Soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate and peanut butter flavor, these gluten-free monster cookies are mouthwateringly delicious! They use classic baking ingredients and are ready in just 30 minutes.
If you've never had monster cookies, they're basically a cross between peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies with a bunch of fun add-ins.
I'm usually not much of a gluten-free baked goods person, but these gluten-free monster cookies are a winner! I adapted this recipe from my mom's monster cookie recipe, which she makes every Christmas to share with a gluten-intolerant family member.
My recipe for gluten-free monster cookies uses chocolate chips, gluten-free pretzels for a kick of saltiness, butterscotch chips, and M&Ms.
Unlike a lot of gluten-free baking recipes, the flour used for these monster cookies is made using a very common pantry staple: rolled oats. Just make sure to use gluten-free add-ins to ensure the cookie is fully gluten-free!
Why this recipe works
- Quick & easy: There's nothing fancy about this recipe, the cookies are out of the oven in just 30 minutes with no chill time needed.
- Texture: Monster cookies are soft, thick, and buttery. This recipe makes twelve 3-inch cookies.
- Gluten-free: These are flourless cookies made with using rolled oats and homemade oat flour. Oat flour can be expensive at the store, but it's really easy to make in a blender using rolled oats.
- Easy to customize: The best part of monster cookies is that you can make them your own. While I like to keep it classic with gluten-free pretzels and M&Ms, they're also great with chocolate chips, candy, and more.
- On repeat: These monster cookies are so good that even our gluten-loving family requests these gluten-free cookies year-round! During the holiday season, we turn these into Christmas monster cookies.
- Creamy peanut butter: I've made these with Jif natural creamy peanut butter and Jif regular peanut butter.
- Unsalted butter makes up the base of the buttery cookies. If using salted butter, the cookies will just be a touch saltier.
- Eggs hold the cookie together.
- Rolled oats are the "flour" in this recipe. I blend half of the rolled oats in my blender to make oat flour. This helps the cookies bind. Choose certified gluten-free rolled oats to ensure that these are truly gluten-free monster cookies.
- Chocolate chips and M&Ms are the chocolate component. I like to use dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate M&Ms but semisweet chips would be just as good. Double-check ingredient labels to ensure they are gluten-free.
- Butterscotch chips add a touch of sweetness to balance out the peanut butter and chocolate.
- Crushed pretzels add crunch and saltiness. I like Snyder's gluten-free mini pretzels. I just use my hands to crush the pretzels into smaller pieces.
- Granulated (white) sugar and light brown sugar create a golden cookie and add chewiness.
Step by step instructions
Before you begin: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Let the butter and eggs come to room temperature.
- Cream the butter and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the eggs: Add the vanilla extract, eggs, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth and cohesive.
- Add the dry ingredients: Add the rolled oats, oat flour, and baking soda. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the fun ingredients: Use a spatula to fold in the fun ingredients that turn these into monster cookies! We're adding chocolate chips, M&Ms, butterscotch chips, and crushed pretzels. The dough should easily hold together.
5. Roll out the cookies: You can make either 12 large cookies or 24 smaller cookies.
- To make 12 cookies, use a 2-ounce cookie scoop to measure out 6 cookies on the baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie.
- To make 24 cookies, measure out twelve 2 tablespoon-sized cookies. Bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes.
6. Bake the cookies: Bake the monster cookies at 350F for 11-13 minutes, until golden around the edges. The center should appear soft but not raw.
Let cookies cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying. The cookies firm up and are easy to handle once cooled.
Expert tips and recipe FAQ
- Dough not holding together? Add extra oat flour 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed. The dough should be easy to scoop out and should hold together well.
- Add-ins: This recipe uses a total of 2 cups of add-ins (crushing the pretzels reduces them to ½ cup). Feel free to try an equal amount of different ingredients like chopped nuts, white chocolate chips, etc. Just make sure that the total add-ins adds up to about 2 cups.
- Cookie size: I use a 2-ounce cookie scoop (about 4 tablespoons) to make 12 large cookies. Use a 2-tablespoon measure to make 24 regular sized cookies.
- Puffiness: These are super puffy monster cookies with almost underdone insides. For a flatter cookie with more uniform baking, press the cookie dough into a disk instead of leaving as a scoop.
Yes, all ingredients used in this recipe can be gluten-free. Pretzels are not gluten-free but gluten-free options are available and taste just as good. Make sure to grab rolled oats, M&Ms, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips that are labeled as gluten-free.
I have not tested a vegan version of these monster cookies. You can use dairy-free butter like Earth Balance or Miyoko's brand, as well as dairy-free chocolate chips. Since I haven't tested this myself I can't say how well a vegan/egg-free monster cookie would come out.
I only tested this recipe with creamy peanut butter so I can't say for sure whether another kind of nut butter works.
It's easy! Just add rolled oats to a blender or food processor. Blend until broken down into a coarse flour. One cup rolled oats yields roughly one cup oat flour.
This recipe was tested with rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats. I don't recommend using instant or quick cooking oats because they will alter the texture of the monster cookies.
Storage: Gluten-free monster cookies are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoyed within 3-4 days. They can be frozen as needed.
To freeze the baked cookies, let cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. They will thaw quickly at room temp, or you can pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm.
To freeze the cookie dough, you can either freeze the entire batch or freeze individual balls. Let the cookie dough thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Individual monster cookie dough balls can be baked immediately, just add an extra minute to the bake time.
Looking for more cookie recipes?
If you're looking for a breakfast-approved gluten-free cookie option, you might like these peanut butter breakfast cookies.
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Gluten Free Monster Cookies
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats divided
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature, equal to 1 stick
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup M&Ms
- ½ cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup gluten-free pretzels crushed into smaller pieces
- Add 1 and ½ cups rolled oats to a blender. Blend on medium speed until a fine oat flour forms.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter, light brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and cohesive.
- Add 1 and ½ cups rolled oats, oat flour, and baking soda. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, M&Ms, butterscotch chips, and crushed pretzels.
- To make 12 cookies, use a 2-ounce cookie scoop to measure out 6 cookies on the baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie. Bake at 350F on the middle oven rack for 11-13 minutes, until golden around the edges. The center will still look soft but not raw.
- To make 24 cookies, measure out twelve 2 tablespoon-sized cookies. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie. Bake at 350F on the middle oven rack for 9-11 minutes, until golden around the edges. The center will still look soft but not raw.
- Allow cookies to cool at least 10 minutes before enjoying.
- Peanut butter: I tested this recipe with Jif natural peanut butter and Jif regular peanut butter.
- Gluten-free options: These cookies are gluten-free if you use gluten-free rolled oats and gluten-free pretzels. Check labels to ensure the chocolate chips, M&Ms, and butterscotch chips are gluten-free.
- Storage: Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- To freeze the baked cookies, let cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. They will thaw quickly at room temp, or you can pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm.
- To freeze the cookie dough, you can either freeze the entire batch or freeze individual balls. Let the cookie dough thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Individual cookie dough balls can be baked immediately, just add an extra minute to the bake time.