These should be called secret weapon cookies.
At first glance, these cookies look innocent enough, but don’t be fooled by their unassuming appearance. They are jam-packed with a slew of ingredients, all of which elevate them from average to extraordinary. Let’s look at our line up so you can see what I mean.
Start by combining your dry ingredients in a bowl. I know what you’re thinking…borrrrrring. This is your everyday, basic, run of the mill cookie dough base. Right? Wrong.
They’re so small you can’t quite see the magical brown specs in the picture above, but…
…there’s a touch cinnamon in there.
It’s unexpected – and like I said, there’s not a ton of it – but it packs a punch. The slight warmth and mild spiciness it adds to the flavor makes these cookies really special.
And although you probably saw this coming given the title of this post – we’re adding oatmeal into the mix. The amount of oats isn’t overwhelming, so these are not your traditional oatmeal cookie. There’s just enough to create a wonderfully chewy texture.
The wet ingredients are up next, so get yourself another bowl.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I know…it looks like there’s a lot going on there, so allow me to back it up and break it down for ya.
Again, it’s the usual cast of cookie dough characters…with one exception.
See that stuff? That’s brown butter. Brown butter isn’t something you buy – it’s something you make. The process of doing so is simple, but the flavor is beyond complex. It reminds me of a cross between caramel and toffee – and it is to die for. You know when cooks on tv talk about ingredients you can add to a dish that leave people wondering, “Hmmm…what was that?!” In this cookie, brown butter is that ingredient.
After the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet, one more ingredient equivalent of an A-list celebrity gets folded on in.
As an aside, I was recently asked what one food I wouldn’t be able to live without. My immediate response was chocolate, which was a little scary considering I maybe, might have wanted to choose something with a little more substance…or nutritional value…but whatever. I’m fiercely loyal to chocolate…so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
After a quick chill session in the fridge, roll the cookie dough into little balls and bake them off until they are golden brown. Then, exercise some extreme self-restraint and allow the cookies to cool before digging in.
Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies
slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yield: 15-18 cookies
Hands On Time: 10-15 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat (or all-purpose) flour
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chunks
optional: 1-2 tablespoons milk, if dough is crumbly
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Whisking constantly, cook butter until bubbly and until small brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan – about 5-6 minutes. Watch closely and immediately remove the butter from the heat, whisking for an additional 30 seconds or so. Set aside and let cool COMPLETELY. Note: It does not need to solidify at all, but it should not be warm to the touch.
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, oats and cinnamon, mixing, then set aside.
Once butter has cooled, add to a large bowl. Whisk in sugars, stirring until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla, whisking until smooth once again. Slowly begin to stir in dry ingredients, using your hands if necessary (I did) to bring dough together. If you find that the dough still won’t come together, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in chocolate chips, distributing them evenly. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or overnight if you’re looking to make these ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are golden. Let cool before serving.
The holiday season is in full swing, so if you’re looking for something to bring to that next party – make a big batch of these. Just be sure to try a couple before you go, you know…for quality control.