One of the most interesting things about writing a book on gluten-free breads, was learning about what grains are gluten-free and which are not. Oats are considered by many to be on the fence. It would seem that it would be a hard, fast line, but there is actually some gray area when it comes to gluten-free ingredients. Oats are 100% gluten-free, BUT they can be contaminated during the processing. Many celiacs and people who are avoiding gluten for other health reasons often stay clear of oats because the equipment used to harvest and process the cereal is also used for wheat, barley and rye, all of which are full of gluten. So, it is important to buy oats that are labeled “gluten-free,” even though they don’t themselves contain any of the wheat protein that would make them dangerous to celiacs. (Best to check with your Dr. if you are unsure about what grains you can eat.) I used “Gluten-Free Chex Oatmeal,” as in the little, square breakfast cereal brand we all ate as kids, but this product is just pure whole grain oats, nothing else.
These cookies happen to be gluten-free, but you’ll never know it. No one in my family is gluten intolerant, so anything I bake without wheat has to pass their discerning (read critical) palate. My boys are very free with their opinions and my 13-year-old said “these are perfect! Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, just how I like them.” The flavor is all about the maple and oats.
1 cup gluten-free Chex Oats
1 1/8 cup Cup4Cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it is gluten-free)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, well packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup currants or raisins or chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
To make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 375°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
In a bowl whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the maple syrup and egg, mix well. Add the extracts and currants and mix until combined.
Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion out the cookies. To insure an even baking it is helpful to flatten the dough slightly before placing in the oven.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until just golden along the bottom. If you over bake them they will be crunchy instead of soft on the inside.
Allow to cool slightly before eating or the cookies will crumble.