A letter from a reader sent me scurrying to create an oatmeal cookie.

“I have had celiac for 15 years, I’m excited about all the new products coming out in all these years.  But I haven’t found an oatmeal cookie I like.  I was wondering if you have a recipe for oatmeal cookies?”

The note sparked memories of my childhood when we would pull down the Quaker Oats cannister from the top shelf of the cupboard and make the recipe on the back of the container.  I couldn’t recall the last time I made oatmeal cookies – certainly not since I became gluten-free 36 years ago.

So her suggestion triggered a powerful reaction in me, a hankering to enjoy chewy oatmeal cookies again.  But this time, I couldn’t use Quaker Oats or all-purpose flour and my tastebuds hankered for a more updated, mature version of my childhood favorite.  Nevertheless, as I creamed the butter and sugar and folded in gluten-free oats with a wooden spoon that had belonged to my mother,  I was, once again, standing at the counter in her blue and yellow kitchen.  Funny how a hankering evokes such vivid memories – – the days of childhood, the days of old fashion oatmeal cookies, the days before I was gluten-free.

I suspect oatmeal cookies stir up fond associations for all of us.  I brought these cookies to a barbecue where the young adults far outnumbered us oldsters.  One-by-one, the “kids” in the group sought me out to say, “thank you.”   “These are the best cookies I have ever had,” several of them told me.  A couple of them (friends of my son who is a celiac) knew they were gluten-free, but no one else  suspected.

The recipe was inspired by one on Food.com.  It’s a good thing it makes a big batch! They disappear quickly.  A key step in this recipe is to let the dried cranberries soak in the eggs and vanilla for 1 hour.  So allow a little extra time when preparing these.  If you’d like to reduce the fat, replace 4 to 6 tablespoons of butter with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce.

The Best Oatmeal Cookies EverBest Oatmeal Cookies Ever
Makes 72-84 cookies

3 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup dried cranberries such as Craisin brand
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter. softened
1 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
2 ¾ cups any All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 ¼ cups gluten-free rolled oats (not steel cut or thick cut oats)
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

*Add 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum and ½ teaspoon salt if these are not included in your blend.

Combine eggs, cranberries and vanilla and let stand for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment.  Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars.  Mix flour with cinnamon and baking soda and whisk to combine.   Add to butter mixture and mix well.  Blend in egg mixture, oats, and chopped walnuts.   Dough will be stiff.

Drop by heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheet, or roll into balls and flatten slightly.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Cool in pan before removing to a serving tray as cookies are quite soft.

These freeze well.


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  1. Rita Horn says:

    Sounds yummy. I’ll have to wait for the heat wave to pass, but I just got some dried but relatively moist cranberries from my food coop. I’m glad they freeze well, because in the summer I wait for cool days to turn on the over.
    I am enjoying the light show in the yard, with fireflies blinking high and low, nature’s firecracker. Rita

  2. Ann Bryk says:

    Dear Beth,

    I can’t wait to try this oatmeal cookie recipe. So far, I have made your Killer Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Carrot Cake and the sandwich bread which each one has been very delicious! Even Non-Gluten free people have loved them!
    I am still waiting for great gluten free bagels, rolls and a sandwich bread that is good for grilled cheese. The sandwich bread I made was good for toasting and for other sandwiches, but was not good for making grilled cheese.

    I would love to make a bread that tastes just like the honey wheat with gluten. Do you have any recipes for that?
    I love breads, but none I have tasted still compares to the breads with gluten. What is it about that gluten that makes breads taste so good and has that perfect texture?

    Thank you for helping making my life less stressful with the gluten free lifestyle!

    Ann Bryk

    • Hi Ann, I think we are all on the quest to find great breads that taste like the real deal. I can still taste the honey whole wheat bread we used to make before I was gluten-free. I’ll keep looking for that special bread and will let you know when I’ve found it – – gluten-free, of course. Happy Baking! Beth

  3. This sounds like a great recipe to try but I’m going to wait until fall to purchase some oatmeal. My freezer is bursting with all manner of flours as I try to protect them from the summer heat.
    There’s a local all-GF bakery/cafe near me that sells an oatmeal cookie with a vanilla glaze. It’s a great combination.
    Thanks, Beth.

    • Hi Nikita, Oatmeal cookies with a vanilla glaze – – that sounds amazing. I’ll be that would be a nice addition to this recipe, too. I love vanilla and cranberries, together anyway. And since both are already in the recipe, a little more can’t hurt! Best, Beth

  4. These sound fantastic but I’m trying hard to stay away from white sugar. Any suggestions for substitutions, stevia, applesauce?

    • Hi Brenda, Applesauce would work. I also like date or coconut sugar. They are lower on the glycemic index and still add some sweetener. I like Stevia in the Raw because it has a bulking agent. But there is a little aftertaste. If you use stevia drops, you’ll need to replace some of the dry ingredients- – maybe an increase in the oats (about 1/2 cup). I’m afraid you’ll have to experiment and see what taste, ingredients and texture work. Beth

  5. My DBF loves oatmeal cookies, personally I can take or leave them, but these I will take! Anywhere! Bev this in now the oatmeal cookie recipe for life in my kitchen. We like big cookies so I used the #40 scoop and doubled them, 1 scoop on top of another, baked for 13-14 minutes and added cinnamon also. My raisis were plumb and were fine. These were moist and chewy and just excellant! Thanks Bev!

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