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Recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies {Comfort Food}

by Jeanette on January 16, 2013 · 35 Comments
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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Is there such a thing as a healthy cookie? I don’t know, but I can tell you that the Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies that I’m sharing today are healthier than most. Leaving the healthy talk aside for a second, let me tell you that these cookies are really good, and will satisfy just about any sweet tooth without the guilt. I made these for my kids as an afternoon treat last week and they loved them, and I have to say I didn’t feel half that bad giving them cookies as a snack because I knew they were full of good ingredients.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

So, what makes these cookies healthier than most chocolate chip cookies?

  • Whole grains + Fiber – These cookies are packed with heart-healthy whole grains. Proportionally, whole grains make up most of the flour/grains  in this recipe. I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-purpose Flour Mix which is made with both brown and white rice flour, and rolled oats, so these cookies have more fiber than the average cookie.
  • Healthy fat + Less fat – This recipe uses just 6 tablespoons of heart healthy olive oil compared to many popular chocolate chip cookie recipes that use up to 2 sticks of butter.
  • Less sugar + More flavor – Dried cranberries help add natural sweetness (and fiber) to these cookies, so less sugar is needed than the typical chocolate chip cookie recipe. Also, bittersweet chocolate has about half the sugar of semi-sweet chocolate, but has a more intense chocolate flavor.
  • Heart healthy nuts – I added heart healthy walnuts for crunch, added fiber and minerals.

Healthy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Today, Food Network and a group of bloggers is featuring Chocolate Chip Cookies for this week’s Comfort Food Feast event. Please stop by and see what everyone made:

Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Breakfast Bars
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies
What’s Gaby Cooking: Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Lemon Bowl: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: New Year’s Resolution Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red or Green?: Tao’s Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Made By Michelle: The Best Blondies, Ever
Cooking With Elise: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Life Bike: Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Cookies
Virtually Homemade: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Cultural Dish: Chocolate Chip Cookie Goodness
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Daily*Dishin: Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies With Pecans
Devour:5 Takes on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
FN Dish: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

5 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Cooking Light. These cookies are chock full of whole grains, dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate. These cookies have more fiber and protein, and less fat and sugar than many cookie recipes, perfect when you're craving something sweet.
Serves: 3 dozen
  • ⅔ cup gluten-free flour mix
  • 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup packed organic light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add oil, brown sugar, almond extract and egg. Beat with electric mixer until well blended.
  3. Add dried cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, form cookies on baking sheet, making sure to leave 2 inches in between the cookies.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Disclosure: Frieda’s sent me some goodies over the holidays that I’ve been having fun playing around with, including the dried cranberries in these delicious cookies. Check out the Mulled cider (using mulling spices and crystallized ginger) and the lightened up Savory Chicken Crepes I made and shared on Facebook recently.

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  1. Those look great! I’m going to have to try them.

  2. this looks amazing!

  3. These look wonderful!

  4. These look delicious! Do you think a flax egg could work as a substitute?

    • You should be able to use flax egg as a substitute – I’ve done that in cookie recipes before and this one has just one egg. Let me know if you try it.

  5. This really looks delicious. I am going to try this for sure!!

  6. I love using olive oil in cookies, Jeanette! These cookies look great … a fantastic combination of ingredients. :-)


  7. Sometimes, when that cookie craving really hits, healthiER is about as good as you can muster! And these sound perfect!

  8. I am all for a healthier version of any treat. These look great, jeanette!

  9. They might not be healthy, but I will take healthier any day of the week! These look so chewy and perfect!

  10. I am not a not a huge walnut fan but I really love your pics so I have to try these cookies. Maybe I can change the walnut to hazelnut, I think the taste will be fantastic!

  11. I love the mix of cranberries and chocolate!

  12. I have some gluten free four mix I’d like to use up. These look ridiculously good. I just bought some cranberries too. my hubby will love me forever!

  13. Oh my gosh, I could so go for a few of these right now…with a tall glass of milk.

  14. I tied to make them and I had problem forming the dough into a round shape .. Am I missing something ?

    Thank you and it tastes good ..

    • Hi Sharon, I used a tablespoon to form the cookies. Pat the dough firmly into the tablespoon and invert it onto the baking sheet. Then, gently pat the top of the cookie with your fingers or the back of a spoon.

  15. I Make these all the time they are a huge hit with friends and my boyfriend. I was out of olive oil today so I used canola and they turned out great just a bit oiler than the olive oil version. I also have tried a bunch of different nuts and really like chopped almonds. Getting them into balls can be tricky but a spoon really helps!

    • Hi Jaimie, thanks for your comment and for letting us know how these cookies turned out using canola oil. So interesting, wouldn’t have thought they would turn out oiler than with olive oil. Chopped almonds sound like they would be great too. I found packing the dough into a spoon really helped too.

  16. I just found you and can’t wait to try some of your GF baked goods. I love that you use so many different nuts and grains in all your recipes. They sound delish. Thanks.

  17. Walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips and dried cranberries are my favorite cookie trio… but I am intrigued by the olive oil! I have to try these. I would love to try this recipe with regular flour. They look absolutely delicious!

    • Jamie – I try using olive oil in baking whenever I can. It doesn’t always work, but in this case, it lends a crispiness to these cookies.

  18. Jeanette, thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.
    I just made these cookies and glad to report, that they turned out really good and are tasty. We always try to eat healthy, but now and then crave “unhealthy “sweats. These cookies “fit the bill”.
    I made couple of changes to the recipe, because after I added everything, dough was falling apart – not enough liquid, so I added one more egg and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Also I skipped chokolate chips, because my husband cannot eat them. I used icecream scoop to form cookies, because it was too messy when using spoon. Wanted to post picture, but don’t see how can I do it.

  19. This is an awesome looking recipe! I love oats and love chewy cookies. The cranberries are probably awesome in them! I’ve been baking lots of coconut oil cookies (but never olive oil) – interesting!

  20. Can you substitute a flax egg for the egg in any of your recipes?

    • You should be able to – in cookies it should work fine. I’ve found flax egg works fine in most muffins as well. Please let me know if you try it.

  21. Thanks for sharing your gluten free recipe! My husband and I loved these. Since we don’t use animal products or oil, I subbed applesauce for the oil and flax for the egg. The only problem was that we couldn’t stop eating them! GF & Vegan & Delicious is a trifecta for us.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks so much for letting me know that you tried this recipe Tracy, and for sharing your substitution ideas – great information!

  22. Totally yummy, though they were pretty crumbly when trying to get on the cookie sheet. Did do the extra egg and little more oil.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      The dough is a bit crumbly, so it needs to be packed into the tablespoon well before inverting it onto the cookie sheet. I think the extra egg would help hold the dough together.

  23. My girlfriends and I got together and made these cookies this past weekend…wow, they were absolutely delicious. We substituted almonds for the walnuts/pecans and dairy-free chocolate chips for the bittersweet chocolate chips. My girlfriends were surprised that gluten-free and dairy-free could taste this good.

    I’ve been on a gluten- and dairy-free diet for the last two years to help control my autoimmune disease. I really appreciate your recipe blog and am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Kimmie, so glad you and your friends enjoyed these cookies. I’m sure almonds and dairy-free chocolate chips must taste great. Best wishes!

  24. I’ve made these several times and they are a good solid cookie. I’ve added coconut to mine, also flax seeds one time, coconut oil another time ( in place of half the olive oil), and find this to be a flexible recipe with good results each time. I made some others that sounded similar, but with a softer texture and we weren’t very impressed. I’m sticking with this recipe now, ’cause no matter what I add they come out great.

  25. I just made these on a test run for Thanksgiving and they are super yummy! The cookies are crunchy yet chewy and have the perfect amount of richness. So simple and delicious, this one is a keeper for sure. Note: I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour as that is what I had on hand. So if anyone is curious if that gluten-free flour substitution will work, yes it will!

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