Oh hello, cookie season.
That’s right, the holiday season is finally here… you know, that time of year when we bake too many batches of cookies to count. Personally, I’m excited to decorate some cut-out sugar cookies, which are always a classic this time of year. But today I’m sharing my new favorite oatmeal cookie recipe that’s perfect for any month of the year.
Say hello to these Thick, Soft, and Chewy Gluten Free Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies.
Don’t thank me now. Thank me later when you “accidentally” eat half the batch to yourself.
This recipe is one of my adapted cookbook recipes. Each month, I try to adapt one recipe from an old cookbook found in my kitchen and explain how I did it. My hope is to inspire everyone to adapt classic recipes of their own to be gluten free. You can find all of my cookbook adapted recipes —> HERE.
This recipe for gluten free cranberry oatmeal cookies was inspired by the Giant Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies recipe in The Best of Fine Cooking: Cookie Edition magazine. This magazine dates back to their holiday 2012 issue… yes, it’s still sitting in the kitchen cabinet. Because anything with cookie recipes in it is worth keeping forever.
I say “inspired by” instead of “adapted from” because this recipe no longer resembles the one I went off of. As I started adapting it, I realized it more and more resembled my peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe than it did the magazine one. But the magazine recipe did give me a great starting base for this one.
Although it doesn’t resemble the original anymore, here are a few tips I go by for adapting cookie recipes to be gluten free:
Butter – I prefer using melted butter or oil for cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. I find my recipes tend to be very dense when using the creaming method, and I get much better results using liquid vs. solid fat. I tend to reduce the amount of solid butter called for with ¾ as much oil or melted butter. In this recipe, I used cashew butter as some of my fat.
Sugar – I like brown sugar over granulated sugar. It contains molasses, which helps add extra moisture to these cookies so they get nice and chewy. My perfect ratio seems to be using brown sugar for ¾ the amount of sugar called in the recipe, then using granulated sugar for the remaining ¼. Granulated sugar helps with the crisp edges, while brown sugar makes these cookies soft and chewy in the middle.
Flour – Some cookie recipes call for cake flour. Some call for all-purpose flour. I always use a 1:1 flour that has xanthan gum (I always use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1), and substitute a small amount (about 2 Tbsp) of the flour with 1-2 Tbsp of cornstarch. I find this leads to a more tender cookie.
Chilling – Gluten free cookie dough, or at least the batches I have made, bake up much better when chilled. My dough is always soft and tacky since I add additional moisture to help with the gluten free flour. Chilling the dough not only helps you when trying to scoop your cookie dough, but leads to a thicker cookie that doesn’t spread too much.
Now back to these gluten free cranberry oatmeal cookies … The cashew butter really makes this recipe! It adds a slightly salty, yet smooth and subtle taste that pairs so well with the dried cranberries and pecans. I haven’t tested this recipe with another nut butter, but I highly recommend sticking with cashew butter if you aren’t allergic.
Homemade Cashew Butter
Have you ever made nut butter at home? Of course you can use store-bought cashew butter for these cookies, but I can’t tell you enough just how easy it is to make your own! Just pour about 2 cups of roasted and lightly salted cashews into your food processor, let the machine run/process for 8-10 minutes, and watch the magic happen.
The nuts start by forming a powder consistency, which will eventually thicken and look clumpy. Let it continue to process, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, and you will see the natural oils start to come out and turn your cashews into a paste! The longer you process, the thinner and more smooth your cashew butter will be.
I like to finish by adding a teaspoon or two of oil to help with consistency, but its not necessary. I also store my nut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. If my nut butter is too hard out of the fridge, I let it come to room temperature first before using it.
This makes about 1 cup of cashew butter. You only need ½ cup for this recipe, so refrigerate any leftovers until ready to use… try spreading it on toast or adding a little to a smoothie!
These cookies are finished by adding chewy gluten free oats, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. Because the more add-ins, the better.
More Cookie Recipes:
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