Norman Rockwell’s Typewritten Recipe for His Favorite Oatmeal Cookies


Nor­man Rock­well, pro­lif­ic painter and illus­tra­tor of 20th cen­tu­ry Amer­i­cana, often worked so sin­gle-mind­ed­ly that he missed his meals. In 1943, Rock­well exhaust­ed him­self to such a degree that, while com­plet­ing the Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt-inspired series of paint­ings enti­tled Four Free­doms, he lost 15 pounds over the course of sev­en months. This drop in weight is, per­haps, all the more shock­ing when giv­en some con­text: Rock­well was far from being a cor­pu­lent man. In fact, when the then 23-year-old artist attempt­ed to enlist as a ser­vice­man in the U. S. Navy dur­ing World War I, he was judged to be eight pounds under­weight, stand­ing at six feet and tip­ping the scales at 140 pounds. Rock­well, how­ev­er, was not to be deterred by some­thing so triv­ial as his bod­i­ly com­po­si­tion. He gorged him­self on bananas and dough­nuts when he came home that evening. The next day, Navy recruiters dul­ly wel­comed the suf­fi­cient­ly bloat­ed Rock­well to the fold.

When Rock­well did eat, we know that he had a pen­chant for oat­meal cook­ies. At least two of the artist’s let­ters detail­ing instruc­tions for mak­ing this choice snack are post­ed online. Although there is a 1966 iter­a­tion of the oat­meal cook­ie recipe avail­able on, we’ve pro­vid­ed a lat­er ver­sion, from the 1970s, found on The Sat­ur­day Evening Post web­site:



  • 1 stick but­ter
  • 1 cup light brown sug­ar
  • 1/2 cup gran­u­lat­ed sug­ar
  • 1 tea­spoon vanil­la
  • 1/4 cup water and 2 eggs well beat­en
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 cup flour, sift­ed
  • 1/2 tea­spoon bak­ing soda
  • About 1 cup oat­meal
  • Chopped nuts (wal­nuts pre­ferred)


Mix in order and drop on bak­ing sheet. Bake 400° 7 to 8 min­utes. Then run under broil­er to brown.

via Sat­ur­day Evening Post

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Ham­burg­er Recipe

David Lynch Teach­es You to Cook His Quinoa Recipe in a Weird, Sur­re­al­ist Video

Pre­pare Mar­i­lyn Monroe’s Per­son­al, Hand­writ­ten Turkey-and-Stuff­ing Recipe on Thanks­giv­ing

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