12 March 2014

Martha's (pimped) gluten free oatmeal cookies

Biting into this cookie, I heard a sing-song-y voice in my head go, "my oh gee, I can't believe it's gluten free!" 

It wasn't that I doubted the batter... littered with oats, toasted walnuts, dark chocolate, brown sugar, Irish butter, vanilla and cocoa nibs...but often we forget that we don't always need the wheat flour for structure. And this was a confirmation that we need not forget that.

Ah, Martha. I could just see you in your apron responding with a smile and a wink, wooden spoon in hand, "Yep, that's right, honey, it's gluten free."

At her best, Martha is always trying to make it easier for you. The flour and the oats in this oatmeal cookie come from the same source; the oats themselves, divided. Well you can guess I was happy about that. A quick measure and a whiz in a grinder of just under half of them gives you the flour that binds here. But I suspect the little pinch of cornstarch also helps.

I found the texture wonderful. Slightly crisp on the outside, with some chew in the center and crunch from the nuts. Puddles of deep dark chocolate. I even froze some of the dough in scoops and baked it in the days after I had made it. Baked from frozen, they were even a little thicker than when made from room temp dough. Either way, you have a good number on your hands here, but I do like that the cold dough plumped these a bit. 

If you want to try a gluten-free cookie recipe but want to avoid the chemistry and cost of multiple flours and unfamiliar binders, try this one. I'd almost call it foolproof....but I always advise paying attention during baking. And hey, since it's all about the oats here, that means it can be breakfast, too, right? 

Well I personally prefer them to hold me over during a long afternoon, preferably with a long auburn-colored coffee.  

Martha's (pimped) gluten-free oatmeal cookies
Adapted from Martha

Notes: below amounts are halved from the original recipe, and I halved it even once more, to get about 12, but next time would make this amount and keep the dough balls on hand to bake for another week or two.

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  •        Heaped  1/4 c Walnuts, toasted and chopped
       Heaped 1/4 c Dark chocolate, chopped  and 1 Tbsp Cocoa nibs

Oven to 350

Grind about 1 scant cup of the oats until fine, to make the oat flour. A food processor or coffee grinder will do the trick. Whisk oat flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 mins, then add egg and vanilla, scrape down.

With mixer on low add the flour mix two additions, mixing until just combined, then gently add the rest of the oats and chocolate and nuts, and mix low for a few seconds until the dough just comes together. 

Now scrape the dough into a mass and use a 2 T scoop to form balls. Either bake right away or flash freeze and store in a bag. Bake on a parchment lined sheet, spacing 2 inches apart, for 15-17 minutes, cool on pan 2 mins, then on a rack completely

I think they are best the day made, after cooled amply, which is why freezing raw is good. You may need to add a minute to bake time. Just set the balls on the sheet while the oven preheats.

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