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I made these cookies because they don’t have flour in them.
Yes, I realize this is a little like saying I made my own homemade deodorant this weekend (which, in fact, I also did…). I know that I’ve probably lost about half of you, who are now thinking, what is with this girl?
Why make cookies without flour in them?
Well, I’ll tell you why.
First, I saw this as a bit of a challenge. I simply hadn’t done it before.
Generally speaking, if I haven’t done something before, I tend to decide it’s a good idea to give it a shot (cue the sweet potato brownies, baking with whole wheat pastry flour, and that homemade deodorant again).
Secondly, you know I love cookies. Naturally, now that I’m staying away from white sugar and white flour, I wanted to learn how to make a sweet treat without all-purpose flour.
Prior to this recipe, the version I’d tried with spelt flour had been a bust. Giving another variety a shot, one that closely resembles my most favorite cookies of all time, now that had my attention.
Now that I’ve eaten approximately 80% of this batch on my own, crunchy and lumpy and chock-full of chocolate and bits of coconut, I’ll tell you exactly what I think:
Flour? Who needs it?
Not these cookies. Try them and you’ll see.
In terms of healthy versus not, these are a definite improvement from the typical store bought variety. They’re still made with quite a bit of sugar, but they’re a nice, healthier treat or snack to eat on special occasions that’s gluten free, homemade, and delicious.
And if you’re not like me, you may find that you’re satisfied after snacking on just one.Print
Chewy and chocolatey, these flourless monster cookies have all the best parts of your favorite sweet treat wrapped into one monster-size package.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 4½ cups rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup candy-coated chocolate pieces, like M&M’s, or your choice of chopped nuts
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all of your ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract, and mix until well-combined.
- Add the oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix until fully combined.
- Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes.
- Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop (link to ice cream scoop review), scoop 3 tablespoons of batter and form into a ball. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving a few inches between each dough ball.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: M&M's, cookies, oatmeal cookies, gluten-free, gluten-free dessert, flourless
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Preheat Oven and Measure Out Ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Rather than traditional M&M’s, I used UnReal Milk Chocolate Gems, which use natural colorings (such as turmeric and beet juice) instead of artificial ones. They’re also gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and Fair Trade Certified, as well as slightly lower in sugar than your traditional candy.
UnReal Milk Chocolate Gems, available on Amazon
Feel free to use any type of colorful candy-coated chocolate for this that you enjoy.
Step 2 – Cream Butters and Sugars
I used dark brown sugar for this recipe, but light brown sugar will also work. Just expect your finished product to be a bit lighter than what you see in my photos.
Has your brown sugar gone all hard and crusty in the bag? Don’t toss it out just yet! Check out our tips to soften it up again, so it’s ready for baking.
Step 3 – Add Eggs and Vanilla
Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract, beating until well-combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if you need to.
Step 4 – Mix in Oats, Baking Soda, and Salt
Add the oats, baking soda, and salt, continue beating until fully combined.
Step 5 – Stir In Mix-Ins
Stir in the candy-coated chocolate pieces, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. If you can prefer, you can sub in your favorite type of chopped nuts for the M&M’s.
Step 6 – Roll into Balls
Using a tablespoon (or a large #20 cookie scoop), scoop 3 tablespoons of batter and form it into a ball. Place the portioned dough on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter, leaving a few inches between each dough ball.
Note: you can make smaller cookies by using 2 tablespoons of batter instead, and decreasing the cooking time, but I don’t advise going any smaller than that, as the ratio of mix-ins to oats in each cookie won’t be right. You can also make even bigger (super monster!) cookies using an ice cream scoop, just increase the bake time by 3-5 minutes and allow plenty of space in between each ball of portioned dough.
Step 7 – Bake
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned.
Do not overbake the cookies, as they will get a harder, chewy texture rather than a soft chew. If anything, these cookies taste great a little under-baked.
Step 8 – Cool and Store
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Keep It Festive
While I used a standard rainbow mix of candy-coated chocolate pieces, you can make these cookies more festive by using ones that are candy cane-filled around Christmastime, pumpkin spice-flavored in the fall, or decorated in pastel hues for the spring. An all-green color scheme works for St. Patrick’s Day, and a combination of red, pink, and white will make a lovely dessert to serve your sweetie on Valentine’s Day.
Looking for more fantastic cookie recipes? We’ve got you covered with other hearty recipes:
What are your favorite cookie mix-ins? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! And if you try this recipe and love it, be sure to give it a rating as well!
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo via UnREAL. Originally published on March 9, 2010. Last updated: August 26, 2023 at 17:35 pm. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.