When my kids come home from school, they’re starving. So I always try to keep the pantry and refrigerator stocked with healthy snack choices like yogurt, popcorn, salsa and chips, and fruit. But there are days when they’d like a special treat. I’m happy to do a little baking from time to time, but I don’t want to have to run out to the store to buy ingredients I wouldn’t normally have on hand. That’s why came up with this recipe for Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites.
It features California Raisins, something we always have in the pantry to use in dishes as wide ranging as picadillo or rice pudding. Raisins are a healthy snack and offer 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron per quarter cup serving. They’re a great value, too! According to the USDA, raisins are the most economical dried fruit.
Now my kids aren’t gluten free, but I wanted to create a snack that I could enjoy, too. That’s why I used the gluten free oats I always keep on hand. I also made this dairy free by using a buttery spread instead of butter.
Finally, since I have a nut allergic child, I used sunflower butter. I love peanut butter, but since we can’t have it in the house, sunflower butter’s a great substitute. I love it on toast in the morning, and always have a jar in the refrigerator. My mother-in-law loves having sunflower butter and banana sandwiches!
One recipe, five yummy after school snacks!
You can use this recipe five ways to turn it into five different snacks – one for every day of the school week:
Monday: Just Cookies! Serve it as a cookie with a cold glass of milk.
Tuesday: Cookie Bites! Serve it as a chewy ball. (When the cookies are still warm from the oven, you can roll them up into a up into a ball.) You can dip the balls into yogurt!
Wednesday: Pinch Pot Bites with Cream Cheese! Make them into little pinch pot bowls and fill with whipped cream cheese and a raisin. (Again, when the cookie is still warm, roll up into a ball, and then form into a pinch pot. Let cool. Then fill center.)
Thursday: Yogurt Parfaits! Crumble the cookies and layer with yogurt in a glass sundae cup! (Feel free to add fresh fruit and more California Raisins to your yogurt parfait, too.) You could also used crushed up cookies in trail mix along with California Raisins, seeds, nuts, dried coconut, and chocolate chips.
Friday: TGIF Ice Cream Sandwiches! Soften some ice cream and smooth on to a cookie with a spatula. Place another cookie on top. Put on a plate and place into the freezer to firm up.
A few final words about Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites and raisins
The verdict on my Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites? My daughter, Lucie, isn’t an oatmeal person and hates sunflower butter. I was hoping that the lure of raisins and brown sugar would be enough, but alas, no. She wouldn't even try them!
Luckily, these were a huge hit with my son, Nathan and me. We both love oatmeal and raisins for breakfast, so no surprise there!
Also, I wanted to give a big word of caution to all you dog owners out there. When baking with raisins, make sure to keep them and any treats made with raisins out of your dog’s reach. Raisins and grapes and both are very poisonous to our canine buddies. You can read more about Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs at Pet MD.
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bites
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup buttery spread, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sunflower butter
- 3 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups California Raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Beat the buttery spread until smooth. (You can do this in an electric mixer if you wish.) Add the brown and organic granulated sugar. Beat until well mixed.
- Add the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth. Add the sunflower butter and mix until smooth. Mix in the oats and raisins until well blended.
- Place the rounded teaspoonful of the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake until the cookies are light brown around the edges – 10 to 12 minutes. If you want to make the cookies into balls, slightly undercook them by 30 seconds to 1 minute.)
- Remove from oven and let the pan cool until you can touch it with your bare hand. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. (If making cookies into balls, smoosh the still warm cookie and roll into a ball with your hand. Let cool on the wire rack.)
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week – if they last that long – or freeze.
- Serving size: 1 cookie
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.