Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free) | A Sweet SpoonfulAlmost two months into maternity leave and Frances and I are finding a groove. I feed her in the morning before anyone else is up and we head downstairs where she sits in her funny little seat on the kitchen floor while I make tea and figure out what to lay out for Oliver’s breakfast. The rest of the day fluctuates between me wearing her in a carrier while she naps, taking walks around the neighborhood or playing during the brief window she’s awake. After dinner when I think back on what we did during the day, it’s hard to name specifics — yet somehow time ticks on all the same. Knowing that Frances is our last baby has helped me accept this dramatic slow down in pace more readily than I ever could with Oliver. That and the perspective that the pace picks up quickly enough and these slower days will be gone in a blink.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free) | A Sweet Spoonful I think if we’re honest though, between the sweet chest naps and burgeoning morning smiles, days with a newborn can feel monotonous and even downright difficult at times. While everyone will always tell you to nap when the baby naps, that can be hard for some of us. I know in my heart that’s good advice and I even hypocritically give that advice to others, but I tend to look around the house and notice what needs tackling before Oliver gets home from school. The first time around I wasn’t as good about this, but now I know how important it is to give yourself permission to consider all the (often really great) advice on parenting a newborn … and then consciously choose to ignore what doesn’t work for you or your baby.

One tactic that’s helped me lately is devoting each week to just one task. So I’ll take something that would typically take me a few hours to complete and give myself a whole week. Last week, my goal was writing a blog post; the week before that was devoted to filling in Frances’ baby book. This way, I feel that sense of accomplishment that I thrive on, but in a really realistic and doable way that allows me to just relax and enjoy getting to know the small person Frances is becoming, too.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free) | A Sweet Spoonful

In addition to devoting each week to one task or theme, I’ve been getting in the kitchen a bit more as well. It took us awhile to figure it out, but it seems Frances has developed a sensitivity to dairy, so sadly I’ve had to cut that out of my diet (WHY, FRANCES, WHY?!) and the one thing I’ve missed the most is a great chocolate chip cookie. I did some casual polling on Instagram recently to see what everyone’s favorite dairy-free cookie recipes are and I was inundated with suggestions. WHERE TO BEGIN?!

I made the Ovenly cookies people seems to love and they tasted great but the dough was really crumbly and finicky to work with. I made the recipe on the back of an almond meal package and found them kind of spongy but I loved the slightly nutty flavor and added protein. So I set out to create a dairy-free cookie made with almond meal that would have all the things I loved (and obviously none of the traits I didn’t).

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free) | A Sweet SpoonfulThe result? A chewy cookie with a killer nutty flavor packed with as much chocolate as I could reasonably fit, a handful of oats and a generous bit of brown sugar. They just so happen to be gluten-free as well. The dough is super simple to work with and they only require ONE BOWL, making them a great candidate to squeeze into the weekly schedule — whether yours is spacious with lots of free time to yourself or whether you’re working in tiny spurts around a sleeping baby’s schedule.

Gluten free or not, dairy free or not, baby or not, this recipe goes to bat for all of us. I hope you love them as much as we do and if there are little thing you don’t love, tweak away! Because much like all the baby advice, you take what works for you and move forward, leaving the rest behind. Simple as that.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free)

  • Yield: 18-20 cookies
  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 12 mins
  • Inactive time: 1 hr
  • Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

I like to use bar chocolate in this recipe and chop it roughly (and not too small) so there are all different sizes of chunks throughout. If you need these cookies to be totally dairy-free, Trader Joe’s makes great “pound plus” bars that just so happen to be vegan. Be careful not to let the cookies get too brown around the edges — they’re really best just a little soft when pulled from the oven as they’ll continue to firm up as they cool.

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100g) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups (195g) Bob's Red Mill almond flour
1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats
1 cup ((5 ounces / 140g) dark chocolate chunks
flake salt, like Maldon, for finishing

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and oil, and mix until combined. The mixture will look like wet sand.

Add the vanilla, egg, almond flour, and oats and stir well to combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight.

After the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using a 1 tablespoon-size scoop (or a rough estimate of as much), scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet leaving 2 inches in between each cookie.

Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten each cookies to about 1/2-inch thick and sprinkle with flake salt.

Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until barely golden brown around the edges (the cookies will continue to firm up as they cool).

Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Comments

  1. Lori

    Hi Megan,
    I love this post. So true about listening to what's right for you and discarding the rest. I also love that you are giving yourself a week to accomplish a goal. Rushing to finish everything and be on a schedule is a great habit to break for all of us. But, eek about the dairy. I hope it's temporary, a life without dairy is too sad to contemplate :-)

    1. megang

      I hope it's temporary too, Lori! Phew, didn't realize how many things dairy is in (all the good things!!). Have a great weekend :)

  2. Anna

    These look amazing. It's always great to have different chocolate chip cookie options. These days I'm home with my younger child who is almost 3 and I still give myself just a few personal projects/tasks I want to accomplish and I'm usually running behind. I'll never be the mom who pushes to quickly reach her goals, but I'm still plugging away.

    1. megang

      Hi, Anna. Nice to see your name pop up :) Oh, girl let me say that our three year old is in full-time preschool otherwise there would be NOTHING ACCOMPLISHED. So the fact that you get anything done with a three year old at home makes you a a SUPERHERO. Honestly. xox

  3. Susan

    Fabulous! Thank you for this. I bake for someone who has severe food problems and I will use a flax 'egg' and am sure she will love these. Still using a nd loving your first book :)

    1. megang

      Great, Susan! Yep, I think a flax egg would work just fine here. I hope you / they enjoy them!

  4. Ashley

    Do you mind me asking how you knew about her sensitivities? I’ve had tree children and they’ve never had sensitivity to anything but so many people do. Just wondering. I wanted to write in and tell you how much I love your blog. It’s my very favorite. It’s my go to for all baking. The recipes always come out delicious.

    1. megang

      Hi, Ashley! Of course. So when she was nursing she'd kind of writhe in pain - like she wasn't comfortable at all and she'd spit up much more and more violentally. So honestly I just tried giving up dairy to see if it'd make it better as I knew that was a common allergen and it's definitely helped. I think from a bit of research it sounds like if there's a severe allergy, they'd have blood in their stool (which she doesn't) so I do think it's more of a sensitivity, but she's definitely happier without it (can't say the same for me!).

      1. Amy

        I’m on my 3rd kid and noticed a dairy sensitivity with my last two- difficulty with gas and poops, and had a couple diapers with blood before I really realized what was happening. On the advice of our pediatrician, I cut out diary. By the time they were 1, that sensitivity was gone and now both kids would live on cheese if I let them. I cut out dairy as soon as I gave birth 2 weeks ago to our newest little one. I’ll be trying these cookies as soon as I’ve got the energy!

        1. megang

          Thanks for the comment, Amy. Yes, I've heard this is usually something they grow out of, which is great (for me and for her). Sorry you're having to give it up again for your third - luckily, I suppose, there are so many good dairy-free products these days (ice cream!) Thanks for the note :)

  5. Nanda

    I love your posts even more now that you are sharing about your baby experience! Thank you so much for your lovely and open perspective.

    In other news, I am planning on being a contrary brat and subbing coconut sugar for the brown. I won't blame any ill effects on you!

    1. megang

      Oh thank you so much, Nanda. That's so nice to hear. And YES do it (re: coconut sugar)! Let me know how they turn out!!

  6. Ali

    I do hope the sensitivity is just as her little body adjusts to life, but also know that it will be fine even if it is life-long. My 4 year old was diagnosed with celiac and as a home baker I was devastated. Now 3 years later we have so many gluten free baking adventures together and it's pushed me to learn new things.
    You're a talented cook and recipe developer. I'm sure your skill can handle the challenge be it short term or longer.

  7. Maria

    I love your "one project a week" plan. I had a similar but different approach with my second (with my first I would do one thing until feeding time and THEN notice what million other things I should have rather done). What I did, was to break down chores into much smaller chunks and distribute those over time, i.e. buy a gift one day, wrap it the next, write the card on the third and hand it over on the fourth, or clean one shelve in the refrigerator at a time. I did also follow the "oxygen mask rule" more diligently, taking care of myself in terms of shower, good food etc. - not always a nap...

    1. megang

      Love this, Maria. I think our plans are very similar - for France's baby book for instance, I chose the photos one day, ordered them the next day, filled things in the next day, taped photos a few days later once they arrived etc. It works! They oxygen mask rule is always a really good one. It's amazing how a nice, hot shower can set the tone for the day :)

  8. Kathy

    Meg, I am a chocolate chip cookie aficionado and was hesitant to try this recipe. THESE COOKIES ARE WONDERFUL. Will definitely put them in the rotation. Love the gluten and dairy free ... now let's get the carbs out :)
    ... and if I may ... as you know, I had Kelsey at 41 and have always referred to her as my gift. Savor every moment. Love you.

    1. megang

      Hi, Kathy! So glad you liked the cookies. I LOVE this recipe ... keep meaning to make another batch soon. Yes, you and Aunt V are my older mom inspiration :) Love you and miss you.

  9. Pat

    Please advise on the brand of oats that you used that were gluten free. Would love to make these but they must be gluten free in addition to dairy free. Many rolled oats brands can be contaminated with gluten so would love to know which brand you used. Thanks!

    1. megang

      Hi, Pat. Thanks for this question. I trust Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats. I have heard that they're processed in the same facility as the other oats (although I'm not certain this is true) so if you're celiac you may want to confirm this, but as you likely know ... oats in and of themselves are always gluten-free ;it's just the cross-contamination you have to worry about. So I'd trust Bob's Gluten-free oats unless you have a severe allergy in which case I'd verify with them if they're processed in the same facility. Thanks for the great question.

Join the Discussion

Healthy Comfort Food

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.

Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.

Read More
Cheesy Quinoa Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Quinoa Cauliflower Bake

I just finished washing out Oliver's lunchbox and laying it out to dry for the weekend. My favorite time of day is (finally) here: the quiet of the evening when I can actually talk to Sam about our day or sit and reflect on my own thoughts after the inevitable dance party or band practice that precedes the bedtime routine lately. Before becoming pregnant for the second time, I'd have had a glass of wine with the back door propped open right about now -- these days though, I have sparkling water or occasionally take a sip from one of Sam's hard ciders. Except now the back door's closed and we even turned on the heat for the first time yesterday. The racing to water the lawn and clean the grill have been replaced by cozier dinners at home and longer baths in the evening. You blink and it's the first day of fall. 

Read More
Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Radicchio

Stuffed Shells with Fennel and Radicchio

I'd heard from many friends that buying a house wasn't for the faint of heart. But I always shrugged it off, figuring I probably kept better files or was more organized and, really, how hard could it be? Well, I've started (and stopped) writing this post a good fifteen times which may indicate something. BUT! First thing's first: we bought a house! I think! I'm pretty sure! We're still waiting for some tax transcripts to come through and barring any hiccough with that, we'll be moving out of our beloved craftsman in a few weeks and down the block to a great, brick Tudor house that we wanted the second we laid eyes on it. The only problem: it seemed everyone else in Seattle had also laid eyes on it, and wanted it equally as much. I'm not really sure why the homeowner chose us in the end. Our offer actually wasn't the highest, but apparently there were some issues with a few of them. We wrote a letter introducing ourselves and describing why we'd be the best candidates and why we were so drawn to the house; we have a really wonderful broker who pulled out all the stops, and after sifting through 10 offers and spending a number of hours deliberating, they ended up going with ours. We were at a friend's book event at the time when Sam showed me the text from our broker and I kind of just collapsed into his arms. We were both in ecstatic denial (wait, is this real?! Did we just buy a house?) and celebrated by getting chicken salad and potato salad from the neighborhood grocery store and eating it, dazed, on our living room floor. Potato salad never tasted so good. 

Read More
Smoky Butternut Squash and Three Bean Chili

Smoky Butternut Squash and Three Bean Chili

If your house is anything like ours, last week wasn't our most inspired in terms of cooking. We're all suffering from the post-election blues -- the sole upside being Oliver's decision to sleep-in until 7 am for the first time in many, many months; I think he's trying to tell us that pulling the covers over our heads and hibernating for awhile is ok. It's half-convincing. For much of the week, instead of cooking, there'd been takeout pizza and canned soup before, at week's end, I decided it was time to pour a glass of wine and get back into the kitchen. I was craving something hearty and comforting that we could eat for a few days. Something that wouldn't remind me too much of Thanksgiving because, frankly, I can't quite gather the steam to start planning for that yet. It was time for a big bowl of chili.

Read More
To Talk Porridge

To Talk Porridge

Porridge is not the sexiest of breakfasts, it's true. It doesn't have a stylish name like strata or shakshuka, and it doesn't have perfectly domed tops like your favorite fruity muffin. It doesn't crumble into delightful bits like a good scone nor does it fall into buttery shards like a well-made croissant. But when you wake up and it's 17 degrees outside (as it has been, give or take a few, for the last week), there's nothing that satisfies like a bowl of porridge or oatmeal. It's warm and hearty and can be made sweet or savory with any number of toppings. The problem? Over the years, it's gotten a bad rap as gluey or gummy or just downright boring or dutiful -- and it's because not everyone knows the secrets to making a great pot of warm morning cereal. So let's talk porridge (also: my cookbook comes out this month! So let's take a peek inside, shall we?)

Read More