Baking/ Dessert/ Recipes

Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back of the bag recipes have sustained us for ages. Our grandmothers clipped recipes from paper board cylinders of oatmeal, from the backs of chocolate chip bags, and ordered recipe booklets from Betty Crocker and Jello. Some of those recipes stand the test of time because manufacturers just keep putting them on the packages, like the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. But others are lost to the ages because there was no where else to get them. It’s in that spirit that I’m bringing you these cookies from the back of the Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats bag. (And we all know how transitory products can be at Trader Joe’s.)

So, oatmeal cookies. But not just oatmeal, Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

These cookies actually remind me of Mrs. Matsumoto’s cookies. I don’t know if I ever actually met her, but the Matsumotos were friends of my grandparents when they lived in LA in the late 50s/early 60s. Later, once my grandparents moved to Orange County, her son would come for a visit now and then, and he always brought cookies.

Bring something when you go visiting, get sent home with something. It’s not a quid pro quo, it’s just how it is in Japanese American families. It could be an extra plate from whatever meal you enjoyed, it could be some lemons from the backyard tree, or a box of See’s Candies. There’s the back-and-forth of the offering and requisite refusals…until the visitor gives in, thanks you, and goes on his way. It’s about sharing and community. And at my grandma’s house, whether it was a friend of the family or me heading back to college on a Sunday night, you weren’t getting out that door without taking something with you.

So Mrs. M’s cookies. The ones I remember? Sugar cookies with teeny tiny rainbow sprinkle balls. Always flat as a pancake with crispy brown edges, Mrs. M’s cookies were made only with butter, even in the Crisco era. These oatmeal (peanut butter chocolate chip) cookies have that same old school browned butteriness to them.

I about flipped my lid when I noticed the recipe had a cup and half of sugar in it. And even though everyone’s inclination right now is to use some other alternative sweetener, don’t do it, at least the first time you make these. The sugar makes for a crispy cookie, and without gluten to provide a little give, these are crunchy. At least stick close to the idea of granulated sugar – maybe use the coconut palm sugar you got in your swag bag from BlogHerFood. Then file this recipe away someplace safe, you’ll want to come back to it again and again.

And for everyone not living through Juneuary, here’s what will make turning on the oven in the heat worthwhile. Smoosh a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two of these guys for a killer ice cream sandwich.


Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Print Recipe


  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ c . sugar
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ t. baking soda
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 c. (or 6 oz). chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.


In a large bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter, and both sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Fold in the oats and chocolate chips until combined.


Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, place cookies on a sheet about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down on the cookies with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.


Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Cookies will be slightly soft in the center.


Note: The yield on this is slightly odd, but I make cookies a little bit bigger, more like a tablespoonful than a teaspoon full. I made some of these extra big, just to see how the dough would do. It takes a few extra minutes baking time for the big ones.

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  • laura
    April 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I bake them in a pan for bar cookies and they turn out just as nice–and it’s a faster process. I use whatever nut butter I have on hand but I really like Sunny Sunflower Seed butter. I have also substituted the butter for coconut oil, which works perfectly. This is a great, adaptable recipe. I threw my empty bag away and forgot to clip the recipe. Thanks for posting!

    • Michelle
      April 15, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Hi Laura – Thanks for sharing your substitutions — good to know we have some other options w/ the recipe!

  • TheLove4Happiness
    January 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    These are the best cookies ever! I have been making them for over a year now and EVERYONE loves them! I also use dairy free butter and they turn out great.

    • Michelle
      February 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Glad you like ’em! 🙂

  • Rhonda Hennessey
    December 25, 2013 at 7:09 am

    These were awesome! I substituted dark chocolate chips……yummy!

  • Myrnie
    April 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    We’ve made these twice now- LOVE these! First was with a small cookie scoop, and they turned out really crispy. Second I used a medium scoop, and they stayed chewy and bendy even a few days later. Yum! Thanks for this 🙂

    • Michelle
      April 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Hi Myrnie – Glad you liked ’em!

  • Alberta Black
    January 20, 2013 at 7:04 am

    These cookies rock! I had a jar of chocolate almond butter so I used that in place of the peanut butter and even my picky hard-core carnivore husband liked them. We have another batch prepped & ready to mix!

  • Robin Shewmaker
    October 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I made these today. They could not have come out any better. Absolutely perfect and delicious. I just put them on a regular cookie sheet. No problem. My grandson is gluten intolerant. We’re still not getting a Celiac Disease diagnosis because they want us to put him back on gluten in order to do the requisite testing. We’re just not willing to do that because he has made such great developmental strides since we took him off of it. Also, we just don’t understand the need to make him sick again in order to get the diagnosis. …sigh… Sorry to go off on a tangent. I just wanted to say thank you for the recipe. I like them better than gluten made cookies. I’ll see him tomorrow. I’m sure he will be so excited!

  • janae
    September 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Very nice cookies! I dropped the sugar quants. to 1/2 c each, added crushed walnuts, raisins, a little less chocolate chips ( trying to watch sugar intake) and changed the eggs to an egg replacement. Baked without a silpat and still turned out great!! thanks!!!

  • Donna
    August 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Absolutely the easiest and most delicious GLUTEN FREE cookies ever! We finally discovered the reason why my son recently had so many health issues. He is allergic to wheat! He has also been avoiding sugar for the last year while he his gut was healing. Now that he is feeling so much better he asked me to bake some cookies for him. I searched and found this recipe. I like the fact that there are not many ingredients and that I don’t have to use all those other gluten free flours! These cookies are very easy to make and everyone in our family loves them! We especially like that they are not too sweet. I used coconut palm sugar instead of regular sugar which is slightly less sweet. This was a great treat for him on his first day back to school! Thanks for posting thiss!

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