Chewy Flourless Monster Cookies: A Snack to Beat All Others (Gluten Free)

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I made these cookies because they don’t have flour in them.

Vertical overhead image of oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and M&Ms piled on a black metal cooling rack, on a wood surface, printed with orange and white text in the midpoint and at the bottom of the frame.

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.

Vertical oblique overhead image of cookies studded with rainbow-colored M&Ms, cooling on a wire rack on top of a wood surface.

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).

Vertical oblique overhead image of cookies arranged in rows cooling on a metal rack, with a glass bottle of milk and scattered candy-coated chocolates in various colors on a wood surface.

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.

Oatmeal M&M cookies are piled on a white plate beside a glass bottle of milk, on a brown wood surface with scattered pieces of candy in various colors.

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.

Vertical image of a hand holding a chewy oatmeal M&M cookie up to the camera, with more on a metal cooling rack with a glass bottle of milk in soft focus in the background.

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 treat 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.

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Horizontal oblique overhead image of three rows of oatmeal chocolate chip M&M cookies cooling on a black wire rack, on a brown wood surface with a glass bottle of milk.

Chewy Flourless Monster Cookies


  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 32 cookies 1x

Description

Chewy and chocolatey, these flourless monster cookies have all the best parts of your favorite sweet treat wrapped into one monster-size package.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all of your ingredients.
  2. 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.
  3. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract, and mix until well-combined.
  4. Add the oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix until fully combined.
  5. Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes.
  6. 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.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • 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.

Horizontal overhead image of a glass bowl of oats surrounded by smaller ceramic and glass bowls of brown sugar, M&Ms, sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips, salt, and spices, with three brown eggs, a small bottle of vanilla extract, and a stick of butter on a wood surface.

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the unsalted butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated cane sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Closeup horizontal image of a metal stand mixer beater coated with a light brown batter, with more in a stainless steel bowl in the background, on a speckled beige countertop.

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

Horizontal image of a stainless steel bowl containing an oat batter mixture being stirred with a white rubber spatula with a wooden handle, on a wood surface with a small bowl of multicolored M&Ms.

Add the oats, baking soda, and salt, continue beating until fully combined.

Step 5 – Stir In Mix-Ins

Horizontal closely cropped overhead image of a stainless steel bowl of an oat mixture with M&Ms, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips on top, being stirred with a spatula, on a wood surface.

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.

Horizontal overhead image of a parchment-lined baking sheet with portions of dough arranged in rows on top, with a bowl containing more of the mixture to the left, on a wood surface.

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.

Horizontal overhead image of twelve oatmeal and M&M cookies arranged in three rows on a baking sheet lined with white parchment paper.

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.

Horizontal overhead image of nine cookies arranged in three rows on a metal cooling rack, made with multicolored candy-coated chocolates with more scattered on a wood surface below.

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.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of three rows of oatmeal chocolate chip M&M cookies cooling on a black wire rack, on a brown wood surface with a glass bottle of milk.

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: November 9, 2019 at 17:15 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.

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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.

28 thoughts on “Chewy Flourless Monster Cookies: A Snack to Beat All Others (Gluten Free)”

  1. I regularly cut down on sugar in cookies by 25% or so – just because I have an inability to stop eating cookies 🙂 These do look wonderful though; I love oatmeal-based cookies. (Well, I like *all* cookies, but you probably already knew that 😛 )

  2. Yay for no flour 🙂 I’ll give these a try. FYI if you haven’t tried them, I don’t particularly recommend garbanzo bean cookies. I decided I’d much rather not have a cookie than try those again.

  3. I love anything that has the word monster in it! These cookies look fantastic. I’m keeping this recipe for when a bag of flour is too heavy for me to carry home from the grocery store.

  4. They look so good! I bet you could halve the sugar, and little would be lost in terms of texture. Sounds like 3/4 c would still sweeten them, no?

  5. Woah. I’m on the whole trying to make things without flour kick too. And these look so . . . AMAZING. I’m definitely going to try them out . . . because all of my adventures (well, except some pancakes) have been fails. <3

  6. I am SO excited to try these. Last night I made flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and they are very good – but a little flat. These have a nice “oomph” to them. Yum!

  7. Awesome recipes very similar to my flourless gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I like adding butterscotch chips and toasted pecans or walnuts. I cut the sugar down a bit and I watch them closely while baking. Make sure you chill that batter for couple of hours or even over night. You’ll get an awesome even spread and perfect texture and the flavor is more pronounced. Good job.

  8. yeah, i’m on the whole less flour/sugar-and-less-refined-ingredients train too. Many times I just cut out some sugar especially from pound cakes and such… usually no one misses it.

    Oh, and I’m all about trying things just for the sake of trying them (read: this week’s butter endeavor which you’ve already read about)

  9. Wow I’m really curious to try this out. I always wonder what that would look like and taste like, not using flour but it looks awesome so I’m sure it tastes the same!

  10. Whitney, Ha! I def gave a bunch of these away, out of necessity!

    Joanna, That made me laugh. Aren’t you brave!? I have, on the other hand, heard roasted garbanzo beans are quite delicious, as is hummus. Planning to roast a can of some this week.

    Rachel, Thanks!

    Allyson, Ha! Well these babies live up to the name!

    Sara, I think you’re right. I am definitely going to experiment next time!

    Ashley, At least the adventures help us learn, right?

    Tammy, Oh good! Hope these work out for you!

    Ann, I hope you do!

    Jonathan, Great tips! Roasting the pecans, chilling the dough and cutting the sugar = all very doable. Thank you!

    Lisa, I know! I loved reading about your butter!

    Jessica, It’s a slightly different texture from typical oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but it’s good, so you won’t miss it!

  11. I made a peanut butter cookie w/ no flour in them once. They were phenomenal. I loved them. Like, really, really loved them. I used brown sugar and white sugar in them, but that is easily substitutable. And the original recipe used all natural penaut butter instead of the Skippy I used, so they are totally able to be made into something more healthy. I was thinking of trying them with sunflower butter for my cousin who loves the stuff, but I don’t know how those will turn out.
    But if you are interested (I don’t like posting my blogs on other people’s comment sections, it makes me feel so wrong), but it is on my blog from May 2009. I made them into sandwich cookies w/ jelly.
    So gooooood!

  12. i’m intrigued! i like that there are oats in these, as well as peanut butter. i look forward to trying these. i will openly admit, i am a suckah for cookies!

  13. Who woulda thunk? I’m with you on trying to new things because the best discoveries would be missed if you didn’t try!

  14. Niki, Your PB cookies look great! Only 4 or 5 ingredients? That’s amazing.

    Allison, A girl after my own heart! 🙂

    TJ, Oh the ones you’re talking about sound good! Have you posted them somewhere?

    Kasey, So true, so true. It pays to keep an open mind, I guess!

  15. I’ve been craving peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the past couple of days, but haven’t had the time to make any. These sound well worth my wait! Plus, I need to start collecting some more cookie recipe’s for my wedding this Summer. We’re going to have a whole table filled with cookies; because yes, I love them that much too!

  16. I made cookies today. The good old Nestle recipe tweaked. Added a bit of baking powder and a bit of milk. I’m getting positive reviews from the roommates! Im curious to try the flourless route.
    How has life been without white sugar and flour. Im curious, b/c I have begun to realize how big a role those two things play in my life.

  17. TJ, Sounds great!

    Jacqui, A wedding cookie table! That sounds perfect!

    Bianca, Ha! So true.

    Oi, That is an excellent question and one I should probably mention on the blog soon. The short answer is – I am loving it. Having missed the white stuff at all (well, maybe a little when fresh-baked things are nearby, but in terms of cooking, not at all).

  18. Flour is the glue that holds ingredients together in cookies — if you have something else to ‘glue’ the ingredients (in this case oatmeal), you don’t need flour. There are many flourless cakes where the glue and body are beaten egg whites and/or ground nuts: these are the tortes. But in many baked products flourless means dry and flat.

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