Almond butter cookies with oatmeal, chocolate & cherries

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Almond butter cookies with oatmeal, chocolate and cherry

I have a son with a peanut allergy and he has never known the joy of peanut butter cookies.  I have another son who loves peanut butter above all else and he suffers from the no-peanut butter zone instituted in our home.  He has finally accepted almond butter as an acceptable substitute and I want to reward him and our peanut-allergic guy with some almond butter cookies.  But I want to throw in some oatmeal, chocolate and cherry goodness too and conversely use (almost) no sugar and no wheat flour.  Compromise is good….

I searched and searched to find good almond butter oatmeal cookie recipes but all the recipes I could find came out not so good, so I set out to develop my own.  This is the culmination of that effort…

The result is a healthified, peanut-free almond butter, oatmeal, cherry and chocolate cookie…. And those flavors just blend into a beautiful co-existence.  My son describes them as a cross between a chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie, with a touch of almond butter and flashes of cherry.  On any other given day, I would replace the chocolate and cherries with raisins and add cinnamon for something more like a typical oatmeal raisin cookie.

Soft Texture & Sugar-free Baking

Now texture-wise they are soft cookies, and it took quite a bit of experimentation with other recipes and failed cookies to come up with a version that didn’t fall apart or become mush.  The problem with baking without sugar is that sugar is required to crisp the outside of the cookie and form a little bit of a barrier, keeping all the gooey goodness inside.  Sugar substitutes are almost entirely useful for replacing sweetness, but not the crisping and structural component sugar provides.  These cookies are super soft, but they remain in cookie formation until eaten.  Maybe one day I’ll find a way to make a crisper version, but these will do for the time being!

Potential Substitutions

For substitutions, here are my thoughts:  It might be possible to sub the oat flour for almond flour, or some other flour to make it gluten free, but I have not tried it.  I have not tried the recipe with anything but Barney Butter which is blended into a smooth butter and has additional fat and some sugar added.  Using a different almond butter may yield a different result.

Additionally, (although I haven’t tried it), to make it fully sugar-free you can use sugar-free chocolate chips and eliminate the small amount of brown sugar, but I would add in a tiny bit of molasses for flavor.  I’m not sure how the recipe would turn out if you used another sugar alternative such as honey, erythritol, splenda, etc. as they all have such different properties when it comes to baking and texture.

Preferences for sugar substitute widely vary.  Some prefer erythritol over xylitol and swear the substitute they do not prefer has an aftertaste, and vice versa.  I am one who prefers xylitol over erythritol.  So, depending on your preference for sugar free substitute, you may or may not be happy with these cookies.  Erythritol is lower calorie and lower carb, but does not take as much like sugar as Xylitol does, in my opinion.

Finally, some may wonder how to make the cookies egg free. There are some egg free recipes out there I have tried and they just do not turn out well.  The structure of the cookie pretty much depends on those eggs.  If you are currently using an egg free egg substitute in baking, you may want to try it here.

Storing

Regarding their moisture, it is best to store them in a ziplock bag on one or two paper towels.  This cookie doesn’t dry out, it becomes more moist, and so it is probably a good idea to bake them when you know they will be eaten quickly.

Xylitol Warning

*NOTE – if you have dogs, look for another recipe!  Xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs!!  We, unfortunately, are a dog-free family due to my son’s allergies, so we can use Xylitol.

*Also – Xylitol can cause some digestive distress in some individuals.  It usually affects me the first time I eat it, but the second time I seem to have more tolerance to it.  It’s probably not a good idea to eat a dozen or so of these cookies right before a big meeting or hot date until you know for sure how you digest foods with xylitol.

Now, on to the recipe for almond butter cookies with oatmeal, chocolate and cherries!

Print Recipe
Almond Butter Cookies with Oatmeal, Chocolate and Cherry
A cross between a chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie, with a hint of almond butter and flashes of cherry. This recipe is low sugar and wheat free.
almond butter cookies
Course Cookies
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Cookies
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
almond butter cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and xylitol using a wooden spoon.
  3. Mix almond butter into the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl and add the to the almond butter sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Mix applesauce and vanilla (if using) into the almond butter sugar mixture until incorporated.
  6. In a separate medium sized bowl, mix oats, salt, baking soda, oat flour, almond flour and coconut flour.
  7. Add half of the dry mixture to half of the almond butter mixture and when fully incorporated add in the other half of the dry mixture and mix well.
  8. Mix in the chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  9. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop 1 tablespoon sized balls onto the cookie sheet. Flatten each to about 1/2 inch thick. The cookies spread somewhat, but if not flattened they will be in more of a mound form.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. Higher altitudes may require a longer cooking time. The should look softly browned around the edges but will look slightly uncooked in the middle when you take them out. It is important to leave them on the cookie sheet for several minutes to set up!!! I let mine set for 15-30 minutes. You will know when they are ready to remove from the sheet when they do not fall apart as you remove them (with a spatula) from the cookie sheet to a paper towel lined serving plate.
  11. Store cookies in a baggie lined with a paper towel to absorb moisture, otherwise the cookies could spoil or become inedible.
  12. These cookies are best eaten within 24-48 hours.
Recipe Notes

For all the warnings and special instructions, this cookie does taste very good.  With each bite I am shocked that it doesn't contain the typical cup of sugar that most cookie recipes call for.

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