These Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are a delicious twist on the classic chocolate chip cookies. The touch of oats adds texture and what makes them even more amazing is the addition of brown butter, its nutty aroma takes these cookies to the next level. They are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, with plenty of chocolate. I personally love them with a final touch of flaky sea salt for that sweet-salty contrast.
When I shared the recipe for Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies earlier this year, they were a TikTok hit. A girl that loved them also gave me an idea to give them a twist: use half-half flour and oats. The idea got stuck and recently with the temperatures dropping I was like “I have to finally try that idea of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies”.
After several tests of ingredients, consistency, oven… I’ve finally come out with today’s out of this world Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies if you allow me to say. They have been a hit with my family, friends and at my partner’s work (I have baked so many cookies lately that I had to give some away trying to stay a bit healthy XD). This success has given me the confidence to share them finally.
In the end I’ve made a few more changes than just using half flour and half oats. And it’s precisely these changes that make these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies really special and stand out. I’ll stop gabbling now and jump into the details.
Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients
This recipe for oatmeal cookies does not require special ingredients but I would like to leave you with some interesting notes about them so you know what’s their role in the final result of the recipe.
- Butter: I use unsalted because I like to adjust the salt to taste. In this recipe we are going to brown it to add a nutty touch, which goes so well with oats.
- White and brown sugar: the brown sugar gives the cookies this caramelly-like touchl and a little colour, also helping with getting a soft centre. I find that the white sugar instead helps with getting those crispy edges and also helps the cookie to spread in the oven. I prefer soft light brown sugar but you can use one or the other. Bear in mind that if you only use white sugar your cookies will be slightly drier and crunchier.
- Eggs: they act as a binder and provide fluffiness.
- Vanilla: for a touch of flavour, which also goes wonderfully with chocolate. Whenever you can, use extract, vanilla powder or paste, but avoid “vanilla aroma”, since this is artificial and does not provide a real vanilla scent.
- Flour: plain or all-purpose. If you use pastry or strong flour, it will affect the texture, making the cookies more cakey, flat, chubby…
- Oats: use (old-fashioned) rolled oats, not quick or porridge oats. Smaller quick oats will lead to a denser cookie that doesn’t spread as much.
- Salt: it enhances flavours. I also use some extra flaky sea salt at the end to top the cookies cause the choco-salt combo I find is to die for.
- Bicarbonate of Soda: this is the leavening agent in this recipe. It reacts with acids, and both chocolate and brown sugar are acidic pH items.
- Chocolate: I usually use a chocolate bar that melts well and I roughly chop it into pieces so then I can find large chocolate puddles in the cookies. If you use chocolate chips, keep in mind that some do not melt (and they are specially designed to be like that), so if you want the chocolate to look like you see in the photos, make sure they are chocolate chips that do melt.
Brown Butter is Liquid Gold
Using brown butter in recipes where there are a few and basic ingredients is an amazing trick to take them to another level with almost no extra effort. It’s the secret that makes these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies have an I-don’t-know-what thing that makes everyone always go for more than one.
Brown butter has become very popular in blogging baking over the last few years, and it’s what the French call beurre noir in its darkest version or beurre noisette when it has a hazelnut hue. It’s very easy to do but there are some things to keep in mind:
- Cook it over medium-low heat so you can perfectly control the browning point.
- In the beginning, you’ll see it’s still yellow for a while, so during the first 2-3 minutes we don’t need to worry too much about being next to it.
- However, as soon as it starts to brown you can’t go away, as it can go from a beautiful golden colour to burnt in the blink of an eye.
- When the melted butter has the brownish colour you’re looking for, transfer it to a heatproof bowl to cool it down a bit so it doesn’t continue cooking.
- It is normal that you see some dark solid spots when the butter is melted and begins to brown, they are the lactic solids of the butter that first form a foam and then fall to the bottom, where they darken.
How to Adjust the Texture of These Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies have a crispy edge and are soft in the centre while being 100% cooked. You may like them softer in general or the other way around, more crunchy. To change the texture while keeping the same ingredients, it’s very important to understand how the temperature and baking time affect the result.
The longer we leave them in the oven, the crispier they will be in general. The sorter, the softer and less crispy edge. My recommendation is to be careful not to overbake the cookies! When you remove them from the oven it may seem they aren’t done, but that’s OK, and they really are. Take into account that they will continue cooking on the tray while cooling.
The lower it is, the softer the cookie will be in general and the flatter it will be as well. The higher, the chewer they will be. A too high temperature can result in a very hard cookie base. A midpoint is what allows for that perfect balance between soft, chewy and crispy.
How to Store These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies will last fairly well for about a week in an airtight container. However, as time goes by, the crunch disappears and the chocolate hardens. To at least get the chocolate melty again, you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds or as my friend Llorenç taught me, if you have them with hot tea or coffee, place the cookie on top of the cup or mug for a few seconds ;).
You can also freeze the dough as explained here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my cookies look so thick?
If you have a problem with your cookies looking too chubby compared to how you see them in the post, it could be for several reasons:
- The dough might be too cold. This will prevent them from spreading properly since the butter won’t have enough time to melt. ¿Did you struggle to scoop the dough out from the bowl? If the answer is yes, there you have it.
- The oven temperature is too high. All the ovens mark the temperature as they please, which is why I always recommend using an oven thermometer (you can find them for around €5 even), I always use it and it’s what I use to define the baking time and temperature in the recipes , since they don’t lie XD.
Keep in mind that in this case there are some differences with the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies because we are using melted butter instead of soft-to-the-touch butter. Also the oats also prevent the dough from expanding as much.
If you simply want flatter oatmeal cookies, then what I would do is use room temperature dough. Take it out of the fridge at least 1 hour before baking until the dough is soft to touch. The less cold the dough is, and therefore the butter in the dough, the faster the cookie will spread during baking and the thinner it will be.
Why do my cookies spread out so much?
On the one hand, it could be because the dough is too “warm”, and therefore soft. In this recipe I recommend pressing the cookie balls slightly before baking them because I expect the dough will not be at room temperature, but rather cool. If your dough is at room temperature, don’t press the dough balls on the baking sheet.
On the other hand, make sure you don’t grease the baking tray with butter or oil. Instead use a silpat or parchment paper.
In any case, these cookies do spread, which is why the recipe calls for separating them out on the baking tray.
Can I substitute the dark chocolate?
To begin with, you can use the chocolate type that you like the most: white and milk are fine, just keep in mind that the result won’t be exactly the same. You can also use nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans… to go with the chocolate or replace it completely. Other ideas are Reese’s, smarties, sprinkles, M&M’s… Whatever you rather :).
More Delicious Cookies and Bars
If you make this Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 230 g unsalted butter
- 100 g white sugar
- 150 g brown sugar
- 2 L eggs – at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g plain flour
- 150 g rolled oats
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 300 g dark chocolate – a bar roughly chopped or chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt - optional
- Brown the butter in a pot over medium-low heat. Cook stirring every now and then until the butter begins to brown and has a nutty smell, about 5-10 minutes (for a quicker browning, cut the butter into cubes first). Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let cool 5 minutes or so (I use this time to prepare the rest of the ingredients).
- Add the sugars, the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
- Add the flour, oats, bicarb of soda and salt, then fold the mixture with a spatula to combine.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate, except for a handful.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the cookie dough for at least a half hour, or overnight. The flavours settle and the dough is not that soft. It can last 3 days in the fridge.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 175ºC (160ºC fan assisted), line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the dough from the fridge so it's not hard like a rock when you shape the cookie dough.
- Roll the dough into 1.5 Tbsp size balls (I use an ice-cream scoop) and place 5 cm apart in the prepared baking sheet. Top them with the reserved chocolate chunks and gently flatten the dough down.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
- Remove from the oven and optionally tap the baking sheet on the counter 1-2 times to flatten them down. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired) and eat warm (highly recommend) or let cool and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- The dough can be frozen. Once you’ve shaped all the cookies, place the ones you are going to freeze on a non-stick tray (or regular tray with parchment paper) and freeze them for about 30 minutes so that they harden (if they sit longer than that don’t worry, but don’t forget about them!). After this time, transfer the cookies to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag (preferably reusable silicone or reused plastic bag). When you are ready to bake them, while the oven is preheating, place the cookies on a baking tray and follow the regular baking process that I explain in the recipe :). This short time they spend sitting outside of the freezer will ensure they are not rock hard when they hit the oven, which will allow them to spread out nicely during baking.