Mexican-Inspired Oatmeal Cookies, Alyssa Style

Having already succeeded in making banana bread and date squares using my staple gluten-free flour, masa harina, I set my sights on another baked good I often enjoy: oatmeal cookies.

Using masa harina as my designated gluten-free flour proved challenging. Few gluten-free oatmeal cookie recipes specify what gluten-free flour to use, despite all the alternatives and blends having different properties. Masa harina is neither a perfect 1:1 substitute for ordinary wheat flour nor a common choice for this role in the English-speaking world, so information about how to use it here was scarce. I did, eventually, find a recipe that gave me the insight I needed, and it added a surprising ingredient to the mix as well: bananas.

The result was a moist, sweet, slightly fruity oatmeal cookie that I will definitely be making again. The sticky effect of the oatmeal helps the whole hold together while letting it keep being crumbly and soft, resulting in my favorite oatmeal cookie texture almost by accident. With Mexico’s signature flour keeping it gluten-free and within the ingredients I routinely have on hand for other recipes, this new cookie has already made me pleased indeed.

This recipe produces about 12 large cookies.

A selection of moist oatmeal cookies on a baking sheet.

Equipment

You will need an oven, two mixing bowls and a smaller bowl, a fork, an ice-cream scoop (optional), and your favorite measuring tools.

Ingredients

  • Butter, ¾ cup
  • Granulated sugar, ¾ cup
  • Molasses, 1 tablespoon
  • Bananas, overripe, 2.
  • Masa harina, 1 cup
  • Baking soda, ½ teaspoon
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon.
  • Cinnamon, ½ teaspoon
  • Rolled oats, 3 cups
  • Variations: Feel free to add raisins, walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips if desired, perhaps ¼ cup. For a variation reminiscent of Mexican-style hot chocolate, add chocolate chips and ½ teaspoon of a ground spicy pepper, such as Cayenne or jalapeño.

Common Food Restrictions

  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten free.
  • Ketogenic / Low-Carb: The is recipe is not compatible with a ketogenic diet.
  • Low-FODMAP: This recipe is reasonably safe for a low-FODMAP diet.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Substitute out butter for coconut oil to make this recipe vegan. It otherwise contains no animal products.

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °
  2. Let the butter reach room temperature in the small bowl while the oven preheats. Finish softening it in the microwave if necessary.
  3. Mash the sugar and molasses into the butter using a fork. For more professional results, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to formally cream the butter, but I found that performing this crudely with a fork was more than sufficient.
  4. Peel and mash the bananas in a mixing bowl until there are no chunks. A fork is sufficient, but a potato masher would also work.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients (masa harina, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and rolled oats) in the other mixing bowl. The result should be the creamed butter and sugar in a small bowl (Step 3), the mashed bananas in a larger bowl (Step 4), and the dry mix in a second larger bowl (Step 5).
  6. Add the creamed butter (Step 3) to the mashed bananas (Step 4) and mash together with the fork.
  7. Add the dry mix (Step 5) to the mixing bowl (Step 6) and mix well using a fork. Continue until the mixture is uniform and no pockets remain of unmixed material from previous steps.
  8. Use an ice-cream scoop or similar measuring and dispensing tool to shape and place cookies on a baking sheet. It can be beneficial to apply pressure to them by hand to help them keep their shape during this process.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes. Shorter bake times result in moister, less cohesive cookies, while longer ones result in crunchier cookies.
  10. Let cool and serve.

This recipe has already firmly replaced the almond-flour-based cookie recipe that used to be my go-to when I wanted homemade cookies. I hope it brings you similar delight.

 

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Mexican-Inspired Oatmeal Cookies, Alyssa Style
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