These Healthier Monster Cookies are made with almond flour, almond butter, gluten-free oats, pretzels, and chocolate pieces for a protein-packed, healthier, gluten-free cookie. Vegan.
You can find chocolate chip cookies of all kinds on this site. Olive oil chocolate chip, almond butter chocolate chip, and even tahini chocolate chip cookies.
And when chocolate chips aren't quite enough, these peanut butter oatmeal choco chip, air fryer oatmeal chocolate chunk, and cowboy cookies ought to do the trick!
But even sometimes two mix-ins aren't enough. This recipe is the ultimate mashup.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy recipe with simple ingredients
- Fun to add your favorite mix-ins
- Flourless cookies perfect for those with a gluten intolerance
- Less sugar than the traditional recipe
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients in this recipe. You can see a full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below.
Almond butter - This ingredient does double duty as a binder and healthy fats. No coconut oil or vegan butter is needed. This also makes it safe for those with a peanut allergy. (Be sure to check the ingredient labels of other mix-ins). Sunflower seed butter is not recommended as it will chemically react with the baking soda and turn the cookie green!
Flax egg - Ground flaxseed and water combine to make an easy egg substitute. Plus a little healthy fiber!
Maple syrup & coconut sugar - Naturally refined sugar-free, maple syrup acts in place of refined white sugar and coconut sugar works in place of brown sugar. For a sweeter cookie, you can replace the coconut sugar with organic cane sugar.
Almond flour - Makes for a wonderfully chewy cookie with an almost butter flavor.
Gluten-free oats - Do make sure you are using certified gluten-free oats. Old-fashioned oats are recommended for their chewy texture, but quick oats will do in a pinch.
Dairy-free chocolate gems - You can find vegan versions of m&m type chocolate candies online and at many grocery stores such as the Unreal brand or Choco Yums from YumEarth. Dairy-free sem-sweet and dark chocolate chips are easily swapped in. Vegan white chocolate chips would be delicious too! The EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips, chunks, and white chips are both vegan and gluten-free.
Gluten-free pretzels - This gives our chewy monster cookies some salty crunch.
Love almond butter? Check out these healthy almond butter cookies!
Before you start: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare flax egg and set aside. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients, almond butter, maple syrup, and flax egg together. Add the dry ingredients, the coconut sugar, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Step 2: Fold in gluten-free oats, then chocolate gems, and crushed pretzels.
Step 3: Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop (#60 size), scoop cookie dough and gently roll it into a loose ball with your hands. The cookie dough balls will be sticky, so spray your hands with cooking spray or lightly wet them with water as needed. Place cookie balls on the sheet pan in even rows.
Step 4: Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Store these healthy monster cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days. These cookies will soften over time.
If you are not dairy-free, use different M&M candies colors to match the occasion. Not all M&M candy colors are gluten-free, so be sure to check labels before use. Here are a few ideas:
- Go patriotic with red, white, and blue
- Celebrate the holidays with red and green
- Customize for baby showers or birthdays
Finding dairy-free options to match holidays or events can be tricky. Fold in gf colored sprinkles that match the occasion along with the other mix-ins.
In the cookie repertoire, these are considered Frankenstein's cookies are they are a mashup of oats, chocolate chips, and pretzels.
More Cookie Recipes
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating on the recipe card below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Healthier Gluten-Free Monster Cookies
- 1 flax egg 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons warm water
- ¾ cup all-natural unsalted almond butter (if salted, reduce salt in recipe to ¼ teaspoon)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup (37g) coconut sugar
- ¾ cup (90g) almond flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup gluten-free oats
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate gems or chocolate chips (or M&Ms if not df/vegan) I use Choco No No's brand
- ½ cup gluten-free pretzels, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare flax egg, set aside. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir almond butter, maple syrup, and flax egg together. Add coconut sugar, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine and then fold in vanilla extract.
- Fold in gluten-free oats first, then chocolate gems, and crushed pretzels. Using a tablespoon or #60 size cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough and gently roll into a loose ball with your hands. The cookie dough will be sticky, so lightly wet your hands as needed. Place on the cookie sheet in even rows.
- Gently press cookie balls halfway down with your hand. They will not spread much so this helps in a more even, rounder cookie.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before carefullly transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- I like to reserve or use extra chocolate pieces and press a couple into the tops of each cookie when they are just out of the oven for that vibrant candy color look!
- For a sweeter cookie, you can replace all or half of the coconut sugar with organic cane sugar.
- You can find vegan versions of m&m type chocolate candies online and at many grocery stores such as the Unreal brand or Choco Yums from YumEarth. Dairy-free semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips are easily swapped in. Vegan white chocolate chips would be delicious too! The EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips, chunks, and white chips are both vegan and gluten-free.
- Customize these monster cookies for holidays or celebrations with gluten-free sprinkles.
Well, these were just what I was looking for! I did sub quinoa flakes for the oats, used a real egg, swapped the sugar and syrup quantities and added almond slivers, currants and mini-choc chips. Boy Howdy!!
Love it! Thanks, Angela!
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
Ohhhh yesss.... this monster cookie looks so good. That salty crunch tho... :o !! One that would travel well on a road trip or extended vacation... or how about a lunch box? Perfect cookie for the cooler days ahead Tessa!
I must be missing something, the recipe does not state what to do with the crushed pretzels.
Thank you, Sharon! Fold them in with the oats and chocolate.