Gluten Free For Good


More About Melissa

You’ve heard of the Hollywood Cookie Diet, right? I’m not kidding, it exists. The website has a vee-vee-la-voom blonde in a little white bikini, staring out over the ocean, flinging her hair back and forth. It’s one of those “this could be you” ads.

I’m not the beach-bunny, Hollywood type, so none of that appeals to me. I own an ice axe, a four-season tent, backcountry skis and an Alaskan Malamute that outweighs me. I don’t want to be her, although I do like flinging my hair around now and then.

I’m the Montana Cookie type. Hearty, gluten-free grains, fiber-filled oats, flannel-clad farmers, mountains, tractors and big skies. That’s much more to my liking than white bikinis, “diet” cookies, fake tans, or dogs that fit in purses.

Needless to say, the Hollywood Cookie Diet makes no sense to me. But tasty, gluten-free, monster cookies do. We’ll talk about that bothersome calorie thing later.

I love to experiment in the kitchen, I don’t follow rules well and I fancy myself as a chemist. No bikini necessary – I much prefer a lab coat or vintage apron. I’ve been playing with this hearty Timtana flour again. The independent and spirited stuff from Montana. It doesn’t always do what I want, but I like it, so I’m not giving up. I’m also smitten with gluten-free oats right now and mixing them with some Timtana flour eventually made for a perfect cookie blend. I’m also playing with eliminating xanthan gum and some of the starchy stuff, so my kitchen has been in full-blown test-baker mode lately.

My first try at Timtana oatmeal cookies was just so-so. Hearty and healthy? Yes. Sweet and tasty? Not so much. I wanted a nice mix of the two, not a horse biscuit. My second try was good, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. I didn’t use any starchy flours on that batch. My third try was okay, but not very sweet and not very “cookie” like. It was more like a power bar but the wrong shape. Power bars are next on my Timtana/oats test baking agenda. My fourth try was perfect, although there’s more sugar and a little starch – but no xanthan gum (that’s not easy to do with GF baking). See photo above, aren’t they gorgeous? Hearty (but light), nutritious, tasty, crispy around the edges and slightly-sweet. And they got better the longer I let them sit. Seriously, my test-tasters went nuts over these cookies.

Timtana gluten-free oatmeal garbanzo bean chocolate chip cookies (or something like that)
what you need

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo/fava bean flour
1 & 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats *
1/2 cup Timtana flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
3/4 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (I used brown rice milk)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

what you do
Place dry ingredients (except oats) in a medium-sized bowl and whisk well to blend. Cream Earth Balance with sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until creamy. Combine milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for a few moments. Mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and add milk/vinegar mixture. Blend until well mixed. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Drop by spoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or a silicon baking mat. Make sure cookies are a couple inches apart as they spread while in the oven. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 7 or 8 minutes and rotate pan. Bake for another 7 or 8 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

* Certified gluten-free oats are safe for most people (most people, not everyone) with celiac disease or a gluten-sensitivity. Make sure your oats are certified gluten-free and are from a reputable supplier. Montana Gluten-Free Processors products are certified GF and Kosher.

Don’t you love knowing where your food comes from? Check here for the Montana gluten-free harvest pictured above. I like knowing the details. This field is where these cookies started their journey into my oven. Who knows where those Hollywood Diet Cookies came from. In fact, I don’t even recognize half the ingredients listed on the package label. What a difference!

Go forth and support your local farmers!
P.S. I almost forgot – that pesky calorie thing. Don’t overeat. Exercise every day. (Easier said than done, I know.)
P.P.S. I’m including this recipe in Nancy’s “Calling All Cookies” post over at The Sensitive Pantry. Check out her long and tasty list of cookie recipes. You’ll be drooling in no time.

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27 Responses to “the gf montana cookie diet”

  1. I was wondering where you were, girlie … now I know–you were testing out all these cookies for us! Thank you! They do look absolutely fabulously. Great idea on rotating the baking sheet half way through. Probably a lot of dense cookie recipes could benefit from that tip. 🙂

    The Hollywood Cookie Diet thing is insane. It just proves you can lose weight on any diet (that whole calories thing again), but you might be skinnier, but certainly not healthier. And, those types of diets are not sustainable. Oh, love the harvesting photos, too. 🙂

    Thanks, dear! You would love all the snow here … it’s definitely not for the bikini types. 😉


  2. Pat says:

    Just want to say Melissa that I really have been enjoying and practicing the recipes you post. Thank you for doing the pretesting for us. Also, this morning especially, I’ve been enjoying your pre-recipe messages. Thank you for sharing pieces of your life.

  3. Alta says:

    I think I could go for a Montana cookie diet! These look great.

  4. “I’m the Montana Cookie type. Hearty, gluten-free grains, fiber-filled oats, flannel-clad farmers, mountains, tractors and big skies. That’s much more to my liking than white bikinis, “diet” cookies, fake tans, or dogs that fit in purses.”


  5. Cid says:


    The GF Montana is bound to be a winner…. your efforts will be appreciated far and wide (hopefully as wide and far as the UK when we market it as the Sirens prime cookie 🙂 ) Never heard of the grains used before you highlighted them so I’m off to do some research.

    Has spring sprung yet in Golden?


  6. Melissa says:


    Thank you so much for your kind comments and for taking the time to respond. The only bad thing about “pretesting” is all the “taste-testing” I do! You have to taste (and eat) part of each batch. Then you have to decide which is best, so that makes for more comparison tasting. YIKES, pretty soon, you’ve (I’ve) eaten too many cookies!


    Thanks again, Pat!

  7. Melissa says:


    I just saw another “cookie diet” ad on TV. I don’t know what’s going on with this trend, but maybe we should start our own “diet” cookie company with these Montana cookies. They are definitely healthier and heartier than most!

  8. Melissa says:


    Thanks for commenting! I appreciate your amen!


  9. Melissa says:


    First off, either I need to come to the UK or you need to come here so we can do some preliminary planning regarding the soup kitchen. On second thought, we need to do both, starting with dinner at Table #5. That, along with a bottle of fine wine and dinner with our supporting staff, should get our creative juices flowing.

    You need to tip me off to where I can send my detailed proposal of recipe ideas. All GF of course, but none of our customers even need to know that.


    P.S. I’m on a work/vacation in the northeast (Massachusetts) and it’s been snowing like crazy. In fact up to 30″ of snow in the Washington DC area (my flights were rerouted because of closed airports). So, anyway, nothing looks spring-like in the US right now!

  10. Melissa,
    These look great! And I think I actually have some bean flour…
    Can’t wait to see the “power bar” recipe!
    (And I almost spit my water onto my keyboard with the “horse biscuits!” I rode as a kid and totally remember being tempted by those!

  11. love it. am thinking about trying these cookies. DYING to bake some treats for Valentines but trying to avoid the gluten and refined carbs and gluten

    any other valentines treats to try?

    happy valentines sweet friend!! xo~

  12. Kimberly says:

    Hi! I saw your blog through gluten-free goddess. I live in Florida with “the white bikini diets” but love cookies! Will have to try this one, thanks!

  13. lo says:

    I’m telling you, those cookies are calling my name. I’m intrigued by the use of bonzo flour in there… nice, nutty flavor, no?

    Even if I’m normally a wheat-cootie girl, gluten free cooking is definitely expanding my horizons.

  14. Sheila says:

    Melissa, these cookies look amazing. I’d like to give them a try. Tell me a little about Earth Balance and where to find it… (my apologies if you’ve already touched on this in a previous blog). Thanks!

  15. Well, don’t those look perfectly amazing!

  16. Cid says:


    Thought I ought to tell you our little brother, GDave is back on line!


  17. Melissa says:

    Hi all — I’m sorry for my lack of responding, but I’ve been out of town and haven’t had a chance to check in.

  18. Melissa says:


    Then you know that horses love Timothy grass and that is what these cookies are made from. I like going back to basics and love the fact that these farmers are “reinventing” traditional grasses and grains. Sometimes that old fashioned stuff is the best!

  19. Melissa says:

    FFC — let me warn you, these are not easy to ignore. I ate way too many of them! Hey, I had to keep checking to make sure they were as good as I thought they were.


  20. Melissa says:


    Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments and love your mention of white bikinis in Florida. I can only imagine!

  21. Melissa says:


    I use bean flour a lot in my baking. It’s rich and full of healthy protein, but since I don’t use all bean flour (I create a mix of GF flours), I never notice a beany taste. I made some brownies from the Babycakes NYC Bakery with bean flour and people went nuts over them. It’s a good flour to play with whether you’re GF or not. And yes, even though you’re a gluten-cootie girl, I’m happy to share my parallel universe of alternative grains with you. Come on over, it’s spectacular over here!

  22. Melissa says:


    Earth balance is a vegan “buttery” alternative. I like the organic olive oil and non-soy version, but they are all good for baking. Check the website for the different options.

    I have to tell you Sheila, I can’t wait for you to get your hands in the dirt and start blogging about it! Hurry up, sell your house and get back to your farm! 🙂


  23. Melissa says:


    They actually were pretty amazing. In fact, very hard to resist!

  24. Melissa says:


    Thanks for keeping me in the UK loop. I’ve been wondering about that boy! Figured he must have found a new girlfriend or something.


  25. Liz says:

    Oh, Melissa! How I cannot wait to make these. Thank you for testing and creating them. They sound like the perfect treat during my half-marathon training 🙂

  26. Melissa – I’ve never heard of Timtana flour. But, I like trying new things and this one sounds interesting–but also a bit temperamental. The cookies look really good. Thanks for sharing on the Calling All Cookies exchange!

  27. Nadya says:

    Another new flour to try!! & mmm, what a nice way to try it!! I often bake with palm shortening – gives a really nice texture & those NATURALLY hydrogenated oils are turning out to be good for us after all 🙂

    I already use Montina, another from the GF & drought resistant grasses research in Montana, ’cause my daughter got a big box! I like it with sorghum & coconut flour for a more whole grain taste!! Gluten Free RN recommends using ‘nutrient dense’ grains, inc Montina & Teff, to add more body & nutrition to our GF concoctions.
    Montina comes from “Indian Rice Grass”

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