Bake up a batch of soft and chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and watch them disappear! Browned butter adds a caramel-like flavor that complements the rich cocoa and crunchy pecans.
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A classic oatmeal cookie recipe is a must in your baking repertoire and perfect for sharing during the holidays. I usually add sweet raisins, but melty chocolate chips take the traditional dough base to the next level. It’s the best of both worlds! Plus, some crunchy chopped pecans add a nice snappy contrast to each bite.
Oatmeal has a neutral taste, so I recommend taking a few extra minutes to brown the butter, developing caramel notes. It dramatically enhances the flavor. These large bakery-style treats have crisp edges and a dense, chewy center. I love eating them warm from the tray to enjoy the freshly melted chips.
There are various types of oats at the store that you can buy, but to yield chewy cookies, old-fashioned rolled oats are your best bet. They retain their flaky oval shape and texture when baked. The base is a majority of oats (three cups), so you won’t lose the mild sweet quality.
These cookies are one of the few sweet treats packed with fiber and other nutritional benefits from the grain. Avoid using the extra thick oat varieties, as they taste too hard. If you only have instant or quick oats on hand, you can use them, although the results won’t be as chewy.
Brown the butter
There are taste and texture benefits to using melted unsalted butter. Melting the fat creates a dense texture instead of a cakey texture. More liquid is available for hydrating the flour proteins to develop gluten. While melted, toast the milk solids for a few extra minutes until you can smell a butterscotch aroma.
Due to the Maillard browning reaction, the solids change color and develop hundreds of new flavors. The process happens quickly, so keep a close eye for appearance change and your nose to indicate doneness.
Use two types of sugars
Yes, sugar adds sweetness to cookies, but that’s not all. I use granulated sugar for a pure sweetness flavor. Plus, it helps to crisp the edges of the cookies because the crystalline structure doesn’t dissolve as much.
For a molasses flavor, add dark brown sugar. It’s also great for attracting moisture from the environment because it’s a humectant, keeping the centers slightly moist.
You can use various types of chocolate in this recipe, except for white chocolate. I find it too sweet, and you miss out on the intense cocoa taste. Semi-sweet chocolate chips are a solid choice with the right balance of sweet and bitter notes.
If you are a fan of dark chocolate, 60 to 70% cacao level is delicious. You can even use chunks for a gourmet and rustic appearance or chop up blocks. However, it won’t hold its shape and will get more melted into the cookie.
Preparing the dough
The ratio of oat-to-flour is critical. I use 3 parts oats to 1 part flour to ensure a chewy texture instead of a dry and cakey structure. Using unsaturated fat like vegetable oil and melted butter keeps the batter denser. A whole egg plus an egg yolk helps with binding and moisture, which is needed since I only use a tiny amount of flour.
This cookie dough is easy to bring together, with no fancy mixing or chilling needed. First, combine the dry ingredients, the flour, baking soda (for crispiness), and salt. Then mix in the wet ingredients, the butter, oil, sugars, and eggs. Add in the oats, chocolate, and nuts, last.
You’ll notice that the dough is very thick. Make sure to compress about a ¼ cup of dough tightly into a ball to stick everything together.
Optional things to try
For a giant cookie that’s even in thickness, use the bottom of a bowl or measuring cup to flatten the dough into a disc shape. If you like a slight saltiness, I suggest sprinkling a pinch of flaky sea salt like Maldon on top right before baking. It enhances the rich flavor of the chocolate.
These oatmeal cookies bake up fast, just 10 minutes! The trick is to bake one sheet at a time, flipping the tray halfway through for even browning. I heat the oven to 375ºF (191ºC) to ensure the dough turns a lightly browned color on the surface.
The cookies should look just set, with a soft center to retain their chew. Let them cool on the warm tray for 5 minutes to finish cooking the bottom gently and crisp the edges further.
The abundance of old-fashioned rolled oats in the cookie dough provides additional nutrient-dense ingredients compared to other recipes. The oats are rich in soluble fiber like beta-glucan and insoluble fiber, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s still a dessert, so moderation is key.
Yes! Just make sure to look on the labels for gluten-free oats. Oats naturally do not contain gluten but may be processed in facilities that make other products containing the allergen. Any 1:1 gluten-free flour can be substituted for the wheat flour without impacting taste.
Yes, you can make them into smaller 2 tablespoon portions. Check for doneness a few minutes earlier, as they will bake faster. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack, so the dough stays chewy and moist.
Bloom the spices in hot butter
The cinnamon and nutmeg are added directly to the dry ingredients because they are easier to mix. To intensify their aromas, incorporate them into the browned butter. The hot fat helps bloom the spices, extracting fat-soluble flavor compounds for a more robust taste in the cookie. When mixing it in, you’ll immediately detect the smell and notice a more potent aroma as the cookie bakes.
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Set the oven rack to the center position—Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC).
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set it aside.
Heat butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to melt evenly. Stir and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula until butter is golden brown and nutty in aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer browned butter to a large bowl, making sure to scrape all of the bits from the pan. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil. Whisk together until combined. Whisk in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth.
Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined, 1 minute.
Stir in oats, chocolate chips, pecans (if using) until combined. The dough will be stiff in texture.
Divide the dough into ¼ cup (60g) sized portions. Roll into a ball and place 2-inches apart on the baking sheet, 8 cookies per pan.
Use the bottom of a measuring cup or ramekin to press each dough ball into 2 ½-inch wide cookies. Re-form edges into a circle if needed.
Bake one sheet at a time. The edges should be set, lightly browned on the surface, and the centers soft but not wet, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking.
Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before serving.
- Cookie Dough Size: 2 ounces; 60g; ¼ cup packed.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour, and make sure the rolled oats are certified gluten-free. I recommend Bob’s Redmill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
- For Extra Flavor: Sprinkle some flaky sea salt like Maldon’s, just a tiny amount on top of each cookie before baking. It enhances the cocoa flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Storing: Place inside an airtight container for up to 7 days. Freeze for up to 2 months, bring to room temperature.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Vitamin A 108IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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