One of my favorite cookie recipes was published in Cooks Illustrated, January 2006 edition. The original recipe was titled, “Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries.” These are seriously yummy cookies – although if you make the original recipe, I highly recommend pulling them out of the oven well in advance of the original baking time.
I have friends and family with food allergies, and so I’m always on the lookout for allergen-free recipes or substitutes. This evening, I made an attempt at chocolate/oatmeal/cherry cookies that would be safe for the GF/DF/So crowd.
The result: even though I underbaked them, these are still fairly crunchy. I believe I may need to add additional eggs or possibly applesauce to make these a moister cookie. However, the under-12 crowd dove into them with such enthusiasm that I was driven to recruiting Mr. Caffeinated to help fend off the salivating hordes long enough to take pictures.
Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies, GF/DF
¾ c. butter substitute. (I used Spectrum shortening, which is made from palm oil)
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla extract
¾ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
1 ¼ c. gluten-free flour (I used Sun Flour Mills’ Whole Grain All-Purpose GF flour mix)
1 c. dried tart cherries
1 c. chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s chocolate chips, which are dairy-free. They contain soy lecithin, but the friends I have that are allergic to soy can tolerate soy lecithin.)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cream together butter substitute, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat.
- Add baking powder, salt, and soda, and mix well.
- Add flour and oats; get those beaten in well, too. Don’t worry about making the cookies tough; there’s no gluten in the flour to develop.
- Add cherries and chocolate chips, mix till combined.
- Form in to 2-3 T. balls and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-12 minutes. As soon as they start browning around the edges, pull them out and cool on racks.
- If any survive to be stored, seal in plastic for the counter or freezer.
If you don’t have to deal with a dairy allergy, then by all means use butter instead of the shortening. The cookies will spread out more and be chewier. Besides… it’s butter.
You can also make this recipe with egg substitute. Use 1 ½ t. Ener-G Egg Replacer and whisk with 2 T. water; let set five minutes before mixing with other ingredients. Or make “flax eggs” by pulverizing 1 T. flax seed in your coffee grinder and whisk with 3 T. water; let set 5 minutes before using.
Next time I attempt this recipe, I intend to add ¼ applesauce to see if I can increase the chewiness.