Perfectly crumbly, incredibly easy and quick to make, and almost dangerously delicious, these chocolate pecan dairy and gluten free oatmeal cookies hit the spot just right. They have it all – the taste, the textures, the smell… and you will want to make them again and again. And again.
Where do you find your inspiration? I find it in ridiculously random situations, like sneaky snack attacks, where you’re not actually hungry for food, but for taste, and textures, and smells. And so you walk around your kitchen, and take a bite of this and that, and you realise that anchovies go amazingly well with walnuts, and you decide that the combination of chocolate and pecans is heavenly, only to be further improved with a pinch of oats. Of course, you are incredibly proud of yourself for discovering such groundbreaking flavour combinations – never mind that they have been around for eons.
You still feel incredibly clever, because your discovery is – in its essence – still yours, because it doesn’t stem from an article, a cookbook or a blog post read somewhere, sometime. It originates from that nagging desire for something to nibble on, something to satisfy this craving for something infinitesimally small in quantity, but gigantic in all the ways that matter.
Inspiration also comes, for me, in the form of coconut milk that has perfectly separated into the loveliest, densest coconut cream and the destined-to-become-a-smoothie coconut water. Because my brain thinks about food and recipes and food most of the time (especially at inopportune moments such as when desperately trying to sleep), it’s not a huge leap from coconut cream to chocolate pecan dairy and gluten free oatmeal cookies. (They can be refined sugar free, as well!) Yes, my brain is weird. And yes, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just look at what its weirdness leads to:
These gluten free oatmeal cookies are crumbly (hello, oats, we love you) and chewy (yes, coconut cream, you’re absolutely lovely, too), but also crunchy because of the pecans. The chocolate chunks simply round up these pieces of cookie perfection. Plus, there’s none of that pesky shaping of the dough into a disk, and letting it rest in the fridge, and rolling the dough/shaping the cookies, blah blah blah.
Nah, none of that! We’ll just mix up the dough (easy peasy), and use an ice cream scoop to plop the cookies onto a baking tray. And, as I’m sure you’ve realised from the photos, these beauties don’t spread out – they remain in their adorably quirky half-sphere shape. Now, if you’re a cookie control-freak, and don’t like your cookies a bit irregular and a tad scruffy ‘round the edges, feel free to shape them into perfectly round, smooth balls, and flatten them and make them into uniform khemboringkhem round cookies.
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But I love their unabashed imperfection – because they somehow capture all that is rustic and old-fashioned in a my-grandma-would-make-such-cookies way. And most of all, I love these gluten free oatmeal cookies (and I’m not alone in this, judging by the speed at which they disappeared when I last made them) because they are first and foremost about the taste, and the textures, and the smells. And that’s what a good cookie is all about, isn’t it?
On top of everything, they are also gluten free (due to the miracle that is gluten free flour) and dairy free (thank you for separating, coconut milk – on a side note, I really recommend this brand: separates perfectly every time due to the absence of any pesky stabilisers), and can be refined sugar free as well. This makes these chocolate pecan dairy and gluten free oatmeal cookies only that more tempting. So there you have it: inspiration moves in mysterious ways – it can be found in sneaky snack attacks, newly discovered (but actually really not) flavour combinations, perfectly separated coconut cream, and most definitely in these gluten free oatmeal cookies.
CHOCOLATE PECAN DAIRY AND GLUTEN FREE OATMEAL COOKIES
- 1 cup coconut cream (from separated coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate (Note 1)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and line a baking tray with greaseproof/baking paper.
- Cream together coconut cream and honey.
- Add the egg, and mix thoroughly.
- Sift together gluten free flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Mix oats, chopped chocolate, and chopped pecans into the flour mix. Stir well until everything is uniformly distributed in the flour.
- Add the flour mix into the coconut cream/honey/egg mixture and mix until a uniform but sticky cookie dough forms.
- Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop (recommended) to form half-sphere shaped cookies. Place them onto the baking tray with about 1/2 inch (about 1.5 cm) between them.
Bake the cookies at 350 ºF (175 ºC) for 17 – 18 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.
- Leave to cool, and enjoy!
- The gluten free oatmeal cookies keep well in a cool dry place for 3 to 4 days (and only if very well hidden – from both others, and yourself).
Note 1: To keep the cookies refined sugar free, use sugar free chocolate. Alternatively make your own, using my recipe for raw vegan chocolate truffles, leaving out the water, and spreading the liquid chocolate on a shallow baking tray lined with aluminium foil or greaseproof paper, and letting the chocolate set in a cool place.
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