{recipe} The BEST Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

I’m headed to Panama tomorrow – lucky me! I always like to bake cookies to take on the airplane with me, and these oatmeal cookies just came out of the oven. The only problem is that I think there is a very good chance that I might eat them all in the next 12 hours, and there won’t be any for the plane ride.

I sort of hate the trend of calling food “guilt-free,” but I will admit, it is easier to enjoy something when it’s, well, less likely to make you feel bad about yourself for eating it. So I’m going to stop just short of calling these guilt-free, but I feel it would be dishonest not to mention that it’s how I think of them.

I stopped working as a pastry chef just before the public at large became aware of being gluten-free, so I never really had to think about how to bake that way. I am not gluten-free, and I do not have strong opinions about people being or not being gluten-free. But one of the wonderful things about the recent focus on gluten-free foods is that it has brought many wonderful, lesser known ingredients into the spotlight, which regardless of your reaction to wheat, are fun to experiment with and delicious to eat. It has made me rethink the possibilities of chickpea flour, quinoa flour, coconut flour, nut flours and nut butters, and so much more. I have been making tons of things out almond meal–finely ground almonds–and loving it. Because the nuts are fatty, you don’t have to use as much butter or oil, so it really changes the entire dynamic. As an inventive baker, I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with all of this. (And yes, there are some major fails along the way… like the flaxseed “bread” that went in the trash last week.)

On another note, a lot of people use coconut sugar for the supposed health benefits. I can’t speak to the validity of those, but I love coconut sugar because it tastes so damn good. It tastes like maple syrup had a baby with caramel sauce. Whether you believe in coconut sugar’s health claims or not, I am here to tell you that it makes for a great cookie.

If you use coconut oil in place of butter, these will be dairy-free AND gluten-free. If you need to ensure they are 100% gluten-free, be sure to use GF baking powder and GF oatmeal.

RECIPE: The BEST Gluten Free Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 15, which is probably not enough, so feel free to double


  • 1 1/3 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 Tblsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tblsp melted butter or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Combine almond meal, coconut, sugar, oats, flax meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer (hand mixer works great) to beat the egg until it’s frothy and doubled in volume.
  • Add melted butter and vanilla and stir.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Make golf-ball sized balls of dough and flatten them slightly with your hand. Place them on the cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.
  • Let cool a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

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