Thinnest Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

One of the easiest cookies I know how to make - made from rolled oats, they're razor thin and lacy, golden, freckled with poppy seeds, with and anise accent from crushed fennel seeds.

Thinnest Oatmeal Cookies

Hi all - I thought I'd take a stab at a kid-friendly oatmeal cookie recipe today. Remember when Jack was tiny? Well, he's not anymore. And we cook and bake together when he comes to stay - imagine me hovering over him, pointing out hot surfaces every ten seconds. The number of times I utter the word careful is mind-numbing. He loves making Belgian waffles, blanching broccoli, and baking cookies. And he can whip egg-whites like a champ. It's super fun, although, I will say (like many adults I know) he tends to lose interest if a baking project is too involved. So, my plan is to try these cookies with him. It's a stove top dough, so I don't have to bother pulling out the big electric mixer, and there are all sorts of aspects I suspect he'll like - pounding fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle, using an egg-beater to blend the sugar and egg, and working with dough that transforms from little bumps to pancake flat in a short baking time. It's all quick to pull together, and the resulting cookies are razor thin and lacy, golden, freckled with poppy seeds, with and anise accent from crushed fennel seeds.

Thinnest Oatmeal CookiesThinnest Oatmeal Cookies

Just know, these are a specific type of cookie. They're different from these snappy whole wheat favorites. These are lacier, and a bit less substantial. The dough comes together fast, and compared with many other doughs, it's easier to manage when you have a little kitchen helper - faster baking. These are cookies best enjoyed the same day, preferably 15 minutes after they come out of the oven. Their life-cycle goes something like this: chewy and hot just from the oven, snappy when cool for a few hours, not as snappy (but still tasty) beyond that.

Thinnest Oatmeal CookiesThinnest Oatmeal Cookies

One last note for you bakers out there - you can certainly trade out the type of sugar you use here, as long as it is fine-grain. I've baked them using natural cane sugar, Muscovado sugar, and a blend of the two.

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Thinnest Oatmeal Cookies

You can absolutely use brown or Muscovado sugar in place of the white sugar called for here (and I have in the past), but the cookies tend to lose their snap more quickly. Also, I used poppy seeds and fennel here, but you could introduce spices, or finely chopped nuts, or take them in whatever flavor direction you can dream up

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
1 egg, room temperature
2/3 cup / 4 oz natural cane sugar

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, Silpat isn't as good for these cookies.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, fennel and poppy seeds. Set aside.

Gently melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats. Stir until well coated.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing - I like to use an old-fashioned egg beater here. Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. I like to bake these one sheet at a time, in the top third of the oven, spinning once halfway through. Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Best enjoyed within 4 or 5 hours of baking - their texture definitely changes (for the worse) overnight. Repeat with remaining dough.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Have you tried just cinnamon? My son is allergic to many seeds. Thx.


Great as these sound, I would rather have a cookie recipe that maintained its crispness for longer...suggestions?

HS: Hi Jan - give these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies a try - they're snappy!


The timing of this recipe is perfect. I was just looking for a little baking project to share with a little one. Thank you!

Noelle @ Green Lemonade

Love your recipes. This particular post has me bawling again. In the wake of yesterday's horrific events; the beautiful image of your nephew when he was a wee one and the mental image of him coming home now as a young man...This is such a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing these tiny glimpses into your life and the goodness in it all.

Chandra @photogHer

Thanks Heidi for the great post. Both poppy seeds and fennel are favorite tastes and textures for me, and I think old fashioned oats are just a staple... I've never bought parchment paper, but I think it's time to experiment... I've been teaching my 16 yr.-old grandson how to prepare food lately, like deviled eggs and pumpkin cookies, etc. . At his age, I have to ask him to stand with his feet together, so I don't trip on them in my small kitchen...Merry Christmas!


I am totally making these right now.

Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

I'm curious to see how hemp seeds would do in these cookies (instead of poppy seeds)...

Mike @TheIronYou

WOW, I love the addition of fennel seeds to the mixture. This seems like such an interesting a delicious combo. :)

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

cookies looks yummy!


What a great recipe! These look delicious! I'm obsessed with oats! I will have to give these a go!


I always try and get my little cousins in the kitchen with me but they also lose interest extremely fast. And if there is nothing pink involved you can guarantee that it will not hold interest. BUT I love love love fennel. And what an interesting addition of poppy seeds. It's not often a cookie recipe makes me stop in my tracks. I will totally try this! :) Happy holidays!!

Mara @ Elemental Custard

Thank you. Made it as one giant cookie and we happily demolished every crumb. Love the fennel. Next time will try coriander seeds.


Almost lace cookie-esque - beautiful!

Belinda @zomppa

Heidi, yet again you've showed me a new viewpoint on cookies; I'd never have thought to add poppy and fennel seeds for a cookie (savory only for me!), and I haven't been in the crisp cookie mood for ages ... but suddenly I want to try them! These look wonderful and unique.

Katherine @ our peas + carrots

Looks super delish!

joy @ OSS

My niece grew up in my kitchen. I would have never dreamed how she has embraced cooking and the community it creates from that one act of handing her a knife and showing her how to chop herbs. We've cooked together now for at least 20 years. Last Christmas she treated me to a 10 course dinner that she prepared, - even sent a taxi for me to and fro. I hope you are blessed as well by including Jack in your kitchen.

HS: Love this story Sue - the taxi was a nice touch for sure! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays.


I can't help but imagine a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate between two of these cookies. I'm sure they are also great as is with a nice cup of tea!


I think I'd like this at the snappy stage. Love the inclusion of fennel and poppy seeds.

leaf (the indolent cook)

Fennel and poppy seeds, wow, unique twists on oatmeal cookies and I bet so flavorful. The first and last images showing the razor thinness are worth a million words - and I'd love to sample one of these!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

I can't wait to try these with my son. We made oatmeal raisin bars today that were intended to be cookies but, as you said, impatience hit! Xo

Sarah@Two Blue Lemons

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