Fudge oatmeal cookies

I think most of us would agree that oatmeal cookies are a classic.  We can never have too many oatmeal cookies, right?  Every so often (it's really more like very often), I crave one and recently, I was mesmerized by these oatmeal cookies I saw over at The Kitchn - they're soft, chewy oatmeal cookies, studded in the center with a dollop of chocolate fudge!  The very word, fudge, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  And since you really shouldn't have oatmeal cookies without chocolate in some form, here was a great new way to combine the two.  I had to make some of these cookies!
While I would have personally preferred it, I omitted the walnuts from the recipe because I made this batch to take along to my son's final soccer game of the season.  Aside from potential nut allergies, I think it's generally a better bet to remove nuts from the equation when serving a group of kids.  They either love it or they hate it, and many of them tend to fall into the latter group.

These cookies are very easy to make - even simpler when you skip the nuts like I did.  The oatmeal cookie base is a familiar one, which you can easily prepare a couple of days in advance and store in the fridge.  The fudge filling - simply condensed milk and chocolate chips - comes together in minutes on the stove-top.
Once baked, the cookies spread around the little pool of fudge.  The fudge itself sets and firms up so that you can easily store, stack, and transport these cookies.  The texture of the fudge filling is wonderfully chewy.  

I think these oatmeal fudge cookies are familiar yet just jazzed-up enough to appear on any holiday cookie platter.  I'm pretty confident they'd be popular at any bake sale, too.
Happily, my batch of cookies were very well received by the kids, my little one included.  The boys were undoubtedly hungry after their game but you know that kids are brutally honest so I trust that their enthusiasm was genuine.  There's nothing like seeing a group of people devour and enjoy something you made so I was the true beneficiary of these cookies.  

This recipe's a keeper.  And for all you peanut butter devotees out there, there's a peanut butter version too!  


The oatmeal cookie base is everything you're familiar with to get your beloved soft, chewy oatmeal cookie.  I made my cookie dough a day in advance.  To bake, I scooped them by packing the dough into a small ice cream scoop.  Then, I used slightly damp fingers to mold a hole or a well for the fudge to settle into
The fudge.  It's made simply by stirring sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips together on the stove-top over low heat.  Once the chocolate chips melt and the mixture is homogeneous and smooth, you're ready to go.

I recommend scooping out the cookie dough and shaping the wells and having that ready and set aside before making the fudge since the filling comes together so fast and the sooner you use it, the easier it is to handle and better the final cookie will look.  
Use two spoons to ease enough of the fudge to fill the hallow in the cookie dough.  

Keep the fudge on low heat when you're not working with it and stir the mixture every so often.  It'll dry out and over-thicken if you don't.  I found that as you get to the end of your little pot of fudge and use it to make a second batch, the fudge will have just a teeny bit more of a dry appearance (some may not look as beautifully glossy as the first batch).  It's not a big deal but basically, the faster you work with it, the better the final cookies will look.  If you are making a large quantity of these cookies and need to bake them in several trays, you might even consider making half the fudge at a time.
The cookies spread a little and around the filling during baking and the fudge becomes the centerpiece.  My cookies were ready, just golden brown, in about 10 minutes (versus the suggested 12-15 minutes in the recipe so check early).  I could have squeezed a few more cookies onto each baking tray - a good idea since you want to get as many in the oven as possible at once.
I think these are pretty neat oatmeal cookies!  My 8-year old proclaimed them "the best cookies ever" but I've heard that before.  He may have been speaking off the high from his soccer game but I really do think he enjoyed them thoroughly and that just made my day a little sweeter.


Recipe:

Fudge Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Kitchn*

* I've scaled down and simplified the recipe here a little bit. Please check out the original recipe that includes walnuts, as well as a peanut butter version.  I scaled down the amount of fudge I made since I didn't want leftovers.  To make numbers a little easier to work with, you could use half a can of sweetened condensed milk (7 ounces) and 6 ounces (1 cup) of chocolate chips for the recipe below.  You'll likely have a little fudge leftover but that isn't such a bad thing, especially since it'll be easier to keep the fudge smooth and from drying out at the bottom of the pan as you work with it.

- Makes approximately 22 cookies (you can easily double the recipe) -

For cookies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

For fudge filling*:
4.7 ounces (one-third of a 14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces (2/3 cup) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate

If planning to bake cookies immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven racks on the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, beating well to combine and scraping down the mixing bowl as needed.  On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in the oats.  (If doing ahead, the cookie dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

To bake, drop rounds of cookie dough using a small ice cream scoop onto the baking sheet, spacing mounds about an inch or so apart.  With slightly dampened fingers or the back of a spoon, make a well or nest in the middle of the cookie mounds for the filling.

To make the fudge filling, place condensed milk and chocolate chips in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  Stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.  Drop a dollop of the fudge (I use two spoons) into each cookie dough nest, filling the hole entirely.  Keep fudge over a very low heat and stir occasionally.

Bake cookies until just lightly golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets midway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring cookies onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  The set fudge filling will be dry to the touch so the cookies are easy to stack and store.  Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  





56 comments:

  1. OK, I am totally in love with these! I am definitely saving these to make for Christmastime!

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    1. Hi Marie - yay! I think these are good for Christmastime, too (though I suppose any cookie is good at Christmas : ). I barely got a good bite of my first batch and totally need to make more.

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  2. Monica, these cookies look wonderful! I have been on a serious oatmeal cookie kick lately and have been eating them for breakfast and sometimes dinner hehe. They are one of my favorite kind of cookies and I love the sound of the fudge filling in yours! They remind me of holiday thumbprint cookies with oatmeal goodness and would be perfect for festive gifts and parties :) Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great week!

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    1. Hi Kelly - glad you think so! I'm glad to contribute an idea to satisfy your oatmeal cookie cravings right now. : ) And oh my gosh - you are so right about the thumbprints!! That's got to be one of the reasons I keep thinking Christmas...though I am pretty much thinking Christmas constantly right now. : )

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  3. Oh my gosh these look so good, Monica! What a simple fudge filling...i have ideas of where else I might be able to use it ;) Does it firm up or stay soft?

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    1. Hey Amy - I'm glad you like them too! The fudge is crazy simple, right? It sets and firms so you can stack them BUT it does not harden. i.e., it is still chewy and bendy but it doesn't make a mess 'cause it's dry! Love that part. I, too, have to remember this filling for other things. : )

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  4. Oh girl, I am so making these! I love oatmeal cookies dearly but with this chocolate fudge - yes, please! Pinning!

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    1. Oh goodie - I love passing on some cookie love. Happy cookie season, Pamela. ; )

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  5. Dollop of fudge filing looks divine!! Want :D

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    1. The word "fudge" always gets my attention. :)

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  6. totally want this, so inviting

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  7. I just want this for my brunch....
    btw, i love making oatmeal cookies eversince my dad got diabetes...
    i replce the butter with a mixture of avocado yoghurt and also canola or olive oil.....

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    1. It's wonderful you found ways to make adjustments for your dad. I'm sure your oatmeal cookies are delicious. I love oats and oatmeal in general and in cookies, it gives you that surefire chew that so many of us love. Thanks!

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  8. This recipe (like all your others) is a keeper! You know I've never had oatmeal cookies with chocolate and this is my chance. That fudge looks super awesome in the centre of the cookie. I am not surprised that the boys loved them. Making this soon!

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Sonali. I think we could have fairly similar taste-buds. : )
      You know I once made some salty oat cookies and I left half the batch plain as intended by the recipe and added chocolate chips to the other half. My son said "why would you have oatmeal cookies without chocolate?"...I think he has a point. : )

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  9. Love this Monica! I always pick chocolate chip cookies over oatmeal/raisin cookies. But this version of oatmeal totally works for me! Chocolate always makes everything better. :) I just want to dive right into that fudge filling, yum! :) Happy Friday. :)

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    1. Thank you, Anne. Everything's better with fudge, right? Enjoy the weekend.

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  10. I had an oatmeal raisin cookie yesterday that inspired a big oatmeal cookie craving. Of course, they're made all the better with FUDGE CENTERS. YES.

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    1. I was hooked thanks to the fudge center for sure. Bakeries need to make these!

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  11. They remind me of thumbprint cookies. I can't wait to bake a batch!

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  12. Ooooo these are definitely going to have to happen in my kitchen!! I LOVEEEE oatmeal chocolate chip cookies - these are such a fun spin on them! And with the fudge center?? Yes and yes! Kinda like a thumbprint cookie! (ps sorry if this is going through twice - my computer went all weird when I submitted my comment the first time!)

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to re-submit, Ashley (only one came through). I didn't consciously think of it but now that everyone mentions thumbprint, I'm hitting my forehead thinking "yes! that's why I kept thinking Christmas cookies!" I just love Christmastime because it calls for all kinds of cookies and treats. : )

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  13. Love the dollop of fudge in the middle :) And I'm all about easy cookie recipes, too!

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    1. Easy is always preferable, especially if it looks like more work than it is! : )

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  14. Oh Monica these look so wonderful! I think those are really lucky kids to get these after a game. Chocolate and sweetened condensed milk? Oh the possibilities!

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    1. Thanks, Tricia. Glad you like them. They reminded me of those amazing oat bars I've seen you and a few others make. That is on my list too. So much to make, so little time!

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  15. I'm definitely adding these cookies to this year's cookie tray! That fudge center looks utterly awesome and I'm a big fan of oats in cookies!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Monica :D

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    1. I want to make these again soon for those cookie trays too. I like just sitting down with my family and having cookies and hot cocoa and then I also want to make things for friends and neighbors. The holiday season is too short!

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  16. Oh these look delicious Monica! We are huge fans of oatmeal cookies in our house. Thankfully my kids love them and my conscience is eased as I feel the oatmeal makes them a 'wholesome' cookie! I usually add something to the dough but I LOVE this fudge filling. Truly yum! Have a great weekend :-)

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    1. I feel the same way, Jo! : ) Oatmeal cookies are definitely healthy and wholesome. I love oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and walnuts. I wish I had walnuts here but the chewy texture of the fudge makes up for it.

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  17. okay, there's officially something good/weird about us: you'll know why when you see my next post. :) basically i did the same thing here as you did with the almond cupcakes. so crazy, Monica!
    these look lovely: i think oatmeal cookies are something everyone likes (because truly, i've only ever heard negative opinions towards if they do or don't have raisins). with the chocolate middles? that's a double win.

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    1. Oh, that sounds very good, Shannon. I'll keep an eye out for it.
      I totally agree - the only point of contention with oatmeal cookies is the raisins. That is one reason I simply stay away from raisins. No raisins in my house. :)

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  18. These look so yummy! Totally love them. :)

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    1. Thank you, Sara. Cookies are the best and oatmeal chocolate cookies are a reliable friend!

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  19. These oatmeal cookies look delicious, Monica! Love the dollop of fudge in the middle (: I think oatmeal cookies are a wonderful comfort food; I'll have to try making this sometime.

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    1. Total comfort food, for sure! I hope you make a batch if the craving strikes. : )

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  20. Mmm, oatmeal anything is a winner in my book—seriously, I eat the stuff dry sometimes. But who needs dry oatmeal when you can get it in the form of a cookie with fudge dolloped in the centre? I'm actually in the camp of those who like their oatmeal cookies unadulterated in terms of nuts, so I'm quite happy with your version!

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    1. Wow, eating it dry?! Here I thought *I* was an abnormal oatmeal lover! ; ) I love oatmeal in a hot bowl with honey or in cookies. When it comes to cookies, I could go without chocolate but it really is much preferable with it. haha

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  21. oooh these look beautiful! i bet they went down a storm with your son's friends :) lovely post!
    the hobbit kitchen x

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    1. They were gone quick, which is a very satisfying feeling for sure! Thanks Holly.

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  22. Love these! Especially the fudgey centre :-)

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  23. I'm loving these cookies! Oatmeal definitely needs some chocolate. Good move on leaving the nuts out. Nut allergies aside, I'm surprised at how many kids just don't like them.

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    1. I hear you! Taking the nuts out is definitely the safest bet. Oatmeal cookies have enough texture not to need it...as long as there's chocolate, everyone's happy, I think. : )

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  24. Mmmm, yes mixing chocolate with oatmeal is always a winning combination.

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  25. These look fabulous-I love oatmeal cookies and I absolutely adore cookies with fudge-I will definitely be making these!

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you like them! The fudge is a winner : )

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  26. Ooooh! These look so good! Fudge also makes me feel warm and fuzzy too :) I'm sure your son Andhra team enjoyed these! They look like a great after game treat!

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    1. Yes, the boys were fans and I'm happy they liked them so much even if they were simply just hungry! haha. Glad you enjoy the fudge too.

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  27. This looks fantastic! Definitely on my must make list

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    1. I felt the same way when I saw them on The Kitchn! I hope you give them a try.

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  28. I didn't grow up with oatmeal (it's not common thing in Japan), so I am not a fan of breakfast oatmeal...however I remember I was surprised how delicious the oatmeal cookies were. Love the chocolate fudge in center. I'm more tempted to eat ones with chocolate!

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    1. I hear you. I do love oatmeal for breakfast - originally old-fashioned but now I love steel cut...but even if you are not an oatmeal lover, I find most people adore an oatmeal cookie. Chocolate makes it better. : )

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