Brown Butter Oatmeal Pine Nut Cookies
This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, but all opinions are my own.
Soft and chewy cookies are made with nutty brown butter, classic Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, and buttery toasted piñons for a flavorful Southwest cookie. If you’ve been searching for a new twist on your tried and true recipes to celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day, my Brown Butter Oatmeal Pine Nut Cookies are for you!
Are you someone who thinks butter makes everything better? If so, I think you’re going to love this recipe. These oatmeal cookies are basically the lovechild of Italian pignoli cookies and my favorite Tex-Mex cowboy cookies. Sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy, my brown butter oatmeal and pine nut cookies are a cut above the rest.
Why This Recipe Works
I don’t know about you, but I’m just a sucker for oatmeal cookies. There’s something so comforting and rustic about them! I also love that since oatmeal cookies have whole grains, I can totally eat them during breakfast time with my coffee. What’s not to love?
I’m excited to announce that I have partnered with The Quaker Oats Company on this delicious recipe. It has been our family’s oatmeal brand of choice for years. I grew up eating Avena (Old-Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal), and Quaker was always in my mom and grandma’s cabinets.
When it comes to cookies, I’m firmly on team chewy, and Quaker’s Old Fashioned Oats make the chewiest cookies around, not to mention their unbeatable taste!
Using a generous amount of brown sugar also amps up the chewiness of these delightful pine nut cookies due to a high molasses content.
The process of browning the butter only heightens the flavor factor by making the butter more nutty and pronouncedly buttery. Did you know that the French call browned butter beurre noisette? That literally translates to “hazelnut butter,” and I think it’s a pretty darn accurate description.
Finally, adding toasted pine nuts (a.k.a. piñons) gives these oatmeal cookies some terrific textural contrast. I’m also of the opinion that piñons should win the Oscar for best supporting actor in these amazingly rich and flavorful cookies.
My brown butter oatmeal pine nut cookies have an ingredient list that is mostly made up of pantry staples. In fact, aside from the piñons, I’d bet you already have everything on hand!
A few notes to consider:
- Butter: I generally reach for unsalted butter whenever it comes to baking because it allows me total control over how much salt I add to my dishes. If you only have salted butter on hand, simply cut back the added salt by half.
- Oats: When it comes to oats, Quaker Oats are the gold standard. They have spent nearly 145 years perfecting their oats and helping people benefit from the taste, versatility, and nutrition of these delicious whole grains. Be sure to reach for Quaker Old Fashioned oats for the best consistency. In a pinch, feel free to swap in Quaker quick 1-minute oats. For this recipe, I do not recommend instant or steel cut oats, as the consistency won’t be the same.
- Flour: I used all purpose flour for this recipe. If gluten is a concern, simply swap in a cup-for-cup all purpose gluten free flour replacement and be sure to choose Quaker’s Gluten Free oats* for the best results! *Look for specially marked gluten free products.
- Piñons: Piñons, also known as pine nuts, are one of my favorites (and also one of the most under-rated) nuts. These tiny, oblong little beauties are full of nutty flavor when toasted to a beautiful golden brown. If pine nuts are hard to find in your area or are out of your price range, I think both cashews and macadamia nuts make fine substitutes. Just be sure to chop your nuts if you choose an alternate!
How to Make My Oatmeal Pine Nut Cookies
This cookie recipe does require you to do a little stovetop cooking before making the batter, but don’t get intimidated. Once I show you just how easy it is to make brown butter, I have a feeling you’ll start making everything with this liquid gold.
You’re also going to want to toast your pine nuts, but this too is a simple task. Let’s get started, shall we?
How to toast pine nuts
While this step isn’t hard, per se, you do need to be present for it. The browning process for both butter and nuts goes a little something like how avocados ripen. Nothing happens, nothing happens, and then BAM! In the span of just a minute everything happens at once, and if you’re not there to see it happen, it’s likely you’ll end up with burnt, acrid ingredients.
Place pine nuts in a dry (read: oil free) frying pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
Turn heat to medium-low and cook until fragrant and golden brown, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly).
When they’re golden brown, immediately transfer them to a plate to stop the cooking and prevent burning.
How to make brown butter
In a light-colored pan, add two sticks of butter and increase the heat to medium. Melt the butter down. It will begin to foam, and at this point you should start stirring relatively frequently.
Eventually, the white foam at the top of the pan will turn more clear yellow as the milk solids separate. Keep stirring. The butter is going to start smelling nutty, and you should see little specks at the bottom of the pan – these are the milk solids.
As soon as those specks turn golden brown, remove the pan from heat and dump the browned butter into a heatproof container to stop the cooking process. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature, where it should start to solidify. Feel free to refrigerate the container to speed up the process.
TIP: Browned butter can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Are you more of a visual learner? Here’s a video showing you how to brown butter.
Making the Dough
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt) and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. NOTE: Don’t rush this step! The process of creaming the butter and sugar creates air pockets in the fat that are necessary for helping the cookies puff up. If you don’t do this properly, you’ll end up with dense results.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Slowly add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and beat.
With a spoon, fold in oatmeal and the toasted pine nuts.
Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough out into balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Tip: You can make the dough ahead of time and scoop out individual cookie portions. Set them on a parchment lined tray or plate, freeze until solid, then toss into a zip-top bag. That way, you can have fresh, home-baked cookies on demand! Simply add 2 to 3 minutes bake time to account for the frozen dough.
Bake and Enjoy!
Bake at 350 degrees F. about 11 to 13 minutes or until browned.
Remove to wire racks to cool. These brown butter oatmeal pine nut cookies are best enjoyed slightly warm from the oven with a cool glass of milk (or café de olla!) for dipping.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Absolutely! Just be sure to choose Quaker Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats and swap in your favorite cup-for-cup gluten free all purpose flour blend.
Piñon nuts come from the piñon pine tree, and are actually seeds rather than nuts. This particular type of tree is native to North America, with groves that are mostly found in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.
Need more oat-spiration?
Check out these other creative ways to incorporate more oats into your day:
If you loved this recipe idea and want more, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest! You can also tag me on Instagram if you make these Brown Butter Oatmeal Pine Nut Cookies so I can see your tasty creations!
Brown Butter Oatmeal Pine Nut Cookies
- Place pine nuts in a dry (don’t add oil) frying pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
- Turn heat to medium-low and cook until fragrant and golden brown, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly).
- When they’re golden brown, immediately transfer them to a plate to stop the cooking and prevent burning.
- Melt and brown butter then bring back to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and beat.
- With a spoon, fold in oatmeal and the toasted pine nuts.
- Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough out into balls, placing them 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350°F about 11 to 13 minutes or until browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- Brown butter can be made up to a week ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
Photography by Raemi Vermiglio