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When I was younger I remember equating oatmeal cookies to adults and more specifically, my dad. There was something intriguing and slightly quirky about the cookie, it wasn’t a decadent chocolate chip variety you equate to sticky fingers and grandma’s house, or iced sugar cookies that Santa (…er…mom) bit into while wrapping the final Christmas presents. This was a flavor that I though adults enjoyed because the oats and raisins were oh so refined, which is probably why I thought Raisin Bran was an adult cereal after watching my dad pour a bowl each morning. Yes, they are under the guise of being healthy, but like a scent from years ago, seeing this treat transports me back to the years of headbands, awkward elementary school outfits, and cookies with dad.

Fast forward nearly two decades of maturity and I’ve finally reached the point where those refined oatmeal cookies are acceptable to eat. I’ll often incorporate them into my baking routine and when I offered to bring something sweet to a fall kickoff tailgate session with my college roommates I thought I would bridge the gap between beer pong years and late twenties with a batch of them. Yes, the concept of an adult cookie sounds absurd, but when surveying our game day spread of rosemary turkey slices, artisan cheeses, and olive tapenade I knew my gourmet cookies would fit right in. Spiked with hefty doses of vanilla and molasses, nutty amber browned-butter, along with two raisin varieties, these cookies were exactly what I pictured those adults were hiding from me so many years ago. The cookie that seemed so mysterious really just turned out to be a sweet bond between elder and younger, father and daughter.

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Brown butter oatmeal raisin walnut cookies – makes 24 cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
1 tblsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oats
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Maldon sea salt for topping

– Brown the butter: Place 1/2 of the butter in a skillet over medium heat swirling occasionally until the butter begins to foam and crackle. Once the crackling stops continue to swirl as the butter turns a medium amber color and smells nutty, small bits will form at the bottom. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl, set aside for 20 min. (Warning – the butter it will pop and can splatter so cover lightly with a lid during the foaming process).

– Beat the remaining 1/2 c. softened butter with the brown sugar for 3 minutes until fluffy.

– Add the vanilla and molasses.

– Add the brown butter and white sugar then beat for another two minutes. Then add the egg + egg yolk and beat to combine

– combine the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add to wet mixture slowly, continuing to beat until everything is combined.

– Fold in the raisins and chopped walnuts with a spatula then cover the mixing bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

– Once ready to bake heat oven to 350 – degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.

– Scoop dough into tablespoon sized balls (use a small ice cream scoop if possible). Top with a few raisins and sea salt then bake for 15 minutes rotating pans halfway through. place on rack to cool.