Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

Maple-sweetened peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (gluten free!) - cookieandkate.com

My parents recounted a bittersweet story from my childhood at dinner a couple weeks ago. When I was around two years old, my sweet grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer and not long afterward, my mom suffered a miscarriage. They were in the hospital at the same time and my dad shuttled me between floors in a little red wagon. On my grandpa’s birthday, my family gathered in his hospital room and tried their best to celebrate, but the mood was heavy.

There was a birthday cake in the room and I knew it. Once my tiny self couldn’t take the temptation any longer, I sidled up to that cake and poked my finger in it. Then I tried to sneak around the corner so I could lick the frosting off my finger. My whole family was watching and burst into laughter. It must have been a side-splitting, pink-faced, thank-God-someone-lightened-the-mood kind of roar because they’re still talking about the relief it brought to the room.

peanut butter

I wish I could still swipe frosting off of cakes and get away with it (you know I would if I could). One of my dear friends is going in for another round of chemotherapy this week and I wish I could do more to help. If I could poke a cake to make her laugh, I would. If I could cook nourishing meals for her, I would, but she lives a plane ride away. If I could meet up with that cancer in a dark alley and beat it into remission myself, I would. I can’t do any of those things for her, but she’s strong and I know that she has all the help she needs. I decided to send her some homemade cookies in the hope that they might brighten her day.

Peanut butter and maple syrup - cookieandkate.com

Sometimes food is all we can do. When it comes to handmade goods, I really believe it’s the thought that counts. I participated in a blogger event hosted by King Arthur Flour called Bake for Good last month that really drove that point home. The Bake for Good Tour was designed to encourage people everywhere to bake for good, whether that means that you bake for a friend who’s having a bad day, a women’s shelter, a classroom, you get the idea. Baked goods can both delight and nourish, which makes them an extra rewarding gift to give.

Honestly, I agreed to attend the tour so I could learn how to bake a pie (and eat it, too) as well as hang out with my college roommate while I was in town. I quickly realized, however, how passionate King Arthur’s employees are about their Bake For Good campaign. On day one, we all bonded as we learned how to braid bread and bake pies from Susan. On day two, we prepared a meal and served it (along with the bread and pies) to families in need.

how to make gluten-free peanut butter oat chocolate chip cookies

I’ve attended other food blog events that made me feel gluttonous and uncomfortably spoiled, but this event was something else. I’ve been mulling over the experience in the weeks since and decided it was time to share the cause. So often, we want to help others but we don’t know how.

If you like the idea of baking for good and want to learn more about King Arthur’s mission, you can visit their Bake for Good page. If you’re in the mood to bake for good but aren’t sure how to go about it, check the #bakeforgood tag on Instagram for inspiration. My new friends have shared their experiences, too: Amanda, Kristin, Jim and Jena, Erin, Brenda, Stef, Alice and Taylor and Shaina.

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies - cookieandkate.com

We should talk about these cookies. They are tasty, peanut buttery treats stuffed full of chocolate chips and hearty oats. In fact, oat flour is the only flour involved, so these cookies are gluten free. They’re also naturally sweetened with maple syrup, which has more redeeming properties than the brown sugar called for in the original recipe. I found the inspiration in King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking book, which reminded me of my friend Tessa’s new maple-sweetened peanut butter cookies recipe.

After comparing the two, I thought I just might be able to replace the sugar with maple syrup, and what do you know? It actually worked. These cookies are more like a no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookie than a buttery Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. They’re soft and fluffy, with a creamy interior that almost seems to stick to the roof of my mouth like a spoonful of peanut butter. I brought my first batch over to my friends’ house on Sunday and my friends loved them.

cookieFlourless peanut butter oat chocolate chip cookies - cookieandkate.comGluten-free (flourless!) peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies - cookieandkate.comNaturally sweetened peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies - cookieandkate.comFlourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies - cookieandkate.com

5.0 from 6 reviews
Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 38
 
Delicious flourless, maple-sweetened cookies full of peanut butter, chocolate chips and oats! These gluten-free cookies are pretty healthy, as far as cookies go. They're also very easy to make (no mixer required)!
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup natural peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup real maple syrup, preferably grade B
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor or blender
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with two racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (if you don't have parchment paper, lightly grease the baking sheets).
  2. Measure out the peanut butter and maple syrup—I found this easiest to do in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add peanut butter to the ⅔ cup line, then pour in maple syrup until you reach the 1⅓ cup total liquid line.
  3. Pour the peanut butter and maple syrup mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until the mixture is well blended. Use your whisk to beat in the egg, scraping down the side of the bowl once it's incorporated, then whisk in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the ground oats, rolled oats and chocolate chips until they are evenly combined. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto your prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake the cookies, reversing the pans midway through (swap the cookies on the top rack with the cookies on the lower rack) until they're barely set and just beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the pans.
Notes
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking's Nutty for Oats Cookies and Salted Plains' Peanut Butter Maple Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Make it dairy free: I think you could substitute melted coconut oil for the butter (I haven't tried). Use dairy-free/vegan chocolate chips.
Storage suggestions: These cookies keep well in an air-tight plastic bag for a couple of days. Freeze for longer-term storage.
Change it up: These cookies should be totally adaptable! Use only 1 cup oats, ground, for flatter cookies. Try substituting some chopped pecans or walnuts for some of the chocolate chips, and/or stir in the unsweetened coconut flakes. If you do both, you can call these cookies flourless cowboy cookies!
Recommended equipment: This 1 tablespoon cookie scoop makes it really easy to measure out cookie dough. I didn't know I could love a spatula so much until I met the GIR Ultimate Spatula.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my gluten-free, maple-sweetened chocolate chip cookies.

P.s. Be sure to follow Cookie and Kate on Facebook. I’ll be launching a King Arthur giveaway there soon!

P.p.s. I stole the photo of me and Erin from Erin’s instagram account—find more photos of the Bake for Good Tour over there!

Comments

  1. says

    Kate, you sound like such a good friend! I’m sure anyone would appreciate a gift of cookies from you – especially these ones! Also, I bet I would have pulled the same move with the cake in that hospital room.
    On another note, I have to say that I absolutely love your photography. I was wondering – at least for this post in particular, are you using natural or artificial light?
    Can’t wait to try these cookies out …and I still have to try your brownie recipe!

  2. says

    Ironically some of the best cookies are the ones that most resemble cookie dough….without being actual cookie dough. So this seems like a winner.

    Touching story and Bake for Good seems like a great cause :)

  3. says

    Hey Kate, these look delicious! I’ll use the coconut oil sub and let you know how it turns out. I have bobs red mill oat flour, do you know how much flour the ground oats made? Thanks! If I hear back I’ll make these for Mother’s Day dessert

    • says

      That would be awesome if you could let me know, Ella! The ground oats should equal the same amount in cups—I just tested it and ended up with just a tiny bit over 1 1/4 cups oat flour. (Maybe because my freshly ground oat flour is extra fluffy?)

  4. says

    Such a beautiful story, and what a fabulous cause. You’re totally right – sometimes food IS the best we can do, and I’m sure your friend appreciates it more than you know. I hope all goes well with her treatment. :)

  5. says

    I love this post. . so sweet and thoughtful. Loved the story you shared about your grandpa’s birthday and everything else going on. . and your friend who is going through chemotherapy this week . . there’s only so much you can do since you don’t live close by so I’m sure she loved the cookies! My friend and I just celebrated her one year of being cancer-free (stomach cancer) and we celebrated big at a nice restaurant with lots of food and wine. . I hope you and your friend will be doing the same one day! it was so great to meet you and I hope everything else is going well! :)

    • says

      Thank you, Alice. I’m so glad your friend is cancer free! That calls for a celebration indeed. Hope you’re well!

  6. says

    Hi Kate, these look fantastic! I was just talking to my friend about baking up some healthy cookies and I thought I’d check back here, and hey! I was right. Knew I could count on you–thanks for sharing this!

  7. says

    I hope your friend’s treatment goes well. I’m sure these cookies made her day. :) The Bake for Good campaign sounds like an incredible cause. One of my friends is going through a rough time, I think I’ll bake her these cookies. They look amazing!

  8. says

    These cookies combine a few of my favorite things: oats, maple syrup and chocolate! I can’t wait to try these.
    P.S. Cookie is adorable! I need to feature more photos of my dog, Chester, on my blog. I know if a dish is going to be really delicious because I will be cooking and Chester will come running into the kitchen and won’t leave!

    • says

      Hope you give these a try soon! That’s so funny about Chester. Cookie loves to eat everything, including kale scraps, so she’s not a very good indicator (although, she’s a very good crumb catcher!).

  9. says

    Wow. I love the cake-poking story you shared and the connection to your friend who is dealing with another round of chemo. I cannot imagine. I will keep her in my thoughts. I’m sure the cookies will bring a huge smile to her face. You’re definitely right. Food is sometimes all that we can do, but it really means so much. I loved hearing about your experience with KA and their “bake for good” campaign. Great to see companies doing things like this. The cookies look spectacular, and as I mentioned in email I made something creepily similar today! So good!

    • says

      Thank you, Ashley. I’m looking forward to seeing your cookies! Peanut butter + oats + chocolate chips is a winning combination. Talk to you later!

  10. says

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend Kate. My mother went through chemo and radiotherapy in 2011… then one of my gorgeous girlfriends was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in mid-2013. Her treatment continued til the beginning of this year. It’s the most horrible thing. Poisoning the body in the hope of curing it. If anything, I am sure that these beautiful, nourishing cookies would’ve put some goodness back into her system during this trying time. Being far away when a friend is sick is horrible but I do honestly believe that thoughts, notes and prayers can provide a warm blanket in the most comforting of ways. This is a wonderful recipe. I’ll be praying for your friend’s recovery to wholeness and I will use this recipe for ‘good’ in my own hometown! Hugs x
    P.S love the story of you as a tiny human. I am sure that your cake-poking and grinning face must’ve brought your family a whole lot of joy during that time!

  11. says

    Kate, I loved this post, and I loved meeting you! Thank you for your honesty and for sharing these stories and memories. It is so true—sometimes food is all we can do. Your friend is lucky to have you, and for what it’s worth, she’s in my prayers.

  12. says

    I love the idea for cooking/baking for other people, especially when you want to help and aren’t sure what else to do. And these cookies sound fantastic–I love that they’re made with maple syrup rather than refined sugar. Can’t wait to make them!

  13. says

    Love the story. And the love that you’re the friend who bakes and sends homemade cookies. I’m sure your friend will feel extra loved!

    And I love the photo of you and Erin and the pies! :)

  14. says

    This recipe looks lovely – could you tell me could maple syrup be swapped for golden syrup (corn syrup)? I have a lovely friend who is gluten free and I love trying to find new recipes to make for her. Sorry to hear about your friend being ill.

  15. Kristin says

    Kate – I love the idea behind Bake for Good. I find baking most enjoyable when I’m doing it for others. I’ve become a bit of a “pie fairy,” making pies as gifts when people need a pick-me-up. It certainly makes me feel better! Thanks for the inspiring post.

  16. Katie says

    I just made your cookies and they are awesome. The only issue I had was adding in the salt. In the body of the recipe it says to add salt with the baking soda, vanilla etc but it’s not listed in the ingredients list. I used a half tsp and they turned out great!

    Katie

    • says

      Head smack! Katie, I can’t believe I left salt off the ingredients list (just fixed it). You added just the right amount, though. So glad they turned out well!

      • Katie says

        I took them to some friends who just got home from traveling! (No food in their house.) They loved them! #bakeforgood

    • says

      I just sat down to write you about the salt. Thanks to readers who let us know about our gaffs.
      Made these last night and they are yummy. (I added 1/4 teaspoon salt and my cookies were perfect with the lesser amount.) I scooped with a heaping #100 scoop and got 70 smaller cookies. My husband and I ate 18 between the 2 of us–shortly before bedtime. I didn’t think I would ever want another–until this morning! I snuck one before hiding the rest in the freezer. Thanks for your stories and recipes–lovely.

      • says

        Letty, thank you! I’m so glad the cookies turned out well for you. I’m sorry about the missing salt! Hope you’re having a terrific week.

  17. says

    oh my god your blog and recipes are amazing, i am a new-found fan ! these cookies look divine and i will be sure to make them asap :)
    Lauren

  18. says

    So sorry to hear about your friend. Cancer is such an ugly disease… And you’re right sometimes food is all we can do…! Love those cookies and will be checking out the bake food good site as well!

  19. says

    What a neat story. No one can brighten someone’s day like a kid can, just by simply being a kid. I hope all goes well for your friend. One of my best friends just defeated her cancer after 6 months of chemotherapy. We live in the same town, but I know how it feels to just feel so utterly helpless. Baked goods are always appreciated. Also, can’t wait to try these cookies. XO

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that your friend beat cancer, Raquel. Thank goodness for modern medicine. Hope you love the cookies.

  20. says

    I keep coming across recipes using oat flour and would love to try something with it in. I’m sure I’d eat far too many of these cookies, but who cares – they’re healthy!
    P.S. The Bake for Good thing sounds wonderful! :-)

    • says

      Oat flour is great! It lends a creamy texture to baked goods, reminiscent of oatmeal. It’s super easy to turn oats into flour, too.

    • says

      I bet they would taste great! I’ve never substituted spelt for oat flour, though, so I’m not sure how well a 1:1 substitution would work. Might be worth a try!

  21. says

    It’s definitely true that often food is all we can do. So it’s definitely a good thing that it pretty much universally puts a smile on people’s faces. I’m sure your friend was so appreciative that you thought to make and send these to her!

  22. Jen says

    I was having a rough day today and came across your cookies on pinterest. I learned how to bake from my mom and always view it as therapy when I don’t know what to do! When she was in the hospital after one of her heart attacks, she told me to go home and bake cookies for the nurses because they were doing such a wonderful job. The day after she died, I baked chocolate chip cookies in her mixer and individually wrapped them for people to take home from the funeral home. It was the most appropriate tribute.
    My son loved these cookies! I used coconut oil but I wasn’t sure what the conversion amount would be. 2 ozs made them a bit oily but they still are yummy!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Jen, thank you for your sweet comment. Cookies can really mean so much to people! I’m glad your son enjoyed the cookies, too. Thank you for sharing your substitution feedback! I appreciate it.

  23. Betsy P says

    Just started following your blog, and I have been enjoying the new cooking endeavors. These cookies though, are amazing. I used dark chocolate and added in a little cinnamon. Perfect! Thanks so much!

  24. IRUNE says

    HE SEGUIDO TU RECETA PARA HACER ESTAS GALLETAS. ME HAN SALIDO UNAS GALLETAS BUENISIMAS!

    FELICITARTE POR EL BUEN TRABAJO Y BUENA PRESENTACIÓN DE LA RECETA YA QUE ESTÁ TODO PERFECTAMENTE EXPLICADO.

    ¡EXQUISITAS!

  25. Lorna says

    Wow! And thank you! These are awesome. I was a 1/2 cup short on oats, so I added about 1/2 c finely chopped pecans. Love em

  26. Alyssa says

    These are awesome! I subbed coconut oil for the butter, and they turned out wonderfully. I also chopped up an 85% cocoa chocolate bar in the food processor and used that instead of chocolate chips. So so good!!

  27. Meghan says

    I make these ALL the time, and I love them. I always halve the recipe, sub olive oil for butter, and now I use the entire egg instead of just half (because one time I forgot to just use half, and they turned out great!).

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