Recipe | Oatmeal Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies & My Grandpa’s Legacy

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These cookies happen to have the world’s longest title: oatmeal applesauce chocolate chip raisin spice cookies… or any variation of that! These cookies also happen to be a very, very special cookie in my family, as they were my grandpa’s very favorite cookie and are a long, longtime family recipe. Every single time I bake or smell or eat these delicious cookies, I am instantly transported back to my grandma & grandpa’s warm, homey kitchen, to hugs and memories of my precious grandpa, to a feeling of warmth and love and being surrounded by my extended family.

These cookies have a very long and special history on my mom’s side of the family, and they made an appearance at every Christmas gathering, every 4th of July, and every time we visited with one another. My grandma or my mom or one of my aunts would bake these cookies, and in the last decade or so, it has been my joy to bake these cookies time and time again. Any time I visited my grandparents in Ohio or traveled to a cousin’s wedding, these nostalgic cookies would be present. My grandpa, the one who loved these cookies the most, had been in a long-term memory care unit over the last many years as his memory continued to decline to the point of almost total memory loss… but it was my secret hope that every time I would bring him these cookies and he’d take a bite, his mind would be transported and his memory would return. I’m not sure I’ve ever told even my husband or parents this! And I’m not sure these cookies ever actually brought back his memory, but I like to think that he still loved them and knew they were baked with a whole lot of love & a lifetime of happy family memories.

This weekend, my family and I will gather back in Ohio in my grandpa’s tiny hometown to celebrate his life and remember him. He passed away about 1.5 years ago, right as the covid outbreaks were infiltrating nursing homes all over the country, and while we miss him and mourn him so very much, I think we are all somewhat relieved that he didn’t have to suffer or be in pain any longer than necessary – and that he didn’t have to live through months upon months of isolation and everything else going on. One of our worst nightmares did come true as the pandemic was raging, and we are deeply heartbroken and devastated. But we are simultaneously rejoicing that my Grandpa is pain-free, fully healed, and whole – and square dancing with my Grandma! – in Heaven now with Jesus. Though I miss my grandpa tremendously, I am eternally grateful for his incredible legacy and how much love filled his life for so many years: 60+ years of the most beautiful love and marriage with my grandma, four loving, dedicated, selfless, incredible daughters (and sons-in-law), a handful of rather awesome grandchildren (my amazing cousins and their spouses), and the cutest four (and counting!) great-grandchildren – the next generation to carry on our family’s collective legacy and the beautiful, lasting example he set for all of us. We will all forever cherish his (and my grandma’s) love and the sweetest memories with him. Grandpa taught me so much, valued his family immensely, loved fiercely, could talk to a stranger for hours (and often did!), was so wise and witty, had a deep thirst for knowledge and love of learning, and had the strongest faith. He was steadfast, gentle, devoted, caring, and thoughtful. I am unbelievably blessed to have been his granddaughter, and we will forever keep his many beloved “Dwightisms” alive!

It’s been so hard on our hearts that none of us got to be with him in person in Ohio his final days last year and that we haven’t properly been able to mourn, grieve, and celebrate his life together as a family til just now. I am thankful for this family filled with so much love, even in the hardest of times, and for my grandma and grandpa’s marvelous lives. You can bet I’m bringing a whole lot of these oatmeal applesauce chocolate chip cookies with me to Ohio as we remember Grandpa and celebrate his life, love, and legacy! These cookies may not bring back my grandpa’s memory, but they certainly will bring back many sweet memories of my grandpa.

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Oatmeal Applesauce Chocolate Chip Raisin Spice Cookies (or Grandpa’s Cookies)

a Sparks family recipe

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

1 egg

1 3/4 cup flour

1 cup instant oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together sugar, butter, and egg. In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce, raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts to the shortening mixture. Bake 10-11 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Recipe | Oatmeal Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies & My Grandpa’s Legacy

  1. I’m so glad you and your family were able to gather to celebrate his legacy this weekend! The story behind this recipe is so special and will be something you can pass on to future generations to connect them with your grandpa! 🙂

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