotch chips (a definite favorite). The recipe makes at least 4 dozen cookies, or up to 7 dozen, depending on the size of dough dropped onto the cooky sheet. (Using scoops or “dishers”- sometimes known as ‘ice cream scoops’ with their spring-loaded sweeper- will make cooky size consistent.)

Cookies can be baked for as little or as long as desired- if you prefer just barely baked and chewy, bake for less time; hard and crunchy might take another minute or two.

A bonus of this recipe is that the dough can be frozen. Lay some dough across the bottom of a resealable bag and form into a roll. Roll up the bag and label; freeze. Rolls can also be made on wax paper and then multiple rolls put in a bag. Small amounts can be cut from a roll to have just a few fresh-baked cookies quickly- 7 dozen fresh-baked oatmeal cookies can be dangerous to have in the house! And we won’t talk about the friends in college who headed straight for our freezer to cut off chunks of this dough and eat it still frozen… Definitely not recommended because of the raw eggs but hey, we were all immortal then!

Enjoy this beloved family recipe!

The Cooper Family Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup solid white shortening

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

4 eggs

2-3 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 cups old-fashioned oats/oatmeal


Optional:  ½ – 2 cups of

chopped nuts OR

raisins OR

candies such as M & Ms OR

chips: chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch, or Heath toffee OR

any combination you desire!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Cream together sugars, shortening, and butter until no granules of sugar can be seen and color lightens slightly.
  1. Add eggs and mix well; add vanilla and mix in thoroughly.
  1. Combine baking soda, salt, and flour.
  1. Add flour mixture to creamed ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  1. Stir in oatmeal.
  1. Dough may be divided and optional ingredients added as desired.
  1. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cooky sheet or parchment paper.
  1. Bake about 13 minutes for a #50 scoop, depending on how crispy or chewy one desires the cookies.



Dough may be rolled into logs and frozen. Slice while still frozen for baking, which may take a few minutes longer than thawed dough.


Makes 4-7 dozen cookies depending on size


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Photo from our favorite flower girl, and recipe passed down through the family.


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