Healthy Oatmeal cookies of my dreams

Oatmeal cookies have always been my favorite travel cookies since I started doing recipe development for Starbucks Mexico in 2001.

We made multiple recipes for that project and they were delicious but so sugar loaded that it was unreal. I have since tweaked and adapted countless recipes and now that I am 95% gluten free (except for specific recipe testing) I wanted a killer oatmeal cookie recipe that was balanced, chewy, not too sweet, not oily, not sugar coated and not dry or cardboard tasting. My goal is to give you Master Recipes that will be your go to recipes you can build upon and do your own variation. If I had a bakery this would be my cookie of choice. I have not made this cookie vegan or dairy free yet: so before you guys ask me that question: please try my vegan oatmeal cookies (those are not gluten free) or try swapping the butter for vegan butter and egg for a flax egg. The Date Lady gave me the most amazing dates that taste like caramel and this inspired me to create a turtle version using her dates, pecans, chocolate and Maldon Salt. 

4.5 from 6 reviews
Oatmeal cookies of my dreams
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
GLUTEN FREE LOW SUGAR OATMEAL COOKIES Author: Vanessa Musi Serves: 16 cookies (made with a medium scoop size #24)
Author:
Serves: 16 medium
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon (2 gr) fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (4 gr) (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg or tonka bean (0.5 gr) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude use ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted (225 gr) (I love grass fed butter) at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 gr) vanilla
  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup gluten free flour such as Bobs Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour (blue label only)
  • ½ cup The Date Lady chopped dates
  • ½ cup 70 % chocolate chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • Maldon salt to sprinkle on top
  • Variations: substitute dried cherries, yellow raisins, dried apricots chopped for the dates
Method
  1. Pre heat oven to 340 F or 170 C. Line 2 baking trays with Silpats.
  2. In a medium bowl: sift flour + baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment: beat butter + coconut sugar until combined well (the goal is just to blend: not aerate as the cookies will spread if you do so).
  4. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Add oats and combine. Add sifted flour mix and stir well. Add dates, chocolate, pecans, or desired add ins and mix well. Shape cookies with a scoop (I use a size #24) and place onto prepared cookie sheets: I place 4 lengthwise X 3 crosswise and flatten them out lightly. Sprinkle with Maldon Salt. Bake until golden for about 8-10 mins. They should be soft and chewy in the middle. Note: as they cool on the tray they will continue to bake, so make sure you don’t over bake them!
  5. Variations: I made these cookies with: pecans, chocolate and dates from The Date Lady and loved this “turtle” combination. I also made these with dried mangos with chile from Mexico and they were awesome!
  6. I also made a mix of yellow raisins, dates, dried apricots and added “unpumpkin” pie spice from The Raw Spice Bar to the cookies and they were amazing. I added 1 teaspoon instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Enjoy!!
  8. Please share the love on your social media and rate the recipe when you make it.
Notes
Gluten Free flour blend: mix then measure what the recipe requires
¾ cup brown rice flour must be superfine (I use Bobs Red Mill)
¼ cup potato starch
⅛ cup white rice flour must be superfine (I use Bobs Red Mill)
⅛ cup tapioca starch
 

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THE BEST WHOLESOME CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER

Seriously. I am NOT exaggerating. We all have a claim to fame recipe for sure. But really I have made many and have gone through my fair share of chocolate chip cookie recipe testing for bakeries and for my personal classes,  even for Starbucks Mexico. I always dreamed of a “killer” chocolate chip cookie that I could eat. I imagined the chewy but crispy texture and the perfect balance of sweetener, salt, chocolate.. And I was challenged by the fact that these had to be: gluten free, vegan and low sugar. My sister says I was born savoring the world: and every day this makes more sense to me.

So to make a LONG story short and not dwell into too much information or details and get straight to the recipe/ the way I like blogs to be. I have not been eating gluten, sugar or dairy (or at least striving to) due to my psoriasis and a leaky gut I developed after my hip replacement and so many  antibiotics. Did you know that a leaky gut is connected to auto inmune disorders? I have been seeing the documentary called Betrayal which I highly recommend.

This inspired me to create more gut friendly recipes: gluten free, (some grain free) dairy free, vegan, low sugar, soy free for so many people who are have auto inmune disorders, have food allergies or have gut problems.

After 10 recipe trials, a lot of wasted premium ingredients, so many greasy and flat cookies thrown into the garbage, major baking frustration (the kind that does not let me sleep). I was determined to nail this recipe no matter what. More than a craving this was and is my ultimate obsession. And after my Bday trip to NYC last week (and tasting Levain Bakery’s cookies: which sadly were not my favorite at all: way too sweet and I felt terrible after eating just a small piece) I came home and rushed to my test kitchen to challenge the satus quo. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do: because I do believe this recipe is worth GOLD. I couldn’t stop taking photos and really feel ready for my cook book!!

Also please forgive my delay in updating this blog! I spent literally 21 months traveling to almost 30 cities: teaching over 3,000 bakers from NYC to Cancun: and doing all the logistics of the classes by myself! A MAJOR project. So after that intensity and having 2 websites: I made some huge decisions. 1. I closed my group on Facebook (that took soo much time out of my baking) 2. I decided to change ALL this website (new website coming in 2017) and I will have only an English website and focus all my energy into a blog that is consistent and strong 3. I hired a PR firm and we are working on my healthy baking school and a few projects that I am so excited about. 4. I began working with the new sweetener featured in this recipe that I am IN LOVE with: it’s so easy to use, bakes so well, has NO after taste, is naturally sweet, has a great shelf life and is low glycemic.

So these killer chocolate chip cookies  are made with Stir Sweetener a coconut sugar blend which I like because it has 37% fewer calories than sugar, has a gram of prebiotic fiber per serving, is a 1:1 replacement for sugar, is suitable for diabetics and tastes so much better than any sweetener I have used in 23 years.

Stay tuned for more exciting recipes!

This recipe was inspired and adapted a ton from the original chocolate chip recipe from Leila Arcieri, CEO of Stir Sweetener.

THE BEST WHOLESOME CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER!
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of my gluten free flour: (mix: ½ cup gf oat flour, ¼ cup brown rice flour, ⅛ cup millet flour + ⅛ cup Bobs Red Mill all purpose flour (blue label only)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude: use ⅛ teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 80 grams organic coconut oil (do not melt/ use the oil in it's firm stage)
  • 1 cup  Stir Sweetener (made with coconut sugar + fiber)
  • 1 flax egg: mix tablespoon (8 grams) freshly ground golden flax seeds) + 3 tablespoons warm water: mix until a thick paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (such as Nielsen Massey) or vanilla extract
  • 80 gr 71 % chocolate chopped into chunks (I love and use Republica del Cacao or if you want to lower the glycemic index: I love the 85 % from Milkboy Swiss chocolate
  • Maldon Salt to sprinkle on top (just a few flakes per cookie)
Method
  1. Prepare cookie dough preferably several hours before (please don't skip this stage so that cookies can hydrate, and maintain their shape when baking, if not they will expand!).
  2. In a small bowl: whisk: flours, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a bowl: mix coconut oil, Stir Sweetener, flax egg, vanilla with a whisk by hand. Add the flour and mix until combined. Add the chocolate and mix well. Shape cookies with a #24 scoop and place onto a lined cookie tray with Silpat (I use a half sheet perforated baking tray/ it bakes better, faster). Place cookies with enough space in between. Do not flatten. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 4 hours, alternatively you can shape cookies into balls (with this scoop) and put into ziplock bag) and freeze or chill over night then bake as is the next day.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven (convection preferably) at 345 F (170 C).
  5. Bake for aprox 8-10 mins it will depend on your oven, baking sheet, how thick the cookies are, and how chewy/ crispy you want them. Remember: they will continue to bake as they cool on the baking tray. So you can test one out to see the exact time. I like mine chewy and believe these must be so. Cookies must be golden, soft in the middle, crispy on the outside edges.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 mins on the tray. Remove cookies with a cookie spatula and if you take out the Silpat your perforated tray becomes a cooling rack! Let cool completely and then store in a cookie tin or a recycled salad container (you know the one in the Supermarkets that has pre washed spinach). Cookies will keep very well up to 4 days optimally at room temperature. Enjoy!!! Please let me know when you make them!
Notes
Share the love and spread the word!
Happy Thanksgiving friends! Love you all!
 

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PALEO PUMPKIN CAKE

Ever since I lived in Chicago when I was in Pastry School: Pumpkin became one of my absolute favorite foods, any time of the year.

Lately I have had many requests to develop gluten free, coconut flour recipes. My goal is to make paleo lower glycemic. Paleo recipes as you probably know are: gluten free, dairy free, low carb, grain free and full of protein, and can rarely be vegan something many bakers still don’t realize. Coconut flour is ideal for people with a leaky gut, gastrointestinal problems, gluten sensitivities and it is a great source of fiber. However in baking it is like a sponge: so used alone it is not great. Coconut flour requieres a lot of eggs as binders and for volume and texture and this can create very chewy and spongy cakes which have a very odd texture. So recipes combining almond flour and coconut flour are the best in terms of texture and flavor. Paleo recipes also use liquid sweeteners most of the time as coconut flour and almond flour need either honey or maple syrup or agave syrup (which I don’t use or recommend), I have made many attempts at baking cakes with almond flour + coconut flour and a low glycemic sweetener such as Swerve and adding oil or liquids to balance out the dryness, few have worked successfully.

This recipe is adapted from Dr Axe whose work as a functional doctor in nutrition is amazing. He is one of those rare doctors who: 1. Knows everything about nutrition. 2. Explains everything really well in very simple terms.

PALEO PUMPKIN CAKE
 
Author:
Serves: 6 small cakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup/ 115 gr almond flour (I love HEB brand the best)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon/ 2 gr baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup Swerve sweetener
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put a silicon mold (loaf pan or individual loaf pans) on a perforated tray. Spray with a gluten free spray such as coconut oil.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in another bowl.
  5. Mix the wet into the dry together until well incorporated with a whisk.
  6. Pour into greased silicon loaf pans and bake on the perforated tray for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool and unmold. Store in a plastic container such as a recycled salad acrylic container. These keep for 2 days in perfect conditions.
 

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NOBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH MALDON SALT

I don’t know about you, but chocolate chip cookies are one of my obsessions and I have tested and sampled so many recipes and every bakery I go to the piece de resistance is the chocolate chip cookies, and really if they can’t get that one just right, the rest is not compelling to me. So in this mad search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie (and believe me I tried the very fantastic ones from Levain Bakery which are a category by themselves and the one’s hardly anyone knows about from Specialty’s in SFO), I really craved a gluten free, low glycemic option I could eat. Not an easy task for sure as most tasted like cardboard, where too dry, to nut buttery, or way too sweet and oily. Again a good formula is all about proportions and a balancing act of fat, sugar and flour.

NOBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH MALDON SALT
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour 115 gr
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda at high altitude/ 1 teaspoon at sea level
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons/ 90 gr coconut oil organic not melted
  • 6 tablespoons almond butter/ 90 gr
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ½ cup low glycemic sweetener such as Swerve (HEB, Amazon)  in Mexico: Superlife Gourmet
  • 1 egg
  • ½  cup dark chocolate 70-85 % chopped/ 80 gr
  • Maldon salt to sprinkle on top and you can be adventurous and add sumac also or use a hibiscus sea salt combination!
Method
  1. Prepare baking tray with a Silpat.
  2. Pre heat a convection oven to 340 F. Sift flours and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl: mix almond butter, coconut oil with a whisk by hand. Add  vanilla, sugars. Mix. Add egg. Mix.
  4. Add flours and combine with a silicon spatula. Add chocolate chunks.
  5. Use a medium scoop #24 to shape cookies onto baking tray and flatten slightly with your hands. Sprinkle Maldon salt and bake for about 10 mins depending on your oven.
  6. They must be crunchy on the edges and soft/ chewy inside. They continue cooking as they cool on the tray, so don't over bake. Chocolate chip cookies must be chewy
  7. Store in a metal cookie can or in a plastic salad container! They keep well for about 4 days. Don’t store in ziplocks or tuperware, they become humid and moist.
Notes
You can add cacao nibs 1 tablespoon or even drizzle my healthy caramel on top!
 

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NOBLE APRICOT ROSEMARY CURRANT SCONES

Recipe adapted from Ovenly (My favorite bakery in Brooklyn!)

I have always loved scones more than any other pastry ever. Let’s just say I have very high standards for scones. Travelling the world I seeked the very best scones in LA, Paris, NYC, SFO and I also made hundreds literally. So drum roll please for Ovenly who nailed the perfect balance of elements and created the original recipe which I happily adapted in my test kitchen. Many years ago in one of my first interviews, I was asked if you were a pastry which would you be? I immediately said a scone. Perhaps its my English background (My Mom was born in England) and I went to a British school in Mexico City. But I also love the texture, the perfect balance of sweet and salty and the biscuit feel to a scone, in my travels that is my dream breakfast with the best barista coffee… I melt just savoring the moment.

 

NOBLE APRICOT ROSEMARY CURRANT SCONES
 
Author:
Serves: 16 small | 10 large
Ingredients
  • 120 gr European style unsalted butter (preferably grass fed)
  • 400 gr whole spelt flour
  • 64 gr coconut sugar/ or you can use ⅓ cup Swerve Sweetener for a lower glycemic option
  • 12 gr double acting baking powder, aluminium and gluten free/at high altitude use half
  • 4 gr fine sea salt
  • 65 gr currants
  • 65 gr dried apricots chopped finely (I love the ones at Trader Joes that have no sulfur, no added sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves chopped finely
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream or coconut cream (from a can, unsweetened)
  • Heavy cream or buttermilk for brushing as a glaze
  • Coconut sugar for sprinkling on top/ optional
Method
  1. Preheat convection oven to 425 F.
  2. Prepare a baking tray (I use perforated trays) with silpats.
  3. Cut the butter into ¼- to ½-inch cubes and freeze for 10 minutes before using.  I suggest 2 methods: the first is very time consuming and not my favorite..
BY HAND:
  1. Whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, quickly cut or blend the cold butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal. The butter pieces should be mostly about the size of small pebbles, but some larger pieces are okay.
  3. Using a large fork or a wooden spoon, mix the currants, apricots and rosemary into the flour-butter mixture.
  4. Stir the cream into the flour-butter mixture with a large wooden spoon or a fork until the dough begins to come together. The flour should not be fully incorporated at this point, and do not over mix.
  5. Transfer the dough and any loose floury bits to a floured counter top or pastry board/mat.
  6. Quickly “knead” the dough until it comes fully together, and then flatten it with the palms of your hands into a ¾ inch-thick mound (the shape does not matter at this point). Fold the dough in half, give it a quarter turn and then flatten it again. Repeat this process 3 more times.
  7. Flour your surface once more, and then shape the dough into a ¾ inch-thick round that is 6 inches in diameter. Use a bench scraper or a knife to cut the dough into 4 equal triangles. Then cut those in half to make 8 even triangles. Place the triangles on an un greased rimmed sheet pan.
  8. At this point, we recommend placing the rimmed sheet pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help the scones firm up and retain their shape
  9. during baking. If baking right away, brush with cream and top with coconut sugar to finish; or if freezing, brush with cream and top with coconut sugar just before baking.
  10. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, (you may need to lower the oven temperature to 400 F half way through baking) or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the scones comes out clean. Cool the scones on a wire rack. Serve warm.
FOOD PROCESSOR OR THERMOMIX (My favorite method):
  1. Put flour, baking powder, salt, coconut sugar and rosemary in a food processor or Thermomix: add the butter and process until the butter resembles lentils.
  2. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add  the fruit, cream and mix with a spatula until the dough is soft and uniform.
  3. Stir the cream into the flour-butter mixture with a large wooden spoon or a fork until the dough begins to come together. The flour should not be fully incorporated at this point, and do not overmix.
  4. Transfer the dough and any loose floury bits to a floured counter top or pastry board/mat.
  5. Quickly “knead” the dough (just to stick the dough but not kneading as in bread baking) until it comes fully together, and then flatten it with the palms of your hands into a ¾ inch-thick mound (the shape does not matter at this point). Fold the dough in half, give it a quarter turn and then flatten it again. Repeat this process 3 more times.
  6. Flour your surface once more, and then shape the dough into a ¾ inch-thick round that is 6 inches in diameter. Use a bench scraper or a knife to cut the dough into 4 equal triangles. Then cut those in half to make 8 even triangles. Place the triangles on an ungreased rimmed sheet pan.
  7. At this point, we recommend placing the rimmed sheet pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help the scones firm up and retain their shape
  8. During baking. If baking right away, brush with cream and top with coconut sugar to finish; or if freezing, brush with cream and top with coconut sugar just before baking.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, (you may need to lower the oven temperature to 400 F half way through baking) or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the scones comes out clean. Cool the scones on a wire rack. Serve warm.
Notes
These scones (and all) taste better the same day, but will keep well for 2 days max in a plastic container (I love recycling salad containers).

If you are diabetic or limiting sugar: I recommend you use nuts instead of dried fruit or even use a high percent chocolate 75-85 % chopped.
 

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