These crispy but tender peanut butter oatmeal cookies with a sweet, creamy peanut butter filling taste just like Do-Si-Dos Girl Scout Cookies—but they're gluten free. Some matters you just have to take into your own hands!
Girl Scout Cookies Are Delicious
When I was in my 20s and working in an office, if I ever heard that someone had a little girl at home who was selling Girl Scout Cookies but I didn't get a chance to place an order, I wasn't just mad. I remember being devastated.
Given the chance, I'd buy at least 2 if not 3 or 4 boxes of Thin Mints and at least one box of Do-Si-Dos peanut butter sandwiches. The Thin Mints went directly into the freezer. And you could only have one if you asked. Nicely. Fast forward a bunch of years and a gluten free son. ?
If you'd like to support a sweet little Girl Scout in your neighborhood, of course, you should buy their original cookies. The “regular” non-gluten free Girl Scout cookies have truly superior taste and texture. (I remember trying Nabisco Grasshopper cookies hoping they'd be just like Thin Mints. No such luck.)
But if you're gluten free and you want to support the Girl Scouts of America, I'd suggest buying their regular cookies and gifting them to someone who can eat them. Their gluten free varieties are fine—but they're simply not anywhere near as good as the original.
Plus, they only make basic gluten free cookies like chocolate chippers. No GF Thin Mints or Do-Si-Dos.
How to make these peanut butter oatmeal cookies
Do-Si-Dos (also called Peanut Butter Sandwiches, depending upon your Girl Scout Cookie bakery) are crispy peanut butter oatmeal cookies with a peanut butter filling. They're not really crunchy, just crispy.
Baking with peanut butter tends to make cookies very crunchy, like these classic peanut butter crosshatch cookies. But these peanut butter oatmeal cookies have oats and more butter than crunchy cookies (plus a bit more peanut butter), so they're tender and crispy.
For the cookies, you'll start by melting the peanut butter and butter in either a saucepan or the microwave. Then set it aside to cool briefly. Then just mix together the dry ingredients (gf flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugars, oats), with the wet ingredients (melted peanut butter and butter mixture, vanilla and egg).
When a recipe says to “mix,” you should mix by hand. If a handheld or stand mixer is appropriate, the recipe should state that clearly. Most baking recipes should not be overmixed, even in gluten free recipes.
I like these cookies to be crisp-tender, because it's much more enjoyable to bite into a cookie with that texture when it has a creamy filling. For even crispier cookies that tend to break when you bite into them, more like our chocolate wafer cookies, press the raw disks flatter than shown in the photo.
When I make these cookies, which are like a cross between crosshatch peanut butter cookies and our thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies, I generally like to fill about half of them with filling and keep the rest of the cookies separate and unfilled.
Do-Si-Dos are all filled with this simple peanut butter filling, made here with basically just butter, peanut butter, vanilla and some confectioners' sugar. But you can make the cookies ahead of time and store them in the freezer and fill them soon before serving. You can also just serve them alone.
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: The cookies and the filling in this recipe have dairy in them in the form of butter. I recommend trying to replace the butter in the cookies with half (by weight) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (I like Spectrum brand best). That should provide the proper moisture balance and the proper taste.
For the butter in the filling, you can try replacing it with all Spectrum nonhydgrogenated vegetable shortening. The cream can easily be replaced with coconut cream or just a smaller volume of unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk).
Egg-free: The cookies in this recipe only call for one egg in the entire recipe. For that reason, I'm pretty confident that you can replace it with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).
Oats: If you can't have oats for any reason, try replacing the oats in this recipe with beaten rice. There's more information on the blog about the products that I recommend using to replace oats in baking.
Peanut-free: No-stir smooth almond butter is a perfect replacement for the peanut butter, in equal amounts, in this recipe. I recommend using Barney Butter brand, which doesn't require stirring to integrate the oil into the peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies | Just Like GF Do-Si-Dos
For the cookies
13 tablespoons (182 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (256 g) no-stir smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups (210g) all purpose gluten free flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (109g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (75 g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
For the peanut butter filling
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (192 g) no-stir smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
First, prepare the cookies. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter and peanut butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Set the pan aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and oats, and mix to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the melted butter and peanut butter, vanilla, and egg, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick but soft. Using a spoon, wet hands or a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, scoop the dough into 24 to 30 portions, depending upon the size you would like your cookies to be. Place each of the portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart from one another. Using wet hands, roll each portion of dough into a ball and press into a flat disk. Place the baking sheets with the cookie dough on them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or the freeze for just a couple of minutes. This will help keep the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
Once the dough has been chilled briefly, place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown all over and slightly darker around the edges (10 to 12 minutes, depending upon size). Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until set (at least 10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the filling. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan or a medium-size microwave safe bowl, place the butter and peanut butter and heat until just melted either over medium heat in the saucepan (stirring frequently) or in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat or the bowl from the microwave, and add the vanilla, salt and confectioners’ sugar, and stir until well-combined. The mixture will be very thick. Add 1 tablespoon of the cream, and stir to thin the filling. It should be glossy. Add up to another tablespoon of cream, if necessary, to create a very thickly pourable filling. Allow it to cool, and then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain pastry tip.
Once the cookies are completely cool, invert half of the cookies and pipe a generous amount of filling on each inverted cookie. Top with the remaining cookies and press gently to sandwich. Allow to sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until the filling is set before serving.
Originally published on the blog in 2012, during Girl Scout Cookie season. Recipe unchanged, all photos and video are new.