Chocolate Cran-Orange No-Bake Cookies (Dairy-Free)
“Aunt” Madeline gave me my first gluten-free recipe more than 40 years ago. I don’t think she knew it was gluten-free. She taught home economics in our tiny private school, gathering the girls around an old, wooden table in a small farmhouse kitchen, passing along her recipes and secrets to success.
One of her recipes was for Peanut Butter Oatmeal No Bake Cookies with variations for chocolate and a variety of add-ins. Here’s a dairy-free chocolate version jazzed up with orange and cranberry flavors.
If you’re looking for a place to buy gluten-free oats, Trader Joe’s has their own certified gluten-free oats at a great price.
Chocolate Cran-Orange No-Bake Cookies
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them
2 cups sugar
½ cup coconut milk (such as So Delicious)
½ cup coconut oil
5 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. orange extract
1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life or Gefen)
3 cups gluten-free oats (I prefer rolled oats, but some folks prefer quick oats)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Have a sheet of wax paper roughly the size of a large cookie sheet ready on a work surface. As soon as you finish mixing the ingredients together, you’ll need to portion out the cookies before the mixture begins to set.
In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of sugar, ½ cup of coconut milk, and ½ cup of coconut oil. If you measure the coconut milk in a 1-cup glass measuring cup, you can leave the ½ cup of coconut milk in the measuring cup, then add coconut oil until it brings the liquid to the 1-cup measuring line with the coconut oil submerged in the coconut milk.
Bring those three ingredients to a low boil, stirring frequently, and let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add the cocoa powder and orange extract to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Then stir in the chocolate chips, oatmeal and dried cranberries.
While the mixture is hot, place the pan on a hot pad or pot holder on your work surface next to the wax paper. Using a regular-size cookie scoop or two soup spoons, scoop out mounds of the mixture onto the wax paper sheet. Let cookies set for roughly 30 minutes. Store in a covered container.