Gluten-Free Salty Oatmeal Cookies

My poor kitchen. It needs a little love. It took a real beating while I was testing recipes for our upcoming book (publishing Oct 2014…yes, books take forever). My oven needs a major cleaning. My cupboard needs to be emptied out and reorganized. My mixer needs to be detailed and tuned up. And, then, once everything else has been addressed, I need to come face to face with my flour problem.

I don’t horde flour. Not exactly. I just seem to have way too many varieties jammed into my not-so-spacious Brooklyn kitchen. Alas, the overflow has reached my bedroom. If you want some spelt flour, it is probably neatly tucked away next to my dresser.


It was during a half-hearted flour reorg, that I stumbled across an unopened bag of brown rice flour (next to that Stalin biography I keep meaning to read). I usually use rice flour for shortbread and to sprinkle on rising bread (so as not to add more gluten) – but this bag seemed destined for a new cookie. A gluten-free cookie for my gluten-free friends.

This cookie recipe is buried deep within a super fun cake book, All Cakes Considered. (And if you pick it up, I suggest you turn to the Spanish Meringue Cake pronto). Oddly, the book headnote to the Salty Oatmeal Cookies sidesteps the words gluten-free altogether (perhaps because of the ongoing oats debate) which is a little odd, because it is a GREAT cookie and it is entirely gluten-free.


A Few Notes about Gluten-Free Salty Oatmeal Cookies

-To be extra darn careful that these cookies are completely gluten-free, I suggest looking for a gluten-free call out on the oats container/bag. I used Bob’s Red Mill. Easy to find at Whole Foods and the like.

-I made a few subs to the original recipe: I added chocolate chips (of course), subbed brown rice flour for the rice flour, used more butter and much less Crisco than called for, and removed the coconut extract altogether.

-Be wary, these cookies are supremely addictive. They are crunchy, salty, and just pure Heaven.

-Like most gluten-free desserts, these cookies don’t seem to age well. They are exquisite for the first 12 – 24 hours after baking – they are, in fact, much better than most regular cookies. But they do tend to get tough on day two. My advice: keep the dough in the fridge and bake as needed.


GLUTEN FREE SALTY OATMEAL COOKIES adapted from All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray

11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (check to make sure they are GF)
¼ cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups brown (or regular) rice flour
6 ounces chocolate chips
salt, to finish

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, and stir in the oats. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of cold butter on medium high speed for one minute. Add the shortening and continue beating until combined and light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add both sugars, and beat again until mixed.

In a separate bowl, dry whisk the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Add to the creamed mixture and beat until incorporated.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Reduce mixer to low and add oatmeal and rice flour. Scrape down the sides and fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix the dough. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

Form the dough into balls the size of a golf ball (I used my small ice cream scoop) and place on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.

Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and starting to turn golden brown.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on sheet pan before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.