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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!
- Prep Time: 13 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 38 1x
- Category: Cookie
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)!
- ⅔ cup natural peanut butter
- ⅔ cup real maple syrup, preferably grade B
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor or blender
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 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).
- 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 1 ⅓ cup total liquid line.
- 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.
- 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.
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: Readers report that coconut oil and olive oil works in place of the butter in this recipe (I haven’t tried). Use dairy-free/vegan chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life brand.
Make it vegan: Substitute a flax egg for the regular egg, coconut oil for the butter, and make sure to use non-dairy chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life brand.
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!
▸ Nutrition Information
P.s. Here’s a banana and honey version of these cookies!
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!
This are the oatmeal cookies that I will bake forever – so good! I used raisins instead of chocolate chips and olive oil and they were great!
Great to hear, Meghan! Thank you for your review.
WOW! I have been looking for this cookie all my life, no processed sugars or refined flours. I used almond butter in replacement and exchanged the egg for a flax egg. So delicious! Struggling to not eat them all in one sitting, and the batter made over 20 cookies :-) Thank you so much!!
Hooray! I’m happy you found it and have so many cookies to enjoy. I appreciate your review, Elsa!
These cookies are so delicious! My adult children said that they are the best peanut butter cookies that I have made!. I used half raisins and half chocolate chips and they came out perfect! I got your cookbook for my birthday and I always cook and bake your recipes! Everything I have made from your book is amazing! Thank you!!
You’re welcome, Rodica! I appreciate your review.
This turned out so dry
Hi, I’m sorry to hear that. How long did you bake it for? How id you measure the flour?
In an interesting turn of events, my kids wouldn’t eat more than a bite of these…:but my husband and I Love them and have been eating them with coffee every morning. I substituted 3/4 of the choc chip measurement with raisins and pecans. It’s the perfect healthy breakfast cookie. A great way to eat oats in the AM if regular oatmeal isn’t your thing.
How would the ground oats convert to oat flour? Thanks!
Hi Stephanie! yes, see my How to Make Oat Flour
I have oat flour- what is the amount of oat flour?
Hi! Follow my How to Make Oat Flour for measurement guidance as it isn’t exact 1:1
These cookies are sooo delicious. They are moist, soft in the middle and hold together well. Love the maple flavour with the peanut butter. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
You’re welcome, Marilee!
BEST cookies ever. Anyone tried to make them in bar form, instead of individual cookies? What adaptations are required? So yummy!!
Hi Martha, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. Sorry!
OMG these are so good! And too easy to make :)
Even though I’m a serious chocoholic, i use only about 1 1/3 cup chocolate chips and it doesnt seem skimpy at all.
I’m wondering if anyone has tried switching brown sugar for part of the maple syrup…just because maple syrup is real expensive here.
Thanks so much for still another great recipe!!
Thank you for sharing! I’m excited to hear you enjoyed them.
These are an amazing healthier option for delicious cookies! I just used quick cooking oats rather than blitzing old fashioned oats in the food processor. I also like to put the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to soften the oats and let flavors meld! I can scale back on the chocolate chips just a bit and there is still plenty of chocolate goodness! My kids devour these! Thank you Kate!
You’re welcome, Lacy! Thanks for sharing how you made them.
Kathryne, these were amazing. I’ve been on the hunt for a vegan chocolate chip cookie, and made your Amazing Chocolate Chip cookies (which were great, but I found the coconut oil flavour a bit much). These were perfect! The oats, peanut butter and chocolate chips blend together so well! This will be my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Love the tips you give to make the recipes vegan. Thanks for another great recipe xxx
I have made the these cookies many times now, they are a household Favourite!
I use homemade almond/macadamia butter due to peanut allergies.
I use raisins or both raisins and chocolate which work great!
With the oats, I just do 2 3/4 cups of traditional oats.
I chuck ALL the ingredients (except the raisin/choc) in the THERMOMIX, blend it on speed 5 or 6 for 30-40 seconds then fold through the raisin/choc.
These are a great favorite to have! Thank you for sharing, Amy.
I found this recipe with the intention of making a healthier cookie… Then I realized we were out of peanut butter so I replaced it with half almond butter and half Nutella and oh my goodness they are so delicious!!
I’m glad that worked out, Colby!