[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Recently I stopped by a friend's home as she was baking oatmeal cookies. The thick batter she dropped onto baking sheets looked absolutely full of oats. The recipe called for three cups of rolled oats to only one cup of flour. Now that's an oatmeal cookie. She described the flavor: "a bowl of sweet oatmeal but in cookie form." I went home to create a gluten-free version.

Lately, I've been baking more whole-grain and rice-free gluten-free recipes; so I used sorghum flour and oat flour to replace the one cup of all-purpose wheat flour. For an added nutty flavor, I threw in two tablespoons of ground flax.

Once baked, these cookies were just as my friend described. Sweet but with plenty of oats to balance everything out. If you want them less sweet, reduce the sugar by a quarter of a cup; any less sugar and the recipe doesn't work.

Besides using gluten-free flour, I also changed one other thing about the recipe. I didn't add raisins (because I don't like 'em) or chopped nuts (because I'm allergic). Instead, I added chocolate chips to the dough. Add whatever nuts or dried fruit you love. This dough handles about one and half cups of "add ins" without falling apart. This is slightly less than the wheat-version because our dough lacks the gluten structure and can turn crumbly if you add too many nuts or dried fruits to it. And if you don't like anything in your oatmeal cookies, don't add anything. Thanks to all those whole oats, the cookies are flavorful and delicious on their own.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking. and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".


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