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{gluten-free} Oat Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Saturday eve, babe asleep, pizza ordered, thoughts of the morning’s coffee already simmering in my mind, I pried myself away from book and couch to make a batch of peanut butter cookies. Not that I haven’t an arsenal of very good peanut butter cookie recipes but I believe there’s always room for one more solid recipe. This one comes by way of Tara O’Brady, who writes the blog Seven Spoons and who recently published a cookbook of the same name.

I took Tara’s recipe for her family’s favorite peanut butter cookies and turned it gluten-free, swapping the whole wheat and all purpose flours in the original for finely ground oat flour. I made a few more tweaks as well but hewed basically to the bones of the recipe as it was written. The result? Soft, slightly chewy, salty, almost melt-in-your mouth cookies that taste even better the second day. I might add a smattering of milk chocolate chunks in my next go-round and will experiment with using a different fat to make them dairy-free. I will note, however, that these beauties are unapologetically cookie; there’s a lot of dark brown sugar, a little bit of maple syrup, and a healthy addition of salt to keep things interesting. I’m quite partial to the flourless peanut butter cookie in my book, but when you want a cookie that’s a bit more fluffy – as these are – some sort of flour is necessary. Oat flour works perfectly here and gives the whole grain aspect I crave.

Oat flour is one to keep stocked in your gluten-free pantry (or even if you’re not gluten-free). In cookies where less than 2 cups of all-purpose flour is called for you can use it in a 1:1 swap with good results. It’s lovely in muffins, yielding a tender crumb (but a bit of flax seed may be necessary to hold things together more firmly). Cakes, too, benefit from oat flour. I don’t really go for for gluten-free all-purpose flour blends because while they do make baking a tad easier I like using specific naturally gluten-free flours in specific recipes to complement the other flavors going on. Peanut butter and oat just work so well together that using oat flour here hardly required a second thought.

You could make these cookies larger and sandwich vanilla (or chocolate!) ice cream between them or make them smaller and stretch the dough further. Or crush them up and use as a base for a cheesecake or a chocolate cream pie. Or spread some nutella on top and devour.


{gluten-free} Oat Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

, adapted from and inspired by Tara O’Brady’s cookbook, Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day (The original recipe, or nearly so, lives here online.)

You can grind your own oat flour; use 1 1/4 cups rolls oats and whirl in a food processor until fine. As always, if gluten isn’t an issue, you may use all-purpose, whole wheat, or spelt flour here though I do greatly like the mild sweetness and whole grain component of the oat flour and would argue in its favor even if you don’t keep gluten-free.

Makes 18-24 small/medium-sized cookies

1 cup (gluten-free) oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
3/4 peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the peanut butter and butter until light and fluffy, about one minute. Add the sugar and maple syrup and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to medium and add the egg and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Then take a spatula and scrape up from the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a teaspoon or a cookie spoon, scoop up generous helpings of dough, roll between your hands to form balls, and place on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. With a fork dipped lightly in water, press the tines onto the dough to lightly flatten. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with salt.

Place in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and just set. Remove from oven, let cool 2 minutes on baking sheets, then remove cookies to a rack until they cool completely. [/print_this]


  1. These are amazing. I like peanut butter cookies, but these are off the hook. Even the cookie dough was irresistible. Thank you for this recipe!!

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