Gluten and Dairy Free No Bake Cookies

 

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No bake cookies are one of my comfort foods.  I still remember opening a big box of them that my grandmother made and sent to me in the freshmen dorms.  She sent me a package once a month that year.  All my other hungry, broke college friends were almost as happy as I was when a package from her arrived.  Nothing ever tastes as good as when Grandmother makes it, with all her love added.  I do my best to recreate it with this recipe that I can partake in now.

They’re simple, easy to make, and have some of my favorite ingredients – oats, peanut butter, and cocoa.  Yummy!  Because they have only a few simple ingredients, they’re also easy to adjust for food sensitivities/allergies.  I would never be so audacious as to call my take on these traditional treats good for you, but I have replaced the ingredients with those I feel comfortable putting in my body occasionally.  Don’t worry, I left all the ease and simple goodness of the original recipe.

Let’s talk ingredients…

Milk

IMG_20151001_164122535I replace the traditional milk with this coconut milk. It’s the best version I can find at my local, large-chain super market in rural Colorado.  It’s full fat, with the fewest additives.  I always go with the full fat version of coconut milk.  It’s good for your body and brain, so no worries here. Definitely pass on any “light” version of coconut milk.  The fat and coconut water may have separated in the can.  If so, you just need to empty all the contents of the can into a bowl.  Microwave for 10 to 20 seconds to warm it, and stir the fat and liquid together.

Sugar

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A good portion of the sugar in this recipe is coconut sugar.  This sugar is mainstream and easy to find in the sugar isle of most grocery stores.  I choose it because, while it’s still a sugar and will cause a spike in blood sugar, it is minimally processed and does retain many vitamins and minerals after being processed.  It is also lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, honey, maple syrup and it’s other counter parts.  It has a taste more similar to brown sugar.  However, I did include some organic sugar in this recipe so that the cookies would set up firmly.

Peanut Butter

I’ve included a very lengthy explanation of my feelings on peanut butter and what I believe to be good choices here.  The shortened version ~ it should only have peanut butter (and sometimes salt) in the ingredient list. Check your ingredients.

Butter

IMG_20151017_144957829I choose a good, grass-fed butter when I use it in a recipe.  I use it in these cookies because I find that it ensures that they firm-up consistently.  I find that I can tolerate butter even with my food sensitivities, because it’s just fat, so it should contain no lactose or the milk protein casein.  If you have trouble with butter, you can definitely use a minimally processed coconut oil in this recipe.  While the cookies will still taste amazing (the coconut smell and flavor is yummy with the chocolate), they just may not set all the way to firm for you.

 

Now it’s time for some quick, easy, yummy, comforting goodness.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 C coconut sugar
  • 3/4 C organic sugar
  • 1/2 C grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 C natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 C full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 C gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cocoa
  • 2 t vanilla

Directions:

  1. Gently melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan.
  2. Add sugar and milk.  Heat on low until sugar has dissolved and combined.
  3. Add cocoa and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Bring to a boil, allowing it to boil for one minute.
  5. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until melted and combined.
  6. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  7. Add oats and stir.
  8. Drop by the tablespoon onto wax or parchment paper.
  9. Let cool completely to harden (or eat them right off the spoon while they’re hot and gooey like me).

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