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“It’s a Keeper” Butterscotch-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I first met the HH way back in 1997, he was dabbling in astrology. I don’t mean the kind of  horoscopes you read in the daily newspaper or receive each morning on twitter.  No, I mean the kind of astrology that involves a mega-detailed analysis such as casting a natal chart, consulting celestial connections, assessing trine relationships, checking the aspects of the sun, tabulating the temperature at 3:00 PM EST on Pluto, combing through the weekly sales flyer at Costco, etc.

Then, after he’d done all that, he proudly presented me with a 26-page printed document that outlined my basic personality traits, possible career moves, future inclinations, ideal love relationship, suggested pets, and so on.  It had taken him almost three weeks of his free time in the evenings to analyze, study, measure and print the thing. 

That’s when it hit me: this guy was a keeper.

One detail he was very fond of repeating was how our two signs (he: Scorpio of the Eagle phase; she: Libra ), were stacked up in a love relationship: the pairing was destined to be either perfectly compatible, a shimmering, calm and crystal-clear lake on a sunny day in July; or eternally on the verge of combustion, a stack of old newspapers perilously close to the fireplace. (Personally, I think we vacillate between the two).

In explaining the different elements of my horoscope, the HH also pointed out that, according to our respective dates, times, and places of birth, his sign was  “destined” to be a “teacher” to my sign.  Well, if you count teaching me the difference between a gigabyte and a terabyte; what blacklight power is; why a  cartridge is superior to a needle; or the fact that Tazio Nuvolari once navigated his Alfa Romeo through an archway with less than an inch on each side of  his car–at 100 miles per hour–then yes, he’s taught me a lot.  But when it comes to things like expressing one’s emotions; returning phone calls; whether or not a specific occasion requires a card; or remembering to renew his passport so he can travel to Nourished in Chicago with me in April–well, let’s just say that I could teach the HH a few things as well. 

Ah, yes.  Back to the cookies.

At some point shortly after the Presentation of the Horoscope, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies to thank my sweetie for his efforts. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?  I’ve written before how I first began to bake them when I was a mere tot at my Aunt Yetta’s knee. 

As you know, classic chocolate chip cookies come in myriad forms, sizes, thickenesses and textures. There are the “crispy-throughout” cookies, the “crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside” variety, or the deliberately underbaked, “chewy-throughout” style of chocolate chippers.  And let’s not forget the “not-baked-at-all-raw-cookie-dough” version, which was for decades the type preferred by yours truly. (Once I went gluten free, I was devastated to discover that my raw cookie dough no longer held its former allure; I actually found it distasteful, the bean flours asserting themselves a little too strongly in the dough).

Back then my exclusive CC Cookie was my mother’s classic recipe, which had been in our family for eons.  It represented my ideal: a perfect balance between brown and white sugar, with a little more butter than most other recipes to form a crisp, crunchy exterior and dense, soft and buttery interior studded with melty chocolate chips (not to mention a killer raw cookie dough). The HH, on the other hand, favored a cookie that was crispy throughout.  He took a bite of one of my cookies and announced, “It’s good, but it sort of tastes like a ball of raw dough. Ugh.”

And at that moment, I wondered: IS this guy a keeper?

Over the years, I kept at it.  And through it all, the HH wanted nothing more than President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies–crisp as a Toronto day in mid-January, from the first crumb to the very last morsel in your mouth.

Then I came across a recipe in Vegetarian Times that used oatmeal and walnuts plus several ingredients I don’t eat: canola oil (usually GMO), brown sugar (cane sugar) and chocolate bars (more cane sugar).  I set about playing with the recipe.  It took a few tries, but in the end, that recipe taught me a lot.  I learned that the exact measurement of water is key. I learned that the combination of both coconut sugar and coconut nectar creates a synergy resulting in just the right balance of crispy exterior and chewy interior.  I learned that psyllium husks are my new favorite binder.  I learned so much that I began to wonder if the recipe creator might have been a Scorpio.

I offered the HH a cookie.  He bit into it, chewed it enthusiastically, and helped himself to another (I think this “multiple dessert servings” business is getting to be a habit with that HH!).  He even commented on the fact that they were “nice and chewy in the middle.” And then he added, “Yep, I think this one’s a keeper.”

Well, then!  Seems the HH learned a thing or two from me as well, hmmm? 😉

 

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“It’s a Keeper” Butterscotch-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Suitable for Anti-Candida Diet (ACD) Stage 3 and beyond

Just like the cookies grandma used to make. . . except with a whole lot more healthy ingredients.  Many gluten free bakers are beginning to use psyllium in their baking as a replacement for xanthan gum.  In this recipe, the psyllium is essential: I tried the recipe various ways with flax and/or chia, but the results were nowhere near as good.

1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar

1 Tbsp (15 ml) water

2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut nectar

2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp (15 ml) nut oil or extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic (I used macadamia)

5-10 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia, to your taste

1 cup (110  g) walnut pieces and halves, lightly toasted

1 cup (110 g) rolled oats

1 Tbsp (15 ml) lucuma powder

1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda

1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder

1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt

2 tsp (10 ml) psyllium husks

1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened carob chips (or substitute chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).  Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.

In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, water, coconut nectar, vanilla, oil and stevia; whisk to begin dissolving the coconut sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the oats until they resemble cornmeal.  Add the nuts, lucuma, baking soda, baking powder, salt and psyllium and continue to process until it’s very fine and begins to stick together, moving round in a solid “wall” around the edges of the processor (the texture will be like a slightly moist sawdust at this point, and should still fall apart in a powder when you separate it with your fingers, NOT like a dough that sticks together). 

Drizzle the wet mixture in a ring over the dry ingredients in the processor and process until it comes together in a dough.  Lift the blade and scrape away any liquid that’s hiding under there, then return the blade and process again briefly to incorporate.  Remove the blade and stir in the chips by hand. Do not process again.

Scoop the dough using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon and place in mounds on a cookie sheet. Use your wet palm or a silicone spatula to flatten the cookies to about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness.  Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until the edges are golden.  Allow to cool before removing from the cookie sheets.  Makes 12-15 cookies. May be frozen.

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This recipe is linked to Shirley’s Virtual Gluten Free Support Group and Cybele’s Allergy Friendly Friday.

Last Year at this Time: Asian-Inspired Red Bean Pastry Cookies (gluten free;  ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad (gluten free; ACD All Stages)

Four Years Ago: This iz not a blg entree [Elsie and Chaser contribute]

You Might Also Like: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free; ACD maintenance)

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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56 comments to “It’s a Keeper” Butterscotch-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • What a funny story, Ricki. I never knew that astrology was so precise. 😉 I do think that couples should be compatible in the kitchen, types of chocolate cookies aside. These look great!

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    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Janet! I do think the HH and I are an anomaly that way. . . he loves steak, I eat vegan. But at least our cookie style is now in sync! 😉

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  • Gorgeous cookies, Ricki! You’d never know they were so healthy. I love finding recipes that are truly whole foods based and don’t have gluten-free starches or gums. 🙂

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    Ricki Reply:

    Thank you, Hallie! I agree–I was so pleased to see that the original cookie used just ground oats and nuts in the base. Great idea! 🙂

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  • Oh Ricki! These sound and look delicious. (And healthy!)

    I love the horoscope story; I find astrology stuff fascinating. It’s so sweet he spent so much time on your “report.” HH is surely a keeper, and I’m sure he says the same about you.

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    Ricki Reply:

    HI LIZ!!! So nice to see your name here again! 😀 Glad you like the look of the cookies–they are pretty yummy. And I hope that’s the way the HH feels, too (at least, that’s what I keep telling him!!) 😉

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  • These look amazing. Since I’ve never had lucuma, I’m guessing it’s the combination of that and the coconut nectar/sugar that give these their “butterscotch” flavor? I am a sucker (like BIG TIME sucker) for butterscotch, so if those are the key players, I might just have to get more coconut nectar and some lucuma!

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    Ricki Reply:

    Alta, yes, those flavors together really tasted like butterscotch to me! You can do without the lucuma if necessary, but I’d highly recommend it. 🙂

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  • I think I’m going to test these cookies out using agave instead of coconut nectar! I might have to wait for a while though. I still have a baggie full of those pumpkin seed chocolate chip cookies you linked last week in my freezer!

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    Ricki Reply:

    Heather, I tried agave when I was developing the recipe–the texture isn’t right. They were either too soft or totally crispy. Not that there’s anythign wrong with that. . . 😉

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  • You had me at butterscotch – but I can’t resist any chocolate chip cookie recipe. Though I’m a chewy or raw girl myself, too.

    Sounds like the HH is getting a bit of a sweet tooth!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Alisa, the HH actually had a sweet tooth when we met, but he prefers whipped-cream, ice cream, creamy yogurt, or cream. 😉 I do think he’s getting a little more accustomed to cookies and muffins these days, though! 😀

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  • Okay, butterscotch flavor is my weakness. Have not had a real butterscotch cookie in ages now that we eat so healthy. So I am dying to try this recipe. I have never tried lucuma powder! Now you have my interest really piqued about it! And oh my goodness! Your astrology story is hysterical!! He is definitely a total KEEPER!!!!
    xo

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Kim, I really found that these had a butterscotch taste (then again, I haven’t had it in so long, either, who knows?) 😉 And glad you agree with my assessment (of the HH, not horoscopes!).

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  • Okay, HH sounds like he’s perfect for you 🙂
    In case you hadn’t noticed, I am a total cookie girl Ricki. I think these are a good enough excuse to pick up some lucuma powder. Psyllium is the answer to our gum-free prayers, and more!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I agree, GO PSYLLIUM!! I can’t believe I had some for years in my cupboard after using it in raw dishes, and now here it is the perfect GF binder!

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  • As a fan of all cookies, both crispy and soft, I’d be happy with either. Maybe I’m a keeper!! But I probably wouldn’t be able to figure out all that horoscope stuff. And we’re both Libras, so it would never work out. 😛

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    Ricki Reply:

    Ha, ha! Yes, if I recall correctly, a Libra-Libra pairing was supposedly one of the worst ones!! Great for friendships, though. 😀 And I’m sure you’re a keeper!!

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  • I am always on the lookout for new and crispy CC cookies for my hub, too. I see that its ok to pass on the lacuma (I’ll try to pick some up – what is the flavor profile?) but I can’t do psyllium. Would xanthan work as a sub?
    Boy – spell check is going crazy with these ingredients;-)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    So funny about the spell check! Well, I didn’t try xanthan in my trials, but I did try both flax and chia and didn’t like the results with either one. Honestly, I’m not sure how the xanthan would work, but it’s certainly worth a try. I find that lucuma is very butterscotch-y and also a little fruity. It seems to enhance the naturally butterscotch-like flavor of the coconut nectar.

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  • Ricki, I had to laugh because my husband and I had a similar situation around chocolate chip cookies when we were engaged. I cooked for him a lot, but this was my first attempt at baking. I used the toll house recipe, back before he was gluten free with me. I thought I’d get creative with adding a little water to the mix, which almost makes them like little cakes. I also used rock salt to give the cookies a little crunch. My husband hated them and we had our first big fight. He likes his cookies crunchy and I’m with you about the cookie dough. I did decide to keep him though. I’ll try your recipe on him soon and see how it goes. See you at Nourished. Jenilyn

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Jenilyn, that’s too funny! I used to make that recipe all the time–I bet they still tasted great, though, right? (though not sure about the rock salt myself!). Glad it didn’t split you two up. 😉 And hope you like these as well!

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  • Sassy Stephanie

    Hmm…think coco sugar would work? I have all but the coco nectar.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Stephanie, I did try a version of this with coconut sugar-only and I wasn’t thrilled with the final texture. The flavor will still be great, though, just a little too crispy for me!

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  • Yay for psyllium! I love the butterscotch flavor, as well as unsweetened carob chips! That is so cute about the “report” he put together for you 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Jane! I thought it was pretty cute, too. 😉 Glad that you’ve been able to find unsweetened carob chips–what brand do you use?

    [Reply]

    Jane Reply:

    I get the Sunspire Vegan Unsweetened Carob Chips – actually the only ones I can find! I just love them!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    A lot of people say those are hard to find. . . or is it that they have barley malt (ie, not gluten free)? I can find vegan ones with just carob, soy lecithin and palm oil. I’m so used to them now I probably would find the “regular” ones too sweet!

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  • I had no idea the HH was into astrology. How interesting. (In a good way, of course!) I keep toying with the idea of going to the conference but can’t quite commit. I may, however, be coming to Toronto in the near future.

    I saw the cookie recipe, too, and was considering tinkering with it, but I’m so glad you did it first. Now I can just use your recipe. 🙂 I wonder what would happen if I used oat flour instead of oats.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yes, the HH goes through phases when he’s very into one thing or another. . . and then it’s committed to memory forever. Drives me crazy. 😉 And you KNOW I would love to see you at the conference, or in Toronto, or wherever!

    Re: oat flour, I think I started that way but didn’t like the final texture. I preferred the sort of nubbly oaty bits in there. But worth a try. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Oh Ricki,

    You’re so funny. I love reading your stories.

    And I have to say, I have each and everyone of these ingredients in my kitchen!

    Can’t wait to make these. Maybe this weekend while my sweet husband takes the kids to visit his family. A quiet house and an entire batch of cookies all to myself.
    Fuggedaboutit! 🙂

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Amber! 🙂 But I would caution against having an entire batch to yourself. . . dangerous! 😉

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  • 🙂 these look positively delicious, Ricki! I cannot wait to try your recipe.

    xoxo

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Sunny! and I’m still looking forward to making those grain-free chocolate ones you posted! (Drool).

    [Reply]

  • How exciting to have a proper astrologist to do your chart! I’ve seen a good friend have her chart done and it was so spot-on but I don’t have my birth time so I can’t do it! I am with you on soft cookies – and E likes things even softer than me – he sometimes leaves packets of things like crackers and gingernuts opened just so that they can soften enough for him – which drives me crazy as sometimes his soft seems like ‘stale’.

    He does love butterscotch so the idea of a butterscotch cookie with no butterscotch chips is exciting – am a little unsure about coconut nectar and lucuma but I need to use up some psyllium husks that have been in my pantry far far too long.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Johanna, it was quite the document, I can tell you! And I was amazed, too, at how accurate the personality description was–we hardly knew each other at the time, so he couldn’t have known much of that info back then. And that’s really funny about E and the soft cookies/crackers! I agree, they’d seem stale to me. 😉

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  • Oh Ricki. You make my soul sing. Coconut sugar, coconut sugar! Need to stop adding to my “to make” coconut sugar recipes and get making! 😛

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hannah, don’t tell me you haven’t tried it yet–??? You are a woman of iron, I tell you! Given your love of chocolate (probably close to my own), I’d suggest starting with a brownie recipe, either the happy hemp or the “marry me” ones. . . but whatever you make, I bet you will be instantly enchanted by that caramely-butterscotchy flavor! 😀

    [Reply]

  • These cookies look absolutely scrumptious Ricki. My hubby and son are Libras–a great sign 🙂 I love Astrology-just don’t have the time to dabble in it like I used to.

    [Reply]

  • cute! love all the great flavors in here 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Shannon! I think the HH is pretty cute, too (oh, wait, you didn’t mean him–?) 😉

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  • Yummmmmm!!! I’m not really eating grains now – so I shouldn’t have clicked on this :-). Maybe just this once.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I know the feeling! Since I made them, I’ve started a (mostly) grain-free regime, too. But they sure were good when I had them. . . !

    [Reply]

  • That HH is quite the guy … on so many levels! So glad he’ll be with you in Chicago. Will so miss meeeting you both!

    LOVE these cookies! I’m so very happy that you linked them to the kickoff of my GFE Virtual Gluten-Free Support Group. 🙂

    Shirley

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yay! Thanks, Shirley! I think the event is going to be a huge success. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Ok, now I have to try lucuma powder! And I too have some psyllium seeds in my pantry, just haven’t tried them yet. Almost overnight, I find myself staying away from gums, so I am anxious to try them as an alternative binder! Pinned Ricki!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I’ve come to love lucuma! It really does seem to add a butterscotchy flavor to things. And the psyllium really works well–thanks! 🙂

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  • Holly

    Oh Ricki – these are so dangerously good! I knew they would be a winner when I tasted the dough. Delish!! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much! 😀 I think I might even like the dough better than the cookies. 😉

    [Reply]

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  • Nicole Pelletier

    These turned out so good! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yay! Glad you like them, Nicole! And thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Kelly

    Hi, I just love your recipes!, especially sugar free ones. I have been looking for naturally sugar free butterscotch morsels/baking chips or a recipe.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Kelly, Thanks so much! Unfortunately I’ve never found sugar-free butterscotch chips, either. But now you’ve given me an idea for a recipe. . .! 🙂

    [Reply]

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