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Holiday cookie baking has begun! Start your engines, ladies and gents. It’s going to be a great season!
With everybody baking out the wazoo this time of year, it can be hard for our gluten-free eating friends to join in the fun. Honestly, so many of the gluten-free cookie options out there are both overpriced and dry as sawdust. It’s something about the flour replacement that doesn’t quite ring true.
But worry not! These cookies have passed the ultimate test, i.e., Kenny ate them. And liked them. If you don’t know how special that is, keep reading. But I’ll tell you one thing for sure: these cookies are packed with oats, peanut butter, and chocolate for the perfect snacktime pick-me-up.
So, here’s the thing about Kenny: he is not a happy gluten-free camper. His Crohn’s Disease means he’s not allergic to gluten, but he feels better if he stays away from it. What does that mean? The boy cheats. A lot.
I try to provide incentives for him to stay on the straight and narrow by developing some tried-and-true GF recipes. I’ve got brownies and cake down pat, not to mention oatmeal cookies. I used my oatmeal cookie dough as a base for these monster cookies, adding peanut butter for more kick. I promise you this: you will never miss the flour. There’s no weird dryness or textural question marks. These cookies are just good.
Too much of a good thing can also backfire. I love baking cookies, but as a baking blogger, my house is always a goldmine of dessert. That’s where the freezer comes in super handy, and anytime it’s possible, I use it. The best part about cookie dough is that you can roll it up into a parchment paper log, stick the log in a freezer bag, freeze the whole thing, and pull it out when you need it. Sometimes I slice off a couple of cookies, and sometimes the whole log. Either way, this recipe will get you two good-sized logs.
Back in the day, I used to wrap my cookie dough in aluminum foil. It never worked out well for me. The dough would stick to the log and I’d wind up with shreds of foil everywhere when I tried to unwrap it and bake. For many years now, I’ve been a parchment paper convert, and these Reynolds cookie baking sheets make the process even easier. Having pre-cut sheets means I don’t pull waaaaay too much paper off the roll and wind up wasting a ton. Plus, the sheets aren’t just for wrapping up dough in the freezer. They are tested to safely withstand oven temperatures up to 420°F and they fit into cookie sheets beautifully to provide a perfect base for cookies to bake up evenly and slide off the sheets when done.
I can get these parchment sheets at Target, a.k.a. Mecca. If I told you how much time our family spends at Target, I would have to leave the country out of embarrassment. I buy everything there. Everything. Case in point: while I was picking up cookie-baking ingredients, I also bought yet another pair of fuzzy slippers. You should have seen the raised eyebrow Kenny gave me. Suffice it to say, I have a lot of fuzzy slippers in my life because you can never have too many. It’s really hard to get out of Target once you’re in without buying loot, especially if you have little assistants shopping with you.
While these cookies are for Kenny, don’t think for a minute that I didn’t help him eat plenty, along with the kids. The trick to GF baking is to make sure that the kids (who eat lots of gluten on their own) don’t feel deprived. I think we can consider that crisis averted. These cookies are definitely addictive, and I played a little bit with the traditional monster cookie construct. For instance, I took out the raisins. Can we all agree on that decision? And while these have peanut butter in them, it’s not overwhelming. The subtlety is definitely a bonus! You don’t have to include the M & Ms, but for me, it’s a must. You decide!
This holiday season, think about all the different ways you can cookie. Yep, that’s a verb. The holidays are creeping up on us, and the best we can do is think ahead and freeze as much as possible before everyone descends to eat all the dessert in sight. Whether you’re dealing with special dietary needs or just picky eaters, it’s so important to be able to plan ahead and get that dough made and frozen before the hoopla begins. Think about how you can get ahead of the game! And some ideas from the pros at Reynolds won’t hurt, either. Happy baking!
Monster Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup M & Ms (optional)
- In a bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix again. Gradually add the oat mixture, beating each time until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. If you're going for the flair, stir in the M & Ms.
- If you're baking the same day, cover the bowl loosely and chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes to an hour. If you'd rather freeze it for a make-ahead option, divide the dough in half. Using two separate Reynolds cookie baking sheets, shape each dough portion into an oblong cylinder. Use the parchment paper to roll up the dough into a log. Place the dough logs in the freezer.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with Reynolds cookie baking sheets.
- Scoop the dough into 1 and 1/2-inch balls (or slice them if frozen in about 1-inch discs) and place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are beginning to crisp and the middle is mostly set. Do not overbake.
- Allow the cookies to cool and then remove with a spatula. Eat or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Don’t worry. They won’t last that long!