Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, with Oat, Buckwheat, Teff, or Mesquite Flour

September  9, 2016
8 Ratings
Photo by Alanna
  • Makes about fourteen 3-inch cookies
Author Notes

If you have a kitchen scale, use it to measure here, as alternative flours can vary in volume. Otherwise, use the dip and sweep method. Be sure to sift clumpy flours such as oat and mesquite. Pull the baked cookies from the oven when they still seem underdone; they will continue cooking from residual heat. For fresh-baked cookies on the fly, scoop the dough into balls and store, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week. When ready to bake, place the dough balls on sheet pans, sprinkle with flaky salt, and bake. Cookies from dough that has chilled bake up extra thick and chewy (shown here); baking the freshly made dough results in thinner cookies with crispier edges. See tips on how to brown butter. If you're forgoing the flaky salt topping, you can increase the salt in the dough to 3/4 teaspoon; just don't use iodized table salt: I find it has a harsh flavor. —Alanna

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup raw pecan or walnut halves
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar (I prefer organic)
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated cane sugar (I prefer organic)
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (100 grams) gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (45 grams) tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60 to 75% cacao mass), coarsely chopped (11⁄4 cups)
  • Flaky salt such as Maldon for the tops
  1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375° F (190° C). Line 2 rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the nuts on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely, then break into rough quarters.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter and vanilla bean and scrapings together in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter turns golden and smells nutty, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Place the sugars in a large bowl and when the butter has browned, scrape it and any browned bits into the sugar immediately to stop the cooking. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod and discard (or save for making vanilla extract).
  5. Meanwhile, sift together the oat and tapioca flours, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  6. When the sugar mixture has cooled to warm, beat in the egg until well combined. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stirring until well combined, then continue to stir vigorously for a few more seconds; the mixture will firm up slightly. Stir in the cooled nuts and chopped chocolate until evenly distributed. If the dough is soft, let it sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator to firm up a bit, 15 to 30 minutes (or chill for up to 1 week).
  7. Scoop the dough into 1 1⁄2-inch (4-centimeter) diameter balls (about 3 tablespoons; a size 24 or 30 spring-loaded ice cream scoop makes this a snap) and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 1/2 centimeters) apart, topping each with a few flecks of flaky salt.
  8. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and set and the tops are pale golden but still soft and underbaked, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans back to front and top to bottom after 8 minutes for even baking.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven, let cool on the pans for a minute, then pull them, parchment and all, onto cooling racks to stop the cooking. They will be very soft and fragile at first, but will firm up when cool. Let cool to warm, at least 10 minutes, before devouring. Cooled cookies can be stored airtight for up to 3 days.
  10. FOR TEFF COOKIES: Omit the oat flour, using 3/4 cup (100 grams) teff flour (preferably Bob’s Red Mill brand) in its place.
  11. FOR BUCKWHEAT COOKIES: Omit the oat flour, using 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour (100 grams) flour (preferably Bob’s Red Mill brand) in its place.
  12. FOR MESQUITE COOKIES: Omit the oat flour, using 1 cup (130 grams) mesquite flour (preferably Zocalo brand Algarroba Flour) in its place. To measure, break up any big clumps of flour, then use the dip-and-sweep method. Be sure to sift super-clumpy mesquite flour. Since mesquite flour is prone to burning, bake these at 350° F for 8 to 12 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • K.V.
  • Meghan Poling
    Meghan Poling
  • Morgan Knobeloch
    Morgan Knobeloch
  • Joelle Jennings
    Joelle Jennings
  • Windischgirl
Alanna Taylor-Tobin can be found baking (and eating too many) cookies in her book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours and at her blog The Bojon Gourmet.

22 Reviews

Bugmary1212@Food October 15, 2022
These are all quite good, and I've gotten good feedback from sharing after with friends. To me, the mesquite has the most unique flavor (and seemed to stay moist longer than the others....but I also baked them at 7 minutes the second time around since they did, in fact, burn easily the first time around at 8 minutes). The mesquite dough is TO DIE FOR. If I could only make a fudge that tastes like that! Thank you for the recipes. Thank you, also, for every detail you added for tips and tricks. This was very well written.
K.V. April 30, 2022
It took me by surprise how delicious these are. Not because I didn't think they'd be good; I thought you'd need more than just oat and tapioca flours to give the cookies structure. The browned butter is key for the flavor, but it doesn't steal the show from the other ingredients.
Eva November 13, 2020
I have made this recipe many, many times, and with all of the flour options. I'm NEVER disappointed. A bonus is that I really don't like waiting for butter to soften--or doing it in the microwave--and that's irrelevant in this recipe. I'm a big fan of Alanna's blog, and I think that this recipe deserves hundreds of rave reviews and five star ratings!
Sarah March 4, 2020
Made these with Teff and SO YUM. These are so perfect for all my gluten free friends out there! Don't skip out on the browned butter goodness
maxenethebean June 28, 2019
Just made these with mesquite. Chewy on the inside. Did not spread out. Super super yummy! I used 3/4C coconut flour, and I substituted cornstarch for tapioca flour.
maxenethebean June 27, 2019
Just made these with mesquite. Chewy on the inside. Did not spread out. Super super yummy! I used 3/4C coconut flour, and I substituted cornstarch for tapioca flour.
Meghan P. November 26, 2018
I've made these probably 10 times now and they are our favorite chocolate chip cookies. I've used butter, coconut oil, half butter and half coconut oil, teff, oat flour, buckwheat, pecans, and walnuts, and they've all turned out great! Our favorite way is half oil and half butter with teff and pecans but I'll take any way with these over no cookies at all. ;)
Morgan K. July 9, 2017
Made these just now with buckwheat. They were delicious! But they did spread out a ton and were very thin. I chilled the dough- probably for about an hour- and they still spread. Just be aware it could happen! Also, I only got 13 cookies and they weren't even as big as the recipe said to make them...

But still tasty and worth a try if you want a gluten free cookie!
Bugmary1212@Food October 15, 2022
I agree. I've made all four flours twice now, and the buckwheat spreads the most.
kim K. March 24, 2017
Very sweet, very oily. Way too much sugar and butter for the very small amount of flours. Flat as a pancake even after batter was chilled. Waste of ingredients!
Alanna March 24, 2017
Hi Kim, I'm sorry you had trouble with this recipe. This is actually a standard formula for chocolate chip cookies. The Tollhouse recipe, known to most bakers as the gold standard, when cut in half has 1 egg, 1 stick of butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour – almost exactly what I have here. Which flour did you try these with?
Oki February 25, 2017
These cookies are DELICIOUS! I made them with Teff flour, and they taste great! As good as the ones with gluten, probably even better. I read some reviews saying they came out really thin, and let me just say that refrigerating the dough definitely helps. Mine are thick and chunky, but I also made them really big. There's another batch in the oven right now, and they're a bit smaller. They're almost done, and haven't spread at all.

For the record, I didn't have any tapioca flour, so I used corn flour instead. From what I can taste, it definitely worked! Thank you for he recipe :)
Alanna March 2, 2017
Perfect! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and sharing your method!
Megs February 5, 2017
Just made these. I made 2 batches, one following the recipe with teff flour, and another with fake egg and teff flour (I love raw cookie dough!) The dough tasted amazing. When I baked the dough following the recipe, I baked half the dough and the cookies spread a lot. I refrigerated the other half, and will have to see how well they bake. Even spread thin, they taste terrific. Just a note, the ones made with the fake egg had a stiffer dough, and did not spread too much. Overall, this recipe makes a great gluten free cookie and is worth whatever experimentation it takes to make them not spread.
Joelle J. January 21, 2017
These are so yummy! I just made them with my 4 yo daughter and she totally approved as did my husband. I made them with Teff. They did spread more than I liked but we'll see if I can fix that with colder dough. I froze 1/2 as little scoops to bake later.
Windischgirl September 25, 2016
Can I substitute arrowroot for the tapioca flour?
Alanna September 25, 2016
I haven't tried it myself, but this article says yes: Come back and let us know how it goes!
Windischgirl September 25, 2016
Thanks for the link. I was going to make them for a bake sale but have run out of time! Do want to make the teff and buckwheat versions for my family anyway, so I will report back. Have a pound of arrowroot and want to use that up first...
Windischgirl October 2, 2016
Baked them today using teff and arrowroot and they were a hit! Made them with the size #100 scoop and they spread a lot, resulting in rather thin cookies. The flavor was good with a nice chew; my son said they tasted 'rich' and am not sure if that was due to the amount of butter or the teff flour. Any Suggestions to help them spread less? I did make a double batch to use up all my teff, as my pantry is overloaded!
Alanna October 2, 2016
Glad to hear it worked! For less spread, you can either chill the dough before baking (I find it's easiest to scoop first, then chill the scoops) or you could try adding more teff and/or arrowroot flour. :)
a R. September 18, 2016
These are da bomb. Baked & snarfed repeatedly in my home.
Alanna September 21, 2016
Yaaaay! So glad you like 'em. :)