This chewy, dense, full–bodied baked morsel is my holy grail of oatmeal cookies. For the past year, I've been squirreling away extra batches of frozen dough, just in case the mood strikes during my afternoon cup of tea (as it often does). The recipe does require a pantry stocked with many different types of flours, but it is so worth the trouble. Did I mention it's gluten free?
What do I mean, "holy grail" of oatmeal cookies? Well, when I'm delving into a wholesome oatmeal cookie, I'm looking for few, oddly hard–to–find attributes. I want this thing to have a chewy interior (no crunch for me in this situation) with a slightly caramelized exterior, shattering ever–so–slightly when I bite into it. I want the cookie to have heft, no wafer crispiness here, please. I want this cookie to be loaded with oats, punctuated by bits of exciting odds and ends. I don't want a dried piece of fruit in every single bite, but I don't want to be looking for the add–ins either. I want to be reminded of all the essential parts of this comforting sum, in each bite. I thought I wanted the impossible . . . Until I came across this recipe at work. Now, I make it at home all the time.
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combined the brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Stir to fully combine.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugars. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to make a thick dough, stir in the oats, cherries and nuts just until combined.
Drop 1/4 cup full mounds onto the lined pans. Bake for 10-12 minutes (they will seem a little under done). Let cool on the pan for 5 more minutes (they cook a bit more here). Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
(Image: Leela Cyd Ross)