First of all, any combination that involves chocolate, almonds and cherries is at the top of my list of things I want to eat. Put all that into an oatmeal cookie and I'm sold. If you are in agreement, you've got to make these, regardless of whether your diet involves anything "gluten free" or "wheat free". Trust me on this.
A couple of years ago (or so) ago I discovered that I had somewhat of an intolerance for wheat flour. A minor inconvenience. A hiccup. Ok. Occasionally, an all out assault on my entire well-being. It's not a gluten allergy, per se. It's just that my body decided that it didn't like to digest wheat flour, would really prefer that I didn't ingest it intentionally, and decided to let me know in a not very polite way.
I mean... I am a baker. I bake therefore I am. I bake. Bread. Cookies. Cake, Muffins. Scones. Biscuits. Brownies. ALL require wheat flour.
Pancakes. Waffles. Tortillas! SERIOUSLY. There is just no way I am going to give up baking, or eating, all of that.
So, I rebelled. I bought, like, 27 different kinds of flour. I am not kidding you. If you are not already apart of the gluten free world, you will be amazed at how many different types of flour there are. I was. Corn, soy, almond, rice, oat, teft, amaranth, coconut, chickpea, millet, quinoa...
So. Many. Different. Types. Of flour. I bought them all. In bulk. A friend looked my stash over and said, "Obsessed, much?" Uh, yes. I am.
I bought them all, because, here's the thing: almost every single wheat-free (gluten-free) recipe you'll find uses a mixture of several different types of flour to achieve a similar consistency as "traditional" wheat flour. Which is fine, because it's all about options. If I want to make a cupcake that tastes like a traditional wheat flour cupcake, but don't want to take a chance on the possible (ok, highly probable) stomach ache that will follow, whisking together a couple different types of flour doesn't seem like too much to ask. I even discovered this super awesome gluten free flour substitute that you really can use in place of all-purpose wheat flour in nearly everything except bread with remarkable success.
BUT --- I just have to ask - after substituting, mixing together all sorts of combinations to taste like wheat flour baked goods, I began to question our current obsession with wheat flour. Who determined that flour made from wheat was "all-purpose"? "Standard?" "Normal?"
As it turns out, you might want to substitute other kinds of flour for wheat flour just because it tastes better.
No kidding. There are a lot of flours out there that add an incredible layer of flavor that you just can't get out of regular all-purpose wheat flour. So, if there is a silver lining to not being able to digest wheat flour, that's it.
Even if wheat flour doesn't bother you in the least, you should experiment a bit with a few other options. I suggest starting with oat flour.
First of all, oat flour is much better for you than wheat flour. It's a great source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, iron and fiber. It's directly related to a reduced risk of heart disease and might even help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. It also adds an awesome sweet, nutty taste to baked goods. Which is why we all LOVE oatmeal cookies.
So, it seems logical to use oat flour in place of all-purpose wheat flour in, uh... let me think... oatmeal cookies.
Here's what I can promise you about these cookies: You only need one type of flour - oat flour. No mixing 4 different types of flour to achieve the right consistency.
Also, no one who eats them - even your teenagers and all their friends - will suspect that they are gluten free. Everyone you share these with will just tell you how incredibly awesome they are. I leave it up to you to enlighten them.
One note: These are best (in my opinion) when you take them out of the oven slightly under baked. You want them to look a bit soft and doughy in the center. Also, the recipe says to refrigerate the dough before baking them. This isn't an absolute must. If you MUST have cookies right now, go ahead and mix up a batch of cookie dough and cook them right now. But, they will turn out better when the dough is cold. You can also keep a batch of dough in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, which is particularly great when you only want to eat them fresh and hot from the oven, with the chocolate warm and gooey. Just pull out your tub of cookie dough and bake whatever amount you intend to eat right now. (Which, for my husband, is about 12.)
More Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes:
- Gluten Free Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream
- Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Gluten free Blueberry Muffins with Streusel
- Gluten free Double Chocolate Cinnamon Ricotta Muffins
- The Best Gluten Free Banana Muffins
- 1 ¼ cup oat flour
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 sticks (½ lb) butter, melted
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup roasted whole almonds (spread raw almonds on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until they are golden and smell toasty.)
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Add the flour, oats, salt, baking soda, xanthin gum, cinnamon and nutmeg to a medium size bowl and mix with a wire whisk until well combined.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and both sugars. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 1 minute more.
- Remove the whisk attachment from the mixer and replace it with the paddle attachment. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low speed just until combined. Stir in the almonds, chocolate and cherries.
- Scoop the dough into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 weeks.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, roll the dough gently into balls and place on the cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until flattened and lightly golden. The centers should look slightly underdone. Remove baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before storing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g
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