No Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

I really wanted oatmeal cookies last weekend. When I went through my pantry, I had almost everything I needed, but I didn’t have brown sugar. In the time of improvised cooking, I looked up what I could replace the brown sugar with. The base recipe comes from the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.

I know there are those of you laughing that I didn’t have any brown sugar, but I did have the more exotic pomegranate molasses. Here’s my excuse, I don’t often use brown sugar, but I use pomegranate molasses for sauces.

These were such a success, I’m going to make these again!

Makes 16 Large Cookies (Okay, maybe 15 large cookies and 1 medium.)


  • 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons of unsalted chilled butter
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of black walnuts or other nuts chopped (walnuts, pecans, etc). You can also add 1/4 cup more oats if you don’t have nuts or can’t have nuts.


2 baking sheets, parchment paper, whisk, 10 inch skillet, medium bowl, large heat proof bowl, rubber spatula, spoon, 2 wire racks


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the 2 baking sheets with the parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl, and set aside
  3. Put 4 tablespoons of the chilled butter in the large heat proof bowl.
  4. Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Continue cooking, swirling the skillet constantly, until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.
  5. Pour melted butter over the chilled butter in the large heat proof bowl, and stir until the chilled butter has melted.
  6. Add sugar, salt, pomegranate molasses, and vanilla to the large bowl. Whisk until fully mixed together.
  7. Add egg and egg yolk and whisk for 30 seconds. There should not be any sugar lumps.
  8. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the letting the mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisking 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. While letting the mixture stand for the first 3 minutes, put the nuts in the skillet that had the melted butter in it and stir. Put the skillet on medium heat and stir the nuts frequently until they are toasted.
  9. The mixture should be thick, smooth and shinny after the standing and resting 3 times.
  10. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.
  11. Add the oats, raisins, and nuts and stir in using the rubber spatula. Mix so that the oats, raisins and nuts are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.
  12. Working with 3 tablespoons of the cookie dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on the parchment paper covered baking sheets.
  13. Bake 1 sheet at a time. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and still puffy. The edges should be set, but the centers should be still soft. This will take 10 to 14 minutes, and you should rotate the baking sheet at 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack when the cookies come out of the oven.
  14. Let cool to room temperature, or set. The cookies will come right off the parchment paper.


I was very impressed with how tasty these cookies came out. You should be able to replace the pomegranate molasses with any sorghum or light sugar cane molasses. You might be able to use 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar instead of molasses.

One thought on “No Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

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