oatmeal cookies stackThis weekend, we adapted one of our favorite oatmeal cookie recipes from Just Married & Cooking for the Fall Festival on Fox & Friends. Instead of adding our usual sweet, bright apricots to the dough, we went for bits of cinnamon-rich, dried apple rings. Next, Jamie’s sweet tooth took over and rich, buttery, slightly salty caramel was added- think of it like cookie icing. The man likes to gild the lily.

The truth is, we’ve been thinking a lot about flavor recently. What to add, what to subtract, how to make the “ultimate” versions of our favorite foods. Blame Jamie’s work with IBM and the culinary computer… Or blame the new cookbook we’re writing for Clarkson Potter and its theme of best-ever flavor combinations. Here’s how we think when confronted with the average oatmeal cookie…

Texture: Chewy, soft, each bite has to have that fresh-from-the-oven “give.” We knew that making cookies with melted butter would create that denser, chewier texture. If it works in our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, why couldn’t it work with oatmeal cookies? Extra baking powder would also give the cookies more height and “lift.”

Flavor: We knew the cookies were destined to be drizzled with caramel, so we decided to start building a “layered” roasted, caramel flavor from the beginning by browning the butter. The substitution of apples for apricots was an easy, cool-weather swap out.

With just a few changes, we created the best dang oatmeal cookie we’d ever tasted. Parker passed them out at the Fox & Friends festival (to the children and adults, mind you) and we’re pretty sure there was a collective sigh during the commercial breaks.

Make these cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces), unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats, raw
  • 1 cup dried apples, chopped
  • For the caramel
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until well browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Combine the browned butter, brown sugar, zest, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and continue mixing to incorporate fully.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together. When fully blended, add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir in the apples.
  4. Prepare a lightly greased baking sheet. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the pan allowing 1 to 1½ inches between. Bake in a preheated until the edges are golden brown and the centers firm, about 12 minutes.
  5. While the cookies cool, combine the butter, brown sugar and cream in a small pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Drizzle the mixture over the cookies.