Brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter. That’s it, that’s the post — because really, need I say more? (Well, actually, yes; I promise there’s a whole post under the read-more!)
It’s like you took everything good in life and baked it into a cookie.– Tracey Neithercott, Gray Wolf Island
The Read-to-Real Journey
(I know, this is everyone’s least favorite part of recipe posts, and I’ll keep it fairly brief. But since this is primarily a book & personal blog, I hope you’ll bear with me.)
Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott was put on my radar by one of Ellias’s videos, in which he compared it favorably to the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Although it wasn’t in my library’s digital catalog, they did have a hard copy, so I eagerly put it on hold.
To be entirely honest, I didn’t end up liking the book very much. With regard to the Raven Cycle comparison, I found it superficially very similar but atmospherically very different, so it wasn’t what I expected or what I was hoping for; with regard to its own merits, I didn’t think it was particularly enjoyable. (You can check out my Goodreads review for more details, and Ellias’s review if you’re interested in a much more positive reaction.)
However, I was really into the brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter that were mentioned at one point. That’s a combination of five things — or four things + a medium/ vessel, depending on how you count them — that are all individually tasty, so obviously I had to see if the whole was more than the sum of its parts.
The character who baked the cookies in Gray Wolf Island said they found the recipe on “some lady’s blog,” so I was curious as to whether such the recipe really existed. Surprisingly, a quick Google turned up several posts with an exact title match — which all turned out to be copies of the same recipe, typos and all. As far as I can tell, the original poster is Bakeaholic Mama but the original post (from 2013) has been taken down. Below is my version of the recipe, rewritten in my own words with my modifications.
adapted with reduced sugar and homemade caramel; makes 1/2 dozen
- 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 (approx. 1 Tbsp) egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/8 cup oats
- 75 grams all-purpose flour
- generous pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- caramel candies or sauce
- peanut or almond butter
- (Optional) Make the caramel; I used this recipe from The Spruce Eats. Let cool and set. You can shape it into small rounds to more easily fill the cookies.
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (177 Celsius).
- Over medium/low heat, brown the butter: let melt, then continue to cook until it turns golden brown.
- Combine sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix together, then add browned butter.
- Add in oats, flour, salt, baking powder.
- Once the dough comes together, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and form into 6 equal sized balls. Space them about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Make a hollow in each cookie ball and fill with caramel and peanut/ almond butter. Reshape the cookie ball around the filling.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
- Allow to cool at least slightly. Reheat before serving — original recipe suggests 10 seconds in microwave — for maximally gooey filling.
I’m gonna be honest, even with the sugar cut in half from the original and with not enough filling (which is completely user error due to recipe adjustments) I found these a bit sweeter than I prefer, and they’re doughy rather than crispy or chewy (most likely due to recipe adjustments again, throwing off the ratios).
But the flavor profile is not half bad! I might keep experimenting with this one, especially if I make in-person plans with friends who will help eat each batch and provide feedback. And yes, cookies are my major contribution to my IRL friendships, because they generally go over better than literary references that no one else understands! 😅
- Be honest: do these cookies sound tasty or totally overkill?
- What’s your favorite type of cookie?
- What are some of your favorite book scenes featuring cookies?