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Caramelized Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Rum Soaked Oats

Caramelized Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Rum Soaked Oats

When I first discovered brown butter, I used it in every baked good I could think of. Brown butter chocolate chip cookies, brown butter blondies, brown butter cupcakes...literally everything. It's a magical, nutty, buttery, intoxicating ingredient. I have since scaled back my use of brown butter, but I still love to use it and I think it's perfect in these cookies.

The primary flavors you will taste in these cookies are caramel, browned butter and vanilla. The caramel flavor comes from both the rum and the brown sugar added at the last minute. The browned butter flavor comes from, not surprisingly, the brown butter, but also the rum. When the rum is boiled down, it loses the burning alcohol flavor and leaves behind a buttery, molasses, caramelized flavor. 

I did sacrifice some beauty for flavor. When you add the brown sugar last, it doesn't get fully incorporated and just coats the outside of the batter. When it gets in the oven, the bottom will spread and caramelize. The keys to getting just the right amount of spread are getting it right into the oven after prepared and using a cookie scoop to scoop the batter and not flattening the semisphere that forms. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, which is a larger size than I usually use for cookies. If you prefer, you can mix in the brown sugar with the rest of the dry ingredients. The cookie will be prettier and still delicious, but it will lack the depth of flavor formed by the caramelization. 

Caramelized bottom of cookie


Caramelized Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Rum Soaked Oats
Makes 22 cookies

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dark rum
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (187.5 grams)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 eggs 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will first prepare the browned butter and rum. To brown your butter, cut the 12 tablespoons into tablespoon sized chunks and add to a skillet over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted. When the butter is melted, switch to a whisk and whisk continuously. The butter will start to foam and bubble and eventually subside. The butter will then change to a light brown color and start smelling nutty. Immediately take it off the heat and pour into a medium sized bowl, being sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom. It is very easy to go from perfectly browned to burnt. If you've never browned butter before, there are many tutorials out there with pictures that would be useful before trying for the first time. 

Now it's time to prepare the rum. Pour the rum into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When it starts to boil, switch to low heat and let it simmer until it has reduced to a little over half. You will need 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons total. Remove the rum from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Let the rum and butter cool down while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the oats to a medium sized bowl. When the rum has cooled to lukewarm, pour 1/2 cup over the oats and stir. Set aside until the oats have absorbed the liquid and there is no liquid remaining at the bottom of the bowl. When the butter has also cooled to lukewarm, add the vanilla, the remaining 2 teaspoons of cooled rum, and the eggs to the butter bowl. Whisk until just combined. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Then add the oats to the bowl and stir until combined. Lastly, add the brown sugar. It will be difficult to stir, but you only need to stir until the brown sugar crumbs are a part of the batter. 

Lastly, get your trusty cookie scoop out (I used/recommend 1 1/2 tablespoons) and scoop onto a cookie sheet. Please see the last paragraph of the blog post on the importance of this step. Cook for 11 min until the bottoms are a light caramelized brown and the cookies are just about to set. Leave on the cookie sheet for a few minutes then remove and cool on a cooling rack.

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