Brown Butter Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

brown butter chunky oatmeal cookies

When I set my mind to baking something, I want to do it right away. Waiting for chilled butter to reach room temperature is just torture for someone as impatient as I am, so if I don't plan ahead, I prefer to bake something with melted butter. The only thing better than melted butter is browned butter.

Cookies made with melted instead of creamed butter tend to be flat and sad-looking. To keep the cookies tall and plump, I made the dough very sticky and chunky. The rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts help the cookies keep their shape in the oven.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 160 grams all-purpose flour (about 1-1/4 cups)
  • 135 grams rolled oats (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (cranberries and/or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (pecans and/or walnuts)
  • flaky sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. The milk solids in the butter will start to sizzle - listen carefully! Once the milk solids are a light amber color, remove from heat. It will continue to darken over the next few seconds. Pour the butter into a large bowl.

Add brown sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of water to the hot butter. Stir with a spatula. Allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, oats, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder in a medium bowl. 

When the butter-sugar mixture is warm to the touch (not hot enough to cook an egg!), add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, stirring with a spatula. Stir in dried fruits and nuts.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between cookies. Sprinkle cookies with a tiny bit of flaky sea salt (I use Maldon sea salt). Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway. Cool on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then devour!

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