Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 1, 2019

Last week our sweet girl moved from the baby room to the toddler room at daycare. The ladies who have been watching her since my maternity leave ended were so good to her and to us that we made them some treats.

Please, please, please don’t skip browning the butter. It really does make a difference in the final flavor.

If you’ve never browned butter before, you start by putting 2 sticks of butter over medium-low heat in a wide skillet, ideally a stainless steel or light colored skillet. Nonstick will work but it’s harder to tell when it’s done. Then, put the skillet over medium-low heat. You will want to let this cook fairly slowly, because it can quickly go from golden brown to black in a hurry over higher heat. Here’s what going to happen as it cooks. First it’s all going to melt, obviously. Then it’s going to start to foam. Skim the foam and throw it away as it cooks. As the butter simmers, the water in it will start to evaporate and the remaining liquid, as well as the solids on the bottom of the pan will begin to turn a deep golden brown and smell nutty and toasty. Once you reach this phase, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the butter and all the solids to a bowl. Let it cool and skim any remaining foam off the top. Sometimes, I’ll do this a day ahead and leave the butter in the fridge overnight.

Here’s the recipe (Inspired by two cookie recipes from The Pioneer Woman – here and here)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups steel cut oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping each cookie

Add the butter to a skillet (ideally a light colored skillet, but non-stick will work as well) over medium low heat. It will melt, then bubble/froth, then start to turn golden brown and smell nutty. As it cooks, skim the foam off the top to discard. Once it starts to turn a deep brown, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a bowl, making sure to scrape up all the solids from the pan. They have so much flavor. Put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour or until it’s mostly solid.

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

When the browned butter has chilled, add the it and the brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each addition. With the last egg, add the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add half the dry ingredient mixture to the butter mixture and beat until it’s just combined. Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and beat again, until it’s just combined.

Add the oats to the stand mixer, one cup at a time, mixing each addition until it is just combined. With the last cup of oats, add a cup of chocolate chips and mix, once again, until just combined. There’s a lot of adding and mixing, but you don’t want to overwork them.

Portion the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between each cookie. I used a #40 (1 1/2 tablespoon) scoop, so these were uniform. After I have them scooped onto my baking sheet, I like to stick a couple extra chocolate chips into the top of each cookie – a) because it make’s them look cute and b) it ensures there’s some chocolate in every bite.

Bake at 375*F for 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies are set and starting to turn golden brown around the edges.

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