My Iced Oatmeal Cookies have a touch of the traditional old-fashioned cookie, but the buttery, brown butter flavor along with notes of brown sugar and warm spice will stir up delicious new memories as soon as you step foot in the kitchen.
This recipe starts with the brown butter, and as it bubbles on the stove top your kitchen fills with a caramel aroma. Mix it into your cookie dough and you get a slight toffee taste that is sweet and savory. It is the perfect way to give the traditional old-fashioned cookie a more complex flavor. Aah…new memories.
Table of contents
The complexity of these cookies doesn’t stop there. By pulsing the old-fashioned oats you get a combination of whole and blended oats that adds to the delectable texture of the cookie. Slightly crisp on the edges, with a buttery, nutty, and chewy soft center. Get ready to make a lot of these this year because the Iced Oatmeal Cookie with brown butter IS your new holiday tradition.
Reasons why you will love my Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- The old fashioned flavor is amped up with with the sweet and savory brown butter flavor.
- They are surprisingly full of warm spices, and the vanilla icing is the perfect topping.
- The Iced Oatmeal Cookie is a great alternative to chocolate cookies.
- The is the perfect any-time cookie since is goes with coffee, iced tea, milk, and even a glass of red wine!
- A cookie lovers favorite since it satisfies the craving for a crisp yet chewy cookie.
- Old Fashioned Oats will add a chewiness to the cookie, you can use quick oats, but they will affect the texture and will not have the ‘chewy oatmeal cookie” you are looking for.
- Butter: Browning the butter is an important step is adding depth of flavor to the cookie.
- Brown sugar: the richer, molasses flavor of brown sugar adds more flavor and mixture to the cookie
- White sugar: Even though we’re using more brown sugar than white, the white is still necessary.
- Eggs: Eggs add structure, color, flavor and leavening to the cookies. Don’t forget the extra egg yolk.
- Vanilla: A great flavor enhancer.
- All purpose flour: Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and be sure it’s leveled. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag with your measuring cup because you could end up with 50% more than you need. Spoon and level by using a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and use the back of a knife to level off the top of it.
- Cake flour: Adding in cake flour helps with the softer, fluffier texture of the cookie.
- Oats: Oats add a hearty texture and nutty flavor to the cookie. I use the old fashioned oats.
- Cornstarch: Seems weird to add cornstarch to cookies, right? But cornstarch is key to giving cookies that delectably soft center that’s just to die for.
- Baking soda and baking powder: helps the cookie rise
- Salt: Is not only a flavor enhancer but it affects the tenderness of the cookies.
- Ground cinnamon: The sweet and woody flavor make cinnamon a wonderful warm spice.
- Ground nutmeg: This warm spice is sweet and nutty.
- Powdered sugar: To avoid any clumps in your icing, simply sift the powdered sugar before mixing.
- Milk: the milk helps dissolve the powdered sugar.
- Vanilla: A wonderful flavor enhancer to the frosting
- Salt: Adding in salt helps balance the sugary sweetness of the icing.
Step by Step Directions
I love that this recipe doesn’t require a stand mixer or any kitchen gadgets besides some bowls, a whisk and measuring cups. And if you’re intimidated by making brown butter, I have it listed step by step for you in the directions below and in the video you can watch how it’s made as well! It’s so so easy, I promise!
- Brown the butter and let it cool slightly.
- Whisk in the sugar to the brown butter and then the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the dry ingredients.
- Scoop onto prepared cookie sheets using a 2 tbsp. Cookie scoop. (Or you can make smaller if preferred, 1 – 1 ½ tbsp scoops)
- You can chill the dough and bake later on or get to baking straight away!
- Bake for 9-11 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Make the frosting by coming ingredients together in a bowl. Dip/lightly dunk the tops of the cookies in the frosting. Enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Make sure you brown the butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat to ensure the butter cooks evenly.
- When pulsing the old-fashioned oats, pulse ~8 to 10 times. You want a variety of oat flake sizes which adds to the texture of the cookie.
- Make sure you use old fashioned oats, and not quick oats as they will change the texture of the cookies.
- Use a cookie scoop to ensure your cookies are the same size.
- Bake cookies just until edges are golden brown. To keep these cookies soft and delicious, you’ll want to be sure not to over bake them. I always say slightly under-baked is best. (Baking time can also vary depending on size of cookies).
- Add in one cup of raisins for an Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
How to make brown butter
It may sound intimidating, but it’s really easy, only takes a few minutes and is the backbone of these cookies. The nutty flavor compliments the warming spices beautifully and I love it’s culinary use in baking so much! Let’s do it:
- I like to use a stainless steel skillet. This is best to easily monitor the butter’s color and gauge when the butter has browned.
- Place the unsalted butter in the cold, stainless steel skillet. Unsalted is truly best because salted butter foams more.
- Melt the butter over medium heat, or medium-low if you have a strong stove top. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. As the butter melts, it separates into butter fat and milk solids. The milk solids will naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown as they heat up.
- You’ll notice the butter begin to foam. This is good! The foam will begin to subside.
- Use a heat resistant spatula to continually gently stir the butter. You’ll begin to see tiny specks at the bottom of the pan, constantly stir and scrape so these don’t stick. (These are the milk solids that give brown butter its yummy flavor.)
- As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and omits a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and scrape the brown butter and all of the yummy brown bits into a heat proof bowl. It’s important to remove to a bowl immediately so the residual heat from the pan doesn’t burn the butter.
- Depending on your heat setting, this process should only take less than 10 minutes.
How to Measure Flour Properly
Flour, if not measured correctly will definitely affect the look and texture of your cookies. Too much flour will make them tender and even crumbly. Not enough flour will result in very thin, crisp and even brittle cookies.
- Start by fluffing the flour in the bag or canister.
- Grab your measuring cup and spoon the flour into it. (Instead of sticking the cup into the bag).
- Level the flour across the top of the measuring cup by scrubbing a knife across the top.
- Don’t skip these steps and scoop the flour directly from the canister.
- Correctly measured 1 cup of flour should with between 120 ad 125 grams.
You have your temperature too low. Turn up your burner to medium, and continually swirl around the butter. This helps the water in the butter cook off fast to allow the browning to occur.
Yes you can. Shape the unbaked cookie dough into balls and freeze up to 3 months. Once you are ready to bake, place the frozen cookie dough balls directly on the cookie sheet, just bake for approximately 1 minute longer.
Yes you can. Freeze frosted or unfrosted cookies for up to 3 months.
Yes you can. Store them in an air tight container for up to 5 days at room temperature, and in the refrigerator for up to 10.
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Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- 12 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed (light or dark)
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Brown the butter: In a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. The butter will begin to foam, and then the foam will begin to subside and you’ll start to see tiny specks at the bottom of the pan, stir with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon and constantly stir and scrape so milk solids that are browning don’t stick. (These are what give brown butter it’s yummy flavor.) As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and omits a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and scrape the brown butter and all of the delish brown bits into a heat proof bowl. It’s important to remove to a bowl immediately so the residual heat from the pan doesn’t burn the butter. Set aside & cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Pulse the oats in a food processor about 10 times. They should have some texture to them, not finely ground. Set aside.
- Add the sugars to the slightly cooled brown butter and whisk. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Then add in the vanilla.
- Add in the dry ingredients and fold them in just until incorporated.
- Roll into about 2 Tbsp. sized balls and place on the prepared cookie sheets. (Or you can make the cookies smaller if preferred).
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or just until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Make the frosting: whisk all frosting ingredients together in a bowl. The frosting will be thick, this is perfect! Dip/dunk the tops of each cooled cookie lightly into the frosting. Repeat with remaining cookies and enjoy!
- You can make the cookie dough and refrigerate for up to 3 days before baking.
- Cookies will freeze for up to 3 months in an air-tight sealed container.
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie