Oatmeal Cookies

I think oatmeal cookie should pack as much flavor as possible into each bite. Get cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Have you ever eaten an oatmeal cookie that tastes like overly sweet yet bland hot cereal? I have. So when I set out to create oatmeal cookie recipes, I wanted to pack as much flavor as possible into each bite. If the ingredient lists for this week’s recipes seem long, it’s intentional: Good cookies contain layers of flavors and textures.

I started by thinking about how to bring out the best flavor from the rolled oats. As I’ve shared elsewhere, I’ve never been a fan of plain oatmeal and instead mix several grains into my hot cereal and granola blends. But cookies bake so quickly that some grains don’t have time to soften. So I stuck with rolled oats (never instant) and used browned butter to boost the nutty flavor of the cookies—all without actually adding nuts.

Several blends build on this base layer of flavor and texture. Blending white and whole-wheat flours balances the oat flakes. Using baking soda and baking powder gives cookies Goldilocks cred—not too flat, not too tall. Blending spices or using smoky salt deepens their flavor. Finally, combining sweeteners enhances flavor and hits the happy medium between too chewy and too crispy.

If you have a cookie craving and limited supplies, you can replace these blends with all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon and regular salt, and white sugar. If you’re in a rush, just cream room-temperature butter instead of browning it. Try simplifying each recipe sometime as an experiment: You’ll still make cookies, but they’ll taste a little one-dimensional.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 3 main ingredients plus some baking staples.
1. Brown the butter.
2. Mix and chill the cookie dough.
3. Shape the dough balls, bake, and enjoy.

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Smoky Oatmeal–Cranberry Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla Extract
1 cup (5 ounces) dried cranberries

Cut the butter into slices and melt it in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to froth and clarify. Continue cooking and stirring for 5–8 minutes, until brown specks begin to form and the butter releases a nutty aroma. Immediately remove it from the heat and let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the oats; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, honey, and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just smooth. Mix in the cranberries. Cover and freeze the dough for 10 minutes or refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

Shape a couple of tablespoons of dough at a time into a ball, placing it on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining balls, placing them about 2 inches apart, until the sheet is full. Sprinkle smoked salt on each cookie.

Bake at 350°F for 12–15 minutes, until the bottoms start to darken. Remove to wire racks to cool. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 30 cookies.

Tips & Tricks
  • As with most oatmeal cookies (see below), variations abound. Other dried fruits work well: raisins, currants, even chopped dried apricots. So do pumpkin seeds and chopped nuts. If I’m not mailing them, I often swap in chocolate chips.
  • I buy my dried, naturally sweetened cranberries in bulk from a natural-food store, and they tend to be plump and juicy. They’re so big that I make these cookies larger than most, using a couple of tablespoons of dough for each ball, at the cost of a lower yield. To get more smaller cookies from a batch, chop the dried fruit.
  • These cookies are sturdy enough to ship when properly packaged. But if you’re worried they’ll crumble, you can bake them as bars instead: Spread the dough in a greased jellyroll pan, and then bake at a slightly higher temperature (375°F) for slightly longer (18–20 minutes). Cool in the pan before cutting into about 36 bars.


I think oatmeal cookie should pack as much flavor as possible into each bite. Get cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

Twice as Tasty

I think oatmeal cookie should pack as much flavor as possible into each bite. Get cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.We often save special cookies for the winter holidays: ones that need extra time, take extra effort, or call to us with cold-season flavors. Cranberries, in the prior recipe, and pumpkin, in the next one, are two such flavors for me. You’ll find further benefits from these recipes if you’re shipping cookies. I lean toward dried fruit and away from chocolate, just in case the package encounters a melting temperature along the way. And although I like cakey cookies, their softness can mean a shorter room-temperature shelf-life; combining pumpkin with oats gives a nice balance for mailing schedules.

If you compare this week’s two oatmeal cookie recipes, you’ll see a lot of similarities in ingredient quantities and types (which could be simplified, as I mentioned earlier). The pumpkin cookies call for less egg, dry sugars, and a little more flour to soak up the squash puree’s moisture. They also get a bigger spice hit to emulate pumpkin pie. Otherwise, these cookies come together in much the same way; master one recipe, and the other will be a snap.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 2 main ingredients plus some baking staples.
1. Brown the butter.
2. Mix and chill the cookie dough.
3. Shape the dough balls, bake, and enjoy.

InstagramMake it, share it. Tag your photos: @twiceastastyblog and #twiceastastyblog

Oatmeal–Pumpkin Cookies

  • Servings: 50 cookies
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla Extract
1 cup drained Roasted Pumpkin Puree

Brown the butter as you would for Smoky Oatmeal–Cranberry Cookies: Melt slices of it in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for 5–8 minutes, as it froths, clarifies, forms brown specks, and smells nutty; let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in the oats; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined. Fold in the pumpkin puree, and then stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just smooth. Cover and freeze the dough for 10 minutes or refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

Shape a tablespoon of dough at a time into a ball, placing it on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining balls, placing them about 2 inches apart, until the sheet is full.

Bake at 350°F for 13–15 minutes, until the bottoms just start to darken. Remove to wire racks to cool. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 50 cookies.

Tips & Tricks
  • Homemade pumpkin puree that has been drained and then frozen may still be slightly watery when defrosted, so let it drain again before measuring it for the recipe. If using commercial pumpkin, be sure you buy puree, not pie filling; the only ingredient listed should be pumpkin.
  • I prefer mounded, chewy cookies to flat, crisp ones, so I typically let the browned butter cool to room temperature and chill the dough before baking; these steps also make the dough less sticky and easier to work with. If you want crunchy discs, let the butter cool for only 5 minutes, scoop room-temperature dough into balls, and flatten them slightly before baking.
  • You can make these cookies ahead for holiday gifting. The dough balls may be frozen for up to 3 months; just bake them from frozen but add an extra 1–2 minutes to the oven time. Baked cookies also freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • I keep these cookies simple when I plan to mail them, but if you’re hand-delivering them as a gift or keeping them to yourself, you can choose plenty of upgrades. Mix in 1 cup of dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, or dried cranberries, currants, or raisins. You can also decorate them with a chocolate glaze, like for Pumpkin–Chocolate Cookies, or a brown butter glaze: combine equal parts butter and milk with a splash of vanilla extract, and then stir in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.


Need a holiday gift idea—besides cookies? Get a signed copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling and The Pickled Picnic digital collection, available exclusively through Twice as Tasty. Click here to order.

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