These steel cut oat cookies taste like the perfect cross between a regular oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and a bowl of oatmeal. They are lightly sweetened with maple syrup, completely gluten-free thanks to oat and almond flour, and low FODMAP by using dairy-free coconut oil.
The oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe in the original Joy of Cooking tome was one of the first baked goods I learned to make on my own. I have the best memories of creaming butter for them by hand, folding in both sugars, and eventually adding oats and chocolate.
Over the years, I’ve tried to recreate them with healthier, gluten-free ingredients so that I can enjoy a cookie after dinner without the inevitable blood sugar crash (and trouble falling asleep).
One of the easiest changes you can make for your blood sugar is swapping regular rolled oats for steel cut oats in cookies. Yes, it’s still dessert. But your body will have to work harder to convert the starches into glucose. (Another is going with a savory oatmeal recipe or sugar-free granola instead of dessert!)
What are steel cut oats?
The less processed the oat, the better it is for your blood sugar. Though you can buy whole groats (the entire kernel), the more common variety is steel cut, which is exactly what it sounds like: pieces of the whole groats cut into smaller, more manageable sizes. Even when simmered for a long period, steel cut oats maintain their shape and bite. This might be an acquired texture, but certainly a refreshing one if you’ve never been a fan of Dickensian, overly mushy gruel.
How do you use steel cut oats in cookies?
Since steel cut oats are denser and chewier than rolled or old fashioned oats, they benefit from a bit of pre-cooking before mixing into your cookie batter. In this steel cut oat cookie recipe, I simmer the oats for 15 minutes on the stovetop in water until they reach a porridge consistency. Normally when making steel cut oatmeal, you would simmer the oats for even longer. But it’s ok to have some bite to them to add texture to your cookies.
The steel cut oatmeal then gets cooled all the way before getting folded into your chocolate chip cookie batter.
Since this recipe uses coconut oil as the main fat, it helps to pop the steel cut oat cookie batter back in the fridge to firm up. The oil is solid at room temperature and makes the batter more soupy once melted. I prefer my steel cut oat cookies to be on the thicker side with crispy edges.
Do these steel cut oat cookies freeze well?
Because of all the chilling, this batter is perfect to making ahead and baking to order. It can last for up to a week in the fridge or even longer portioned out into balls in the freezer.
Just pop them on the baking sheet and add a few extra minutes in the oven to the instructions below.
Can I make these gluten-free steel cut oat cookies with raisins?
Any mix-ins that work in a normal oatmeal cookie would be fantastic with these steel cut oat cookies. Raisins, along with other dried fruit, are sneaky sources of sugar – sometimes containing even more than chocolate chips!
If you use raisins, try adding some walnuts to add more fiber to these steel cut oat cookies and slow down the glucose rollercoaster. I explain this further in this recipe for low sugar oatmeal cookies.
Can I make these steel cut oat cookies nut-free?
On the flip side, you can easily omit the walnut mix-ins to make these cookies nut-free.
Instead of almond flour, add an extra 1/3 cup of oat flour. The cookies will still be delicious, just have less fiber.
How about vegan?
You can swap the eggs in these steel cut oat cookies for two flax eggs. It is even more important to chill the batter to maintain some volume on these cookies without the regular egg.
If you’re looking for more healthy, gluten-free cookie recipes, check out some of these favorites:
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten-Free Flourless Oatmeal Cookies
- Low Sugar Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
- Paleo Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies
- Chewy Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies
- Gluten-Free Healthy Oatmeal Bites
With health and hedonism,
Steel Cut Oat Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
- Cook the oats: In a medium saucepan or stock pot, bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the oats, then simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until the oats have a porridge-like consistency and all the liquid has cooked off. The oats should clump together on your spoon, not be soupy. It’s ok if they still have a bite to them.
- Set the steel cut oats aside to cool until just warm to the touch. You can expedite this by transferring the pot to the fridge and stirring occasionally.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla, until incorporated. It’s okay if the coconut oil is a bit chunky.
- Whisk in the oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Add the cooked, cooled steel cut oats and stir until incorporated. The batter should look like a thick oatmeal. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using)
- Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill until the batter is cool and hard (more cookie dough than oatmeal).
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Portion the batter using a scant ice cream scoop or 2 rounded tablespoons onto the prepared sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. You should end up with about 8 cookies on each tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies appear soft but set and crispy on the bottom. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cookies cool for 10 to 15 minutes on the sheets, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking process with any additional batter.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or even longer in the fridge.