These gluten-free monster cookies are an incredible mashup of oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, jazzed up with the addition of chocolate-coated candies.
This monster cookie recipe was inspired by one from my Grandma's cookbook, The Yorgason Family Cookbook, which she published in 1988. The recipe was submitted by Arlene Shultz.
For those of you who don't need 72 gigantic cookies in your life, I've adapted this recipe to create just a single dozen monster cookies. But, you know, if you’re in the kind of mood where 72 cookies is just what feels right? I hear you -- you do you. 🙂
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Why you'll love this recipe
- Gluten-Free - With oat flour made from gluten-free oats, these flourless cookies are perfect for anyone who is living a gluten-free lifestyle and wants a decadent, sweet treat.
- Delicious - The soft and chewy peanut butter and oatmeal cookie is dotted with crunchy candies and ooey gooey melted chocolate chips.
- Easy - The recipe is simple and takes only a few minutes to prep before popping the pan in the oven.
What are monster cookies?
Monster cookies were created by Michigan father and photographer Dick Wesley in 1971. They’re also hugely popular in the Amish community and can often be found at Amish bakeries.
Wesley had six kids, which was one reason for creating the recipe -- to use up candies and other ingredients that he had around the house. Wesley and Shulta’s recipes are both similar because they use an astounding 12 eggs. I may have mentioned that I am from a big family, myself -- if I hadn’t, you could certainly infer it from the fact that we needed a cookie recipe that used a full dozen eggs!
These simple ingredients come together to create the most delectable handheld dessert.
- Natural Peanut Butter - You can use any brand of creamy peanut butter that you prefer. If you choose to use one that has the oil layer on the top, be sure to mix it together well in the jar so that the oil is evenly dispersed.
- Vegan Butter - I used Country Crock plant butter for this recipe. You can use the vegan butter of your choice. If you're not dairy free, then use regular butter in the same measure.
- Light Brown Sugar - This type of sugar adds just the right molasses-style flavor.
- Sugar - Granulated sugar not only adds sweet flavor, it also helps to create the perfect texture and contributes to the cookie dough’s ability to spread while baking.
- Corn Syrup - Corn syrup also adds an extra touch of sweetness.
- Vanilla - Vanilla balances out the other flavors and lends a fragrant aroma.
- Eggs - Eggs help to build structure in the cookie.
- Gluten Free Oats - I used old-fashioned oats (also called rolled oats), although quick oats would work too.
- Baking Soda - This leavening agent helps to create the perfect texture.
- Salt - Salt enhances the flavors of the peanut butter, vanilla, and chocolate.
- Allergen-Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - I love both Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips and the Nestle Allergen Free chips. Feel free to use your favorite brand.
- Coated Chocolate Candies - I used plain M&Ms in this recipe, which are gluten free but they are not dairy free. I have also made these cookies with Unreal brand dark chocolate candies and No Whey's Choco No-Nos for a dairy free version.
See the recipe card for complete ingredient list with measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - While I prefer a plant-based butter, feel free to substitute the butter that you like to use when baking.
- Dark Brown Sugar - For richer flavor, use dark brown sugar instead of light.
- Extract - Substitute almond extract for some or all of the vanilla for a nutty flavor.
- Make it Vegan / Egg Free - For an egg-free version, use flax eggs.
- Chocolate - Instead of semi-sweet, use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate chips.
- Nut or Seed Butter - Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
- Sugar - Instead of white sugar, use your favorite alternative like coconut sugar or monk fruit sweetener.
How to Make Gluten-Free Monster Cookies
You’re going to love how easy it is to make these crave-worthy cookies.
STEP 2: Add the peanut butter, vegan butter, sugar and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until well combined, about 3 minutes.
STEP 3: Add the corn syrup and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix together.
STEP 4: Add the eggs to the peanut butter mixer. Beat for about 60 seconds until combined.
STEP 6: Add the chocolate chips and chocolate candies to the cookie dough. Stir together by hand to avoid breaking the candy shells.
STEP 7: Scoop the cookie dough into ¼ cup sized balls. Place on the baking sheet spaced about 3 inches apart. Press the balls down a little, so they resemble hockey pucks. Then bake!
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Monster cookies have a base of peanut butter and oatmeal with add-ins like M&M’s and chocolate chips.
Some top reasons for cookies turning out flat are that the ingredients were not measured precisely or the dough was overmixed or undermixed. Also, be sure not to use a hot cookie sheet when portioning out the dough.
Plain M&Ms are gluten free, but they do contain dairy. However, manufacturing and recipes can change anytime so you should always check your packaging.
I recommend Unreal brand dark chocolate candies or No Whey's Choco No-Nos for a gluten free & dairy free replacement.
When cookies get hard it is almost always caused by over baking. If you want your cookies to stay soft and chewy for days, only cook them until the edges of the cookies are barely set and do not cool on the baking sheet for longer than is listed in the recipe.
More cookie recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Gluten Free Monster Cookies
- 3 Cups Gluten Free Oats divided
- ¾ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
- ⅓ cup Vegan Butter room temperature
- ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- ⅔ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 Eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Allergen Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup Chocolate Coated Candies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1 cup of the gluten free oats in a food processor or blenders and chop them into oat flour. Set aside.3 Cups Gluten Free Oats
- Add the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.¾ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter, ⅓ cup Vegan Butter, ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar, ⅔ Cup Sugar
- Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and beat about 30 seconds more.1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup, 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- Add eggs and beat for about 60 seconds until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.2 Eggs
- Add the remaining oats, oat flour, baking soda and salt. Stir on the lowest speed until just combined. It’s okay if there are some dry ingredients still visible.1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the chocolate chips and candy and fold it together with a spatula until they’re evenly distributed. Don’t mix it with the mixer because it will break the candies.1 Cup Allergen Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, 1 Cup Chocolate Coated Candies
- Portion the dough into large, ¼ cup dough balls and place on the cookie sheet spacing them at least 3 inches apart. I was only able to fit 5 on each large baking sheet. Smoosh them a little so it resembles a hockey puck in shape but it is still very thick.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are just set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.