These thick and chewy brown butter oatmeal cookies are so simple, but packed with so much flavor. The nutty, caramel flavor from the brown butter transforms the butter from a background ingredient to the star of the show. This recipe will have people asking, what's the secret ingredient?!
If you've never browned butter, you're in for a real treat! It's a secret ingredient I love to use in baking. Like these brown butter oatmeal cookies or brown butter blueberry coffee cake, brown butter salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and cheesy brown butter chex mix.
Why use brown butter in cookies?
When you brown the butter for cookies you turn the base of the recipe into a star ingredient. You caramelize the milk fat in the butter and it turns brown and creates a sweet, nutty flavor. It adds so much depth of flavor to a recipe.
How to brown butter:
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow to melt completely. Pro tip: use a light colored saucepan so you can see the brown bits of the butter better.
- Once it’s melted, continue to stir constantly (it can burn quickly) for 5-8 minutes. It will start to bubble and foam. This is a good sign and means the water has begun to evaporate from the butter.
- Continue to stir and pay close attention to the bottom of the saucepan as the milk solids will start to brown at the bottom and you’ll start to smell a nutty flavor. Once you see this, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Place it in the fridge for the butter for firm up again before making the rest of the brown butter oatmeal cookie dough.
Does brown sugar make cookies more chewy?
Brown sugar has molasses in it, which is the biggest difference between it and granulated sugar. It adds more moisture and acidity to what you're making so it results in a chewier texture.
Can you use coconut sugar instead?
Yes, you can swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar. They won't be as chewy, but it's still delicious!
Can you use quick oats?
You shouldn't use quick oats in oatmeal cookies because they won't have the chewy texture. You want a rolled out with more texture to hold up to the moisture in this cookies. I like to use gluten free roll oats.
Tips for brown butter oatmeal cookies:
- Place the butter in the fridge after it browns to firm up again. This helps the structure of the dough so the cookies don't spread too much in the oven.
- You can make the dough up to 3 days before baking and placing it in the fridge. You can also make the dough and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Use a light-bottomed pan to brown the butter so you can see when it's done.
- The brown butter will foam, this is normal! It will subside as it cools.
If you love this recipe, don't forget to leave a rating and review below! You can also follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it!
More oatmeal cookies:
- Flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
- No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies [gluten free | vegan]
- 3 ingredient healthy banana oatmeal cookies
Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies [Gluten Free | Nut Free]
- ¾ cup unsalted butter [I used grass-fed Kerrygold butter]
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats [I used Gluten Free rolled oats]
- 1 cup 1:1 gluten free flour [I used Bob’s Red Mill bu you could use regular flour if not gluten free]
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed (or coconut sugar)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon milk or almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ dark chocolate chunks [optional]
- Start by browning the butter. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow to melt completely. Once it’s melted, continue to stir constantly (it can burn quickly) for 5-8 minutes. It will start to bubble and foam then the milk solids will start to brown at the bottom of the pan and you’ll start to smell a nutty flavor. Once you see this, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly then transfer it to the fridge to cool and firm a bit before you make the cookie dough.
- While it’s cooling, mix the oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Once the butter is cooled, add it to a large mixing bowl with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir together until combined using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Add the oats, flour and baking soda and mix well. If you’re using the dark chocolate chips, add them here and mix to combine. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour or up to 3 days. I like to chill mine for 2-3 hours or overnight. Do not skip the chilling stage or the cookies will turn out flat.
- Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F and line another large baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Use ¼ cup to scoop out the cookies and roll into a tall ball. This is a lot of cookie dough but they're thick and chewy cookies.
- Place the dough at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges and top are set.
- While baking, place the remaining dough back in the refrigerator until the previous batch is done. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Keep in an air tight container for 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.