the best monster cookies

Rich, fun, extra-chewy and naturally gluten-free (if you make sure your oats are not cross-contaminated!), these Monster Cookies are absolutely the best I’ve ever made.  And I have made a lot of Monster Cookies in my time!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have been baking and tweaking this recipe for years.  It was my grandma’s recipe handed down to my mom and then me, and as you all know – I just can’t help but tinker.  (smile)

Now, I’m absolutely not saying there was anything wrong with the original recipe, but there is always room for improvement and I think I have found a few little tricks to make these even better.  If you’ve ever made Monster Cookies before and thought “these didn’t turn out like I expected”, then this recipe is for you!!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have included cup measurements, but I have left a few of the original weight measurements also for those of you who use a kitchen scale…  (If you don’t I suggest trying it.  I just love the ease of resetting the scale and adding to one bowl, without dirtying a bunch of dishes!)

You can make these big or small, just adjust the time accordingly and watch carefully to make sure they don’t get overdone.  You just want the edges to be golden so they are not dry.  These cookies are better under-baked then overdone!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Oh, and I just have to share the show-my-insides cookie tip with you guys!  (You may have seen this already, I posted it on Instagram a few weeks ago!)

Scoop out the cookie dough (balls twice as big as you want in the end) closely onto a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and then take each cookie dough ball and break it in half like you are cracking open an egg and place the halves craggily-insides-up onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  When the cookies bake, they will be nice and chewy and all the yummy insides (chocolate chips, m&ms, etc!) will be showing, instead of hiding inside!

 

the best monster cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (1lb) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (1lb) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 9 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups m&ms, divided (1 1/2 cups + 1 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla & baking soda until well blended.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except 1 cup of the m&ms, until just blended together. (You can transfer this to a very large bowl and mix with your clean hands if your mixer isn't big enough to handle the load!)
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheets, and flatten with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Store these (all cookies, really!) in the freezer for the best results. If they don't all disappear the first day, that is! :o)
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/the-best-monster-cookies.html

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy, moist, lightly-spiced, gluten free molasses cookies…  These cookies have all the comfort of your favorite family recipe with a fun secret ingredient and without the gluten (but you’d never know!).

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Here we go again!  Another gluten-free recipe conversion.  Now, I am definitely not going to be an exclusively gluten-free blog, but for now I have a child who can’t have gluten and that means you will be seeing several new recipes here and there.

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Sometimes I get so down about this whole gluten free thing.  I hate seeing Bjørn’s hurt and longing for things he used to have (we have yet to find a decent gluten free bagel or donut – tips appreciated!), and the extra brain-power involved is just plain exhausting.

I long for the days of easy food choices and grabbing anything handy to feed my kids, but that is just not our life anymore, and it’s time for me to to put on my big girl pants and get over myself!

Yes, this is hard.  But my love for him is huge, and every gluten free thing I make is a physical act of love for him.  And my goodness, you should see his joy when I can answer “Yes!” to his never ending “Is this gluten free?” question!

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

These cookies were a no-brainer to put on top of the list of recipes to convert, because it’s a family favorite around here.  My grandma’s original Molasses Crinkles Cookie recipe (which is in my cookbook – releasing in June!) is one of our must-haves in the fall, especially on the Christmas table.  (And every time I get a craving during the holiday season!)

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

The blackstrap molasses in these cookies makes them a bit healthier than the originals, and a few delicious essential oils are the perfect compliment to the warm richness of the dough.

Trust me, you won’t notice anything is missing, and you will love these as much as our family does!

 

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3 drops clove Young Living essential oil**
  • 2 drops ginger Young Living essential oil**
  • 1 drop cinnamon bark Young Living essential oil**
  • 4 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. *I use Namaste brand Gluten Free Organic Perfect Flour Blend. As with all gluten-free recipes, your recipe may turn out differently with a different brand of gf flour!
  2. **PLEASE don't use just any brand of essential oils. Not all brands are safe for internal consumption, Young Living is the only brand I trust for my family! (Email me if you want to chat!) And of course, if you don't have essential oils right now, feel free to use 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in place of the oils!
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the egg, molasses and essential oils until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, salt and baking soda and then add the mixture carefully into the mixing bowl and mix until just well combined.
  4. Cover and place the dough into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the dough out (with a small scoop) about 2-3 inches apart.
  5. Press the dough down gently with a fork dipped in cold water, and then sprinkle each pressed cookie with sugar. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until just set and no longer wet looking in the middle.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheets and then transfer to an airtight container to store in the freezer!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/gluten-free-chewy-molasses-cookies.html

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

perfect dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Perfect is a strong word for chocolate chip cookies, I know, but these chewy, moist, delicious cookies are absolutely spot-on.  Yes, they are dairy-free and gluten-free, but you would almost never know.  I bet you could serve these to anyone without them even knowing the difference!

Perfect Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | Sweet Anna's

I tried these out on my kids (and myself!) and they are just as good as my original chocolate chip cookies.  Even if you don’t have to eat gluten-free or dairy-free yourself, it’s always nice to have a trustworthy recipe in your back pocket so you can spoil your loved ones!

I am only a few weeks into our dairy-free (for me), gluten-free (for my son, Bjørn) journey.  I am already seeing so many changes in my own health, and I just can’t wait to start seeing the changes in Bjørn when we really dive in completely with him (we are easing into it for him.  October 1st he will be 100% gluten-free!).

Perfect Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Have you had to transition to a dairy-free and/or gluten-free diet?  Has your child?? I would love to hear any tips/tricks/ideas you have to share!  This is a big scary journey for my food-loving heart and I need all the encouragement I can get!!

Meanwhile, I’ll be the one huddled in the corner, rocking and stuffing my face with these delicious cookies!

Perfect Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Note: Gluten-free flour blends vary so, SO much.  Please proceed with caution if you are new to using them.  I am a big fan of this Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, because it is very mild (no strong bean flavors!) and the texture is amazing.

Bob's Red Mill 1to1 Gluten Free Baking Flour

Use your favorite, but please know that the recipe might not turn out exactly the same!

perfect dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill 1to1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour Mix*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dairy-free dark chocolate chips**

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour blend, baking soda and salt; Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the melted coconut oil and the sugars until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the egg and egg yolks, one at a time, and the vanilla, until well blended.
  3. Stir in the flour mixture and the chocolate chips until just mixed together. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment and scoop the dough onto the pans, leaving a few inches of room for the dough to spread.
  5. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are just barely golden around the edges, remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheets.
  6. Transfer cooled cookies to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months!
  7. *Since all gluten-free flour blends vary so much, I can only guarantee results with the blend I use - Bob's Red Mill 1to1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour Mix. Feel free to try your favorite gluten-free baking mix, but if you use something different, please don't come back here and leave me a negative comment!
  8. **Check your packaging for your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips. I buy mine at Costco (Kirkland Signature brand!) but you can use any kind you like!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/09/perfect-diary-free-gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html