Monday, April 25, 2011

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Most desserts are not healthy. The things I love most are not full of vitamins and nutrients. They are full of things you find on a list of foods to avoid. I recently spent some time trying to come up with a cookie that was tasty enough to be considered a treat yet healthy enough to pack some nutrients.

As you may know, I recently joined Weight Watchers. My world has been turned upside down, in a good way, through the art of counting points. What I quickly discovered was that all of my old cookie recipes added up to a lot of points. I used the Calorie Count recipe analysis to calculate and recalculate ways to make the standard cookie recipe just a little bit healthier.

My first attempt was a fruit bar/cookie kind of thing. I put blueberries and white chocolate chips together to create an awesome cookie that tasted just like a pancake. Except pancakes need toppings like syrup and sugar and other savory things that would push the cookie over the edge. I haven’t given up on this concoction but I did switch gears to something I knew would work a little bit better.

One of my favorite bloggers, Roni at Green Lite Bites, recently mentioned one of her successful cookie experiments. Her recipes are always incredible. I decided to use her Not Your Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and adapt it to be gluten-free. Roni was inspired by Happy Herbivore and The Crunchy Soup to make a cookie that incorporated beans. Yep, there are beans in these cookies. The beans serve as a fat substitute in lieu of using something like butter or oil.

I didn’t have to change that many ingredients. The one thing I will note is that the gluten-free flour blend that I used absorbed more liquid than regular flour. The batch turned out a little smaller than the other versions. I was only able to get 2 dozen cookies. They worked out to be 2 pointsplus each.

If you have picky eaters in your family you may not want to disclose the secret ingredient in this recipe. My taste testers LOVED these cookies. One taste tester in particular raved about them right up until I told her that the cookies had beans in them. She refused to eat them from there on out simply because they had beans in them. She told me she does not like beans. She thought it was gross to put beans in a dessert. She is usually a rational adult who apparently has an irrational relationship with beans. Other than that little speed bump the cookies were a hit.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)


1 cup gluten-free flour blend*

1 cup oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1/2 cup white beans, liquid reserved

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 non-fat vanilla yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease two large cookie sheets or line with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the flour and oats in a food processor and blend until the mixture becomes the consistency of powder. (It is important to blend the oats with the flour. Do not attempt to just combine them without blending. The oats will not be the right consistency for this recipe.)

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, sugar and flaxseed.

Pour the beans, without the liquid, into the food processor. Add the applesauce, yogurt and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Transfer the bean mixture to the large bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix the bean mixture into the dry ingredients. Add in approximately 4 tablespoons of the bean liquid in order to get the dough to the right consistency. Use more liquid if necessary.

Fold in the chips.

Drop the batter by the tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet. Spray a spatula with cooking spray or dip it in water and use the back of the spatula to flatten the cookies.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies brown and the bottoms are golden.

Servings: 2 dozen

*I make my own gluten-free flour blend. The basic recipe is 2 cups brown rice flour; 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca flour. Combine the ingredients together and then measure out 2 cups from the combined ingredients. Making my own blend has made a significant difference in my recipes.

Need more cookie recipes? Check out The Secret Recipe Club Cookie Party!

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11 Responses to “Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)”

  1. 1

    Three-Cookies — April 25, 2011 @ 1:44 PM

    Nice idea to include apple sauce and beans in lieu of butter. I have never tried beans in cookies, interesting idea for sure. I suppose the cookies can’t be stored for long because of yogurt but this may be irrelevant – they will disappear rather quick!

    • Wendy replied: — April 25th, 2011 @ 1:54 PM

      I have to admit I have no idea how long they stay fresh because they were gone that day. Guess this means I’ll have to make them again and try not to eat them right away. That will be hard.

  2. 2

    Jeanette — April 25, 2011 @ 8:02 PM

    I love how you made this cookie recipe healthier by using beans, flax seeds, nonfat yogurt and applesauce!

    • Wendy replied: — April 26th, 2011 @ 10:27 AM

      Thanks Jeanette! I love the idea of a “healthy” cookie.

  3. 3

    Julie — May 4, 2011 @ 5:53 PM

    Pictures look great!

    • Wendy replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 7:39 PM

      Thanks Julie! I have a great teacher:)

  4. 4

    Leslie — May 10, 2011 @ 9:14 PM

    Fabulous recipe. Can’t wait to try them for my GF, calorie conscious teen daughter. Pictures tell the story here….

  5. 5

    Brina — January 14, 2012 @ 12:53 AM

    This is a great basis for a cookie recipe. I was really excited to find it and was thrilled that the ingredients were generally healthy. A couple of things though — first of all, if someone is new to being gluten-free or if they aren’t gf themselves but are making this recipe for someone who is they would have to know to buy gluten-free oats (due to contamination) and also make sure the vanilla and yogurt are gluten-free as well. The butterscotch chips may be questionable as well — the Toll House brand I bought contained barley protein and caramel color which may not be gluten-free. So if you are making these and are highly gluten sensitive, watch out for those ingredients. Also, did you mean 2 cups of gluten-free flour? The recipe as written only says 1 cup but then down in the make your own blend section it says to measure out 2 cups from the blend. I only made it with 1 cup as the directions stated and my batter came out really runny and the cookies were really spongy and the chips sank when cooked. They tasted okay and I will definitely try this recipe again but with a closer eye on the gluten-freeness of the ingredients and also with 2 cups of flour instead of 1 — and 15 minutes at 375 instead of 350 since I have a gas stove that tends to need to be turned up a little bit.

    • Wendy replied: — January 14th, 2012 @ 8:17 AM

      You are absolutely correct. Anyone making this recipe must make sure that all of their ingredients are gluten-free. The recipe is correct as published. The section where I indicate how I make my own blend is the recipe for the blend. Once you make it you then measure 1 cup of the blend from that mix to use in this recipe. They do not turn out runny or spongy when I make them. Maybe the oats you are using do not absorb as much liquid as the oats I used. I always use Bob’s Red Mill. Definitely keep me posted on your next attempt.

  6. 6

    Klc — August 30, 2012 @ 1:59 PM

    Butterscotch chips are NOT gluten free.

    • Wendy replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 2:24 PM

      Hershey’s makes gluten free butterscotch chips.

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