These vegan, gluten free maple chestnut cookies are delicious sweet little bites that are secretly pretty healthy. Great for relatively guilt-free snacking!
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Chestnuts are something I always loved as a child, and I always try to hunt some down when they are in season. Sadly, though, they are not that widely available in the US and can be imported meaning they are not quite as fresh for roasting.
I still sometimes use some of the vacuum-packed ones for some recipes, like my Brussels sprout soup with bacon and chestnuts, but they don't work for everything. In more recent years, I came across chestnut flour which while it doesn't replace actual chestnuts, does open a whole new set of options to enjoy their flavor. Like these tasty little bites.
Using chestnut flour
Chestnut flour has a mild, gently nutty flavor that adds a smooth texture to what you use it in, but it's not something that works in everything. It's not quite as flexible as other gluten-free flours, I think partly with its more distinct flavor and it can become heavy.
But it can add a lovely texture and the flavor is really nice too, with a little bit of thought. For example my chestnut pancakes were really tasty, and I used some in my chestnut and pear cupcakes, too.
Using chestnut flour to make cookies, however, is something I wonder why I didn't do it before. These chestnut flour cookies aren't exactly big, but they are tasty little bites of deliciousness.
My eldest son, in his increasing scepticism of lots of things, happily dug in and loved them. I suspect the maple flavor helps as he loves everything maple syrup. They're soft, but firm, and have a delicious gentle nuttiness, as you might expect from the ingredients.
About the other ingredients
Since they are made with chestnut flour and oats, they're naturally gluten free (assuming you get gluten free oats). The only added sweetener is maple syrup, but these definitely taste sweet between that and the gently sweet chestnut flour.
The coconut oil and maple act as binders and the small amount of chia seeds gives them a little more texture. They do tend to crack slightly, but they don't really crumble so it's worth just ignoring the mild aesthetic deformities.
The flavors in these maple chestnut cookies are simple but delicious. The maple flavor really comes through and the chestnut flour gives them a lovely smooth nuttiness. The flavors remind me of autumn, though they would be great any time. Easy, sweet and so tasty.
Try these other gluten free cookies:
- Healthy apple oatmeal cookies
- Oatmeal pistachio cookies
- Spiced maple cookies
- Healthy cranberry apricot cookies
Plus get more snack recipes, sweet and savory, in the archives.
Tools to make these cookies
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Gluten free maple chestnut cookies
- ½ cup oats 50g - I used old fashioned/rolled but you can use quick oats as well
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 cup chestnut flour 90g
- ¼ cup maple syrup 4 tbsp
- ¼ cup coconut oil 4tbsp, melted and cooled
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 355F/180C and line a baking sheet/tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment.
- Pulse together the oats and chia seeds in a food processor to break up the oats relatively finely. Add the remaining ingredients (chestnut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla) and blend to bring mixture together and so well mixed.
- Take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and press together in your hands to help the ball stick, then flatten the ball slightly. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with rest of mixture.
- If you like, mark the top of the cookies with a fork to make a slight indent pattern then bake for approximately 10 minutes until they are lightly brown and look dry.
Try these other recipes using maple syrup:
- Maple Sugar Cookies from Sue of Palatable Pastime
- Maple Walnut Vinaigrette from Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table
- Momiji Tempura from Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots from Wendy of A Day in the Life of the Farm
- Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast from Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook
- The Back Forty Cocktail from Stacy of Food Lust People Love