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Oatmeal Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – 50 Women Game Changers In Food – Maida Heatter

by Jeanette on September 23, 2011 · 24 Comments
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Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sometimes I just need an excuse to make cookies. Believe it or not, my kids actually are not huge sweet eaters (although they do love their ice cream), but they do appreciate good home baked cookies once in a while, especially chocolate chip cookies (but only if they’re soft and fresh out of the oven…I know…they are so picky!). 

If you have ever heard of Maida Heatter, you would know that she has written lots of cookbooks on sweets…pies, tarts, cookies, and lots of other desserts. Although most of her recipes use white flour and white sugar, you might be surprised to know that she uses whole grains in some of her recipes, not something I would have expected to see in a cookbook published over 20 years ago.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t have a cookie here and there, we all need our treats. Although I don’t bake cookies that often (perhaps out of fear that I’ll gobble them all up myself!), now that school is back in full swing, I’ve been trying to come up with after school snacks to tide them over until dinner.

Fortunately, my kids like hummus and bean dips, but once in a while, they like a sweet treat. One of my kids runs 6 miles a day after school for cross country, and is always looking for a protein bar or something else to replenish his system on the ride home from school. This week, he grabbed one of these cookies to snack on after his run.

Last school year, I made a few different kinds of granola bars that my kids really liked, but since we are celebrating Maida Heatter today, as one of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food, I chose one of the healthier whole grain cookies in her cookbook, Maida Heatter’s Best Dessert Book Ever…her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (which happen to be gluten-free), except my kids hate raisins, so I left them out. Instead, I took her suggestions of adding roasted peanuts and some chocolate chips.

Maida Heatter has been described as “the doyenne of desserts, queen of cookies, and sultana of sweets,” by the New York Times. A doyenne is “a woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field.” Although she started out in the fashion industry, even starting
 her own line of fashionable jewelry for Macy’s, Maida Heatter got into the food industry when she moved to Miami Beach and opened a little coffee shop in a chic Miami Beach neighborhood, which evolved into a full-scale restaurant.

Her career as a professional cookbook author took off after she came to the attention of Craig Claiborne, then the food editor for the New York Times. He encouraged her to write a cookbook and gave her numerous endorsements, which resulted in her first cookbook, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. She is the author of ten best selling cookbooks, three of which were James Beard Foundation Award winners.

I chose these Oatmeal Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies because the combination of sweet and salty appealed to me. As it turned out, my kids really loved these cookies. Given Maida Heatter’s reputation for being the queen of desserts, I decided to stick to the original recipe in her honor, which produced these gigantic cookies, so I would suggest making smaller cookies and cutting the baking time back. I also made just half a recipe as this recipe makes a lot of giant cookies.

If you’re interested in joining our group as we cook our way through this list of 50 influential women in food,
just ask Mary from One Perfect Bite.

Oatmeal Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Best Dessert Book Ever. I made these cookies dairy-free simply by substituting Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for butter. I also used unprocessed sugar – gluten-free brown rice syrup and raw coconut sugar. To make these vegan, use an egg substitute such as Ener-G Egg Replacer. If you like raisins, by all means, add them in instead of the peanuts or chocolate chips. This makes a big batch of giant cookies, so I only made half this recipe.

Printable Recipe


  • 4 ounces Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter or other nut butter (sunbutter would also work)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs or egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup salted roasted peanuts (shake in a strainer to remove excess salt)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick until soft. 
  3. Add the peanut butter and beat until mixed
  4. Beat in vanilla, brown rice syrup, organic sugar and coconut sugar.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixed.
  6. Add baking soda and mace.
  7. On low speed, add oats.
  8. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips
  9. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, firmly packed, to form cookies. Shape cookies with your hands (wet your hands a little bit) into cookies, 1/2 inch thick, and about 2 3/4 inches in diameter.
  10. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart (place only four cookies on each cookie sheet).
  11. Bake 12-14 minutes, turning sheet front to back halfway during baking time. Do not overbake – these will firm up slightly as they cool.
  12. Let baked cookies stand on sheets for about a minute to firm up a bit. Then, transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Makes 22-24 large cookies.

Please stop by and take a look at what the rest of the group made this week in celebration of Maida Heatter:

Linda from There and Back Again
Val from More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne from Eats Well with Others

Taryn from Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan from The Spice Garden
Heather from girlichef
Claudia from A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Miranda from Mangoes and Chutney
Katie from Making Michael Poland Proud

Mary from One Perfect Bite
Kathleen from Bake Away with Me 
Barbara from Movable Feasts 
Kathleen fromGonna Want Seconds
Amy from Beloved Green
Martha from Lines From Linderhof
Nancy from Picadillo
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  1. looks real yummmy….excellent presentation..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  2. Ashley@Bakerbynature says:

    Yum! I love every flavor going on in these cookies.

  3. Sue/the view from great island says:

    Yay for healthy cookies!
    (And I can't believe your son runs 6 miles after school)

  4. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    You've combined all of my favorite cookies into one — how delightful! I love that they're dairy-free, too.

  5. I love the big, fat peanuts in these! Seriously, all that goodness packed into each cookie, they sound amazing 😀

  6. Oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter are great additions to a healthier cookie. If it has oats it has to be good.

  7. Susan Lindquist says:

    Seriously good oatmeal cookies … but BIG! Wow!I'm with you I think I'd make them smaller … so they'd fit through the opening of my cookie jar! Wink, wink!

  8. Pretend Chef says:

    A healthier cookie I can feel better about packing into my son's lunch. Fantastic. I love roasted peanuts and would prefer them over the raisins. Sounds so good.

  9. Taste and Tell says:

    These look so good! And I love that you don't have to feel guilty for eating one!

  10. Wow! These look like the perfect cookie!

  11. That is one great looking cookie. I've never made that one….it'll be next!

  12. What a wonderful healthy cookie, they look so yummy! I'm sure your kids loved them.

  13. i'm in a cooking-making mood and these look splendid

  14. I didn't realize that Maida had so many chocolate peanut butter recipes. These, with the addition of oatmeal, sound just delicious.

  15. I came here from findingvegan. Did you use eggs or replace eggs with something but typed the recipe as is? I came here looking for a vegan cookie recipe.

  16. Maida Heatter does seem to like the combination of oats, peanuts and chocolate in her cookies. I've seen this in a few of her recipes. Champa – thanks for the catch – I have corrected the recipe. Energ-G Egg Replacer would work fine in this recipe.

  17. Shirley @ gfe says:

    Yum! My husband–the oatmeal raisin guy–would flip if I make these. 😉 Thanks, Jeanette!


  18. i agree! a sweet every once in awhile is needed! and peanut, oats, and chocolate – YUM. btw, your kids eat such healthy snacks willingly! wow. awww i can't wait to be a mom! :)

  19. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free says:

    Wow! These look amazing! I love your recipe and the combo of flavors here! These would be huge winners with my hubby!

  20. Mhmm, I love oatmeal cookies and these look especially chewy. Beautiful pictures!

  21. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Maida is the best! I always thumb through an old worn copy of her cookbook at my mother-in-law's house. Love the big chunks of peanuts!

  22. Cookin' Canuck says:

    It sounds as though Maida was ahead of her time, using whole grains in some of her recipes. These are cookies I would love to feed to my kids.

  23. Jeanette, some very interesting & flavorful ingredients in these cookies…the use of coconut sugar is very intriguing. I do not have any of that but will get my hands on some.

  24. Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed) says:

    Ooh. Will have to find some coconut sugar and try these.

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