SMiLes by Meg

Sunflower Oat Cookies

I’m currently sitting in an airport in Seattle, on a layover heading back to Boston after an absolutely perfect week with Erik in Alaska. We skied on two lakes, spent a night in a dry cabin in -20°F weather, ate a lot of pizza, went climbing, and played a lot of board games. But mostly, we got a lot of much-needed hangout time, which is what I miss the most when we’re apart. Because I’m feeling sentimental, here’s a gratuitous picture of us doing fun things:

One day this week, we had two of Erik’s friends over for dinner (Jake and Kara). I of course wanted to make dessert, and Jake was able to give me a challenge – the recipe needed to be gluten- and dairy-free. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I do a lot of gluten-free baking for my mom’s side of the family. You also know I love butter. Dairy-free meant no butter.

I turned to my favorite website for allergy-friendly recipes, Cookie and Kate, and she didn’t disappoint. I found a recipe for peanut butter oat cookies, which we ran by Jake, and he sent over some sunflower seed butter and oats for inclusion.

I’ve never used or had sunflower seed butter before, but decided to sub it for the peanut butter and give it a go. The result was a cookie that was definitely not as sweet as it might have been with peanut butter, but it worked – kind of an adult cookie. They were a big hit with Jake, and also with Erik’s not-allergic-to-dairy-and-gluten colleagues, so I don’t think these have a limited audience at all.

Plus, with allergy-friendly baking, you don’t use a lot of ingredients, which I always like.

Start by mixing together the sunflower seed butter, sugar, and melted coconut oil in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Pro tip: 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seed butter is a whole 16 ounce jar less 1/4 cup – makes for easier measuring.

Add the eggs, baking soda and vanilla and mix to incorporate. What almost killed this recipe was not the ingredients I hadn’t used before, but the vanilla – the bottle I keep at Erik’s obviously hadn’t gotten a lot of use, and was very stuck. I tried running it under hot water, relying on my usually strong hands, and finally had to scour the place for a rubber band, which did the trick.

Add the oats and stir just to distribute evenly.

Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoon at least 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. These spread – trust me on making sure there’s space between them. It’s not necessarily bad to have to cut apart a sheet of cookie, but it will make your life easier, and the cookies prettier, if you are sparing on cookie blobs per sheet.

Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, until the tops look dry and edges golden. Allow to cool 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

They’ll settle down a bit while they cool on the sheet, making them more craggy.

The cookies end up chewy, and it’s definitely not easy to stop at one.


Sunflower Oat Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower seed butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats


  1. In a large bowl, mix sunflower seed butter, brown sugar and melted coconut oil with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs, baking soda and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the oats and stir to combine.
  4. Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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