Brown Butter Milky Way Oatmeal Cookies

Amazingly soft, chewy, and easy oatmeal cookies. The brown butter makes each bite full of caramel, nutty flavor. The gooey Milky Ways on top are irresistible! 

brown butter Milky Way oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

This is what happens when anything and everything candy related goes on sale in the weeks preceding Halloween.

Candy bars beckon you from every which angle as you innocently shop for healthy groceries. How did that 5 lb bag of fun-sized chocolate bars jump into my cart?! I fell victim to the Halloween candy aisle last weekend and as a result, I made you these. Sorry? Not really. I’m going to bake my way through the 5 pound bag of Snickers, Twix, Kit-Kats, Heath Bars, candy corn, and Milky Ways.

I can almost hear my dentist crying.

stack of brown butter Milky Way oatmeal cookies on a silpat baking mat

These cookies were the brainchild of my craving for a buttery oatmeal cookie and my drool as I pranced down the candy aisle. Try as I might, I couldn’t ignore my calorie-laden craving with a basket full of vegetables. Sometimes, you just need some sugar.

The oatmeal cookie base is a revision of my Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies. I added more oats and reduced the flour to give the body of the cookie a bit more chew and a little less puff.

I also browned the butter. I loooove using brown butter in recipes. The caramel undertones, the nutty aroma, the golden brown flecks– brown butter is one of those brilliant ingredients secretly hiding in your refrigerator.

brown butter Milky Way oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

To avoid the cookies from completely spreading, you’ll want to chill the butter after you brown it. Allow it to cool down until it’s almost completely solidified again. Turning the brown butter back into a solid state allows you to cream it with the sugars in the cookie dough. Using melted butter in my cookie doughs – regular melted butter or browned butter – has never really worked for me. The liquid butter leaves my baked cookies completely flat!

If I want thick cookies, I always start with butter in its solid state. Thanks to the brown butter, you can taste nutty caramel in each and every thick bite. Oh, and the Milky Ways help too.

I personally love Milky Way Midnight Bars. You know, the Milky Ways with dark chocolate and vanilla nougat? Don’t get me wrong, I love the standard milk chocolate version but it’s the exotic dark chocolate variety that wins every time. I used both Milky Way varieties in today’s cookies because I love the flavor contrast of the dark and milk chocolates! Each bite, you get two for one.

Two helpful tips:

  • Make sure your Milky Way chunks are frozen.  Room temperature chunks will melt all over the place in the oven, creating huge pools of caramel around your cookies. Delicious, but ugly.
  • Also, rather than mixing the Milky Way chunks directly into the dough, I pressed them on top of the cookies before baking. This method also helped avoid a huge caramel mess leaking out the sides and underneath the cookie.

brown butter Milky Way oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

I don’t think a Milky Way ever looked better. 😉

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brown butter Milky Way oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

Brown Butter Milky Way Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Amazingly soft, chewy, and easy oatmeal cookies. The brown butter makes each bite full of caramel, nutty flavor. The gooey Milky Ways on top are irresistible! 


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (90g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped Milky Ways, frozen


  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly. Remove from heat immediately when the butter begins to turn brown (about 8 minutes). Pour into a shallow dish and chill until it become solid, but still soft. (I left mine in the refrigerator for 1 hour and then set it out on the counter for 5 minutes to get back to room temperature.)
  2. With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the brown butter and sugars together on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well until combined.
  3. On slow speed, mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Manually stir in oats until the dough comes together. Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).
  5. Roll dough into tall 1.5 Tablespoon balls. Stick 4 small pieces of frozen milky ways onto the tops of the cookies. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven when the cookies are lightly brown on the edges. The centers will appear undone, but will set up as you let them cool. Cool cookies for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a cookie rack. Cookies remain soft and fresh for 7 days at room temperature.

Keywords: brown butter milky way oatmeal cookies, milky way oatmeal cookies


Comments are closed.

  1. Sally! I think you are the gal who can help me. Do you know that if you brown butter, cool it (to solidify) and use that in place of softened butter in recipes? Do you need to add moisture or more butter due to what is lost while browning? Thank you in advance!!

    1. Hi Stephanie! What a great question. You most certainly may use solidified browned butter in place of softened butter in some cookie recipes, but keep in mind that it is still a little greasier than regular softened butter. Try adding an extra 2 tablespoons of flour to your cookie recipe to offset the extra moisture from the butter. I hope this helps!

  2. I made the milky way oatmeal cookies last night, and they are awesome!!! I couldn’t find milky way mini’s, but I found the milky way caramel mini’s and added dark chocolate chips!!! total keeper!!!!

  3. Anything with brown butter is a hit in my book…sure am looking forward to trying these!

    1. I love brown butter in baked goods – or anything, really! Thanks Julie.

  4. Nikki Chirico says:

    Hi Sally!
    I was wondering if you think Heath bars can be replaced in this recipe? I love anything with brown butter. My mother in law has a 60th birthday coming up and she loves Heath bars so I wanted to make Heath bar cookies. I’m making other things too but I thought that would be a great extra addition. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Nikki! Definitely 🙂 Chop the bars into small pieces!

  5. Ashley Atherton says:

    These were perfect. Keeping the cookies at 1.5 T of dough each as the recipe states ensures the cookie has time to bake fully before the frozen milky ways start melting too much.

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