the best oatmeal cookies

the best oatmeal cookies

I have to confess I buy Vogue Magazine. Not for the pictures, but for the articles. Wait. Where have I heard that before?

Actually it’s mainly because I love Jeffrey Steingarten’s food column. And in this month’s issue (with Cameron Diaz on the cover) he writes about “the unforgettable taste of brown butter.” Just reading the article made my mouth water and want melted butter. The article included recipes as well, including one for what he calls “the best oatmeal cookies”. I couldn’t resist trying it out and they are SO yummy. Not healthy. No breastfeeding friendly necessarily. But really, really good, and not like any others you’ve had lately. They’re not the kind packed with nuts and seeds, or tough and tasteless. Instead their thin, crispy, crumbly and buttery. Mmmm…

The recipe – with a few small changes – is below:


  • 1 cup very soft, room-temperature butter (for baking unsalted butter is always best as it has less water content)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups uncooked instant oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (low-protein if possible. I have no idea what this meant and as I’d already splurged and bought instant oatmeal I didn’t want to buy special flour as well, so just used whatever regular all-purpose flour we had on hand and it seemed to work fine.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. The recipe had no temperature so I just took a guess. If you have any suggestions let me know.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon, not a mixer.
  • In another bowl combine the oatmeal, baking soda, salt and flour.
  • Still using the wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients into the sugar and butter mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – we didn’t have any so I just buttered the baking sheet. With your fingers, shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Place them on the baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Dip your fingers into a bowl of cool water and flatten each ball so it’s about 1 cm thick. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are a pale, golden brown. Don’t keep cooking them if they look more anemic than you’re used it, they’re supposed to be “paleish” as far as cookies go. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove to a rack with a thin metal spatula and let cool completely.

Once these start baking the smell will make your mouth water and I’m guessing you’ll find them very hard to resist. We did!

The article also contains recipes for Khun Pao’s Thai Butter Cookies, Solidified Brown Butter, Nearly Fat-Free Brown-Butter Nuggets & Brown-Butter Ice Cream. Hmmm…testing all these is not good for my waistline or my budget, but my tastebuds are very, very happy!