Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Chocolate

These gluten-free vegan oatmeal cookies with pecans and chocolate have crisp, granola-like edges and soft, chewy centers. As an added bonus, they’re actually quite healthy for you. But you’d never know it from the taste.

A stack of gluten-free vegan oatmeal cookies with chocolate on a white sheet.

We’re sorta incredulous that these oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate are vegan and gluten free. Think the spirit of granola but in a form that’s satisfyingly crisp at the edges, chewy in the center, and gobsmackingly unbelievably healthy through and through.–Renee Schettler

Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Chocolate

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 10 cookies
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Ingredients


Directions

Toss half the pecans in a food processor and process until just barely finely ground, 15 to 20 seconds. Do not overprocess them into a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining pecans.

Transfer it to a large bowl and stir in the oats, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch.

Make a well in the center and pour the olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla into the well. Stir to combine. The dough will be sticky and a little crumbly. If the dough is very loose and crumbly, add equal amounts of oil and maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate.

Cover and refrigerate until the dough is slightly firmer, 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Scoop and firmly pack the dough into a 1/4 measuring cup. Dump the dough on a baking sheet and then flatten it slightly with the back of the measuring cup or damp hands to 1/2-inch (12-mm) thickness. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Tester tip: If your dough sticks to the measuring cup, try lining the measure with plastic wrap and then gently nudge the dough into it. Then invert it (you know, turn it upside down) onto the baking sheet and pull both it and the plastic wrap off away from the dough.

Bake the cookies, rotating the sheet once halfway through, until the cookies are lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely. (The cookies will crisp as they cool.)

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These cookies are remarkable. No flour, no butter, no sugar, no eggs, and still the texture and flavor are truly top notch. The pecans have a richness that stands in so well for the flour and butter, and the oats add that perfect chewy texture. I think these would work with additional whole nuts folded in with the chocolate chips (pistachios would be my pick).

I used dark chocolate chips, which measured out to a gently mounded 1/2 cup. When it came to the liquid sweetener I used 1/4 cup of maple syrup (which was all I had left!) and had to finish up the other 1/4 cup off with coconut nectar. It has a golden syrup texture- very slow flowing and sticky compared to maple syrup, and actually provided a hint of tartness. I think it added great dimension to the flavor of the final product.

The cookies held together before baking and then spread slightly in the oven. They browned faster than I expected (perhaps due to the coconut nectar?) and at 15 minutes I pulled them out of the oven. They were very gooey in the centers and dark and caramelized around the edges. I left them to cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then moved them to a rack where they cooled down completely. They did indeed hold together once cool, but still had a soften stickiness in the center, and a delicate lacy sweet perimeter that crumbled upon contact. I might try another 2 minutes or so in the oven next time, or perhaps I'll just turn the oven off for the last few minutes to continue cooking them for more firmness, without burning them.

Overall, super pleased! I've moved the remaining cookies to the freezer, and I'm curious to see how the texture and flavor might change as a result.

These were so fast to whip up and are vegan to boot! It's hard to find vegan recipes that don't fall apart so I was super curious to try these out.

I used my Vitamix instead of the food processor and it worked fine. I used equal amounts maple syrup and olive oil but added the syrup 1 tablespoon at a time as I was mixing. I LOVED the technique of packing the 1/4 cup measuring cup and then flattened each individual cookie with the bottom of it after it had flopped out. I only got 8 cookies, not 10, but they were eaten as soon as they were cooled and I was chastised by my family for not having doubled the recipe.

I can't wait to whip up another batch for my vegan friends!

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Comments

    1. We haven’t tried making these as bars, Lee, so we can’t say if it would work or not. I fear that they might end up being too crumbly to work in a bar form.

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