If you love Kitchen Sink Cookies (aka Monster Cookies), but you’re on a gluten-free diet, or worse yet–if you’re wanting to bake chocolate chip cookies, but somehow your chips are almost gone (how did that happen again?!) then these Gluten-free Kitchen Sink Cookies are perfect for you and your chocolate chip, pretzel, and healthy fun food loving family.
Now, I’m all for recipes that are easy and healthy and frugal, but this one takes the cake (or rather the cookie) on the frugal part, since it allows you to use up whatever you’ve got in your pantry rather than making another trip to the store. And like most of my recipes, they’re easily adaptable for special diets. See below for details.
You’ve had this happen, right? You go to make chocolate chip cookies and find that, lo and behold, a Chocolate Chip Thief has consumed most of your chocolate chips and left you with a measly 2 tablespoons (or even less) of chips!
Am I the only mom who’s found an almost completely devoured bag of chocolate chips in the back of the cabinet?
Tell me this–what was the “thief” thinking–that he or she was saving that small amount for later? Why not just finish the bag and toss it? Does leaving those last few chips take away the guilt of the whole chocolate eating crime?
I don’t know, but what’s a mom who’s needing to bake cookies supposed to do?
Answer: Make these Delicious Gluten-free Compost Cookies, or whatever you want to call them. These healthy cookies are for sure destined to be one the favorite cookies in your home, so you’ll want to share the goodness with your family .
However, since the Chocolate Chip Thief left you with only about 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips, I won’t blame you if you keep all of these Healthy Kitchen Sink Cookies for yourself.
What’s In Traditional Kitchen Sink Cookies?
Traditional Panera Kitchen Sink Cookies have semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel pieces, pretzels, and flake salt in them.
For these cookies, however, you can of course put whatever you want in there. Just no kitchen sink. Remember that, mkay?
Instead, how about:
- semisweet chocolate chips
- milk chocolate chips or chunks
- white chocolate chips
- butterscotch chips or caramel chips (healthier ones, like these caramels, of course)
- caramel pieces
- gluten-free pretzels
- potato chips
- coconut shreds, coconut flakes, or coconut chips (and here’s how to make coconut shreds on your own if you’re the DIY type of person or can’t get the unsweetened version near you)
The possibilities are truly endless.
The best part about these cookies is quite possibly the combination of salty and sweetness. That’s something I love–you’ll see that my sweet recipes always have salt in them, and I love putting a little sweetener in savory recipes too. It makes sense–think about how much money chocolate-covered pretzels or even chocolate coated salty potato chips cost.
Now you can have all of that goodness in cookies that are so easy and convenient to make (since anything goes), you can literally whip up a batch of these cookies anytime.
This is just a partial list of ingredients. For a full list and amounts, please see the recipe card further down in the post.
low-carb sweetener (or alternative sweetener)
gluten-free baking flour
large egg (or egg substitute like this powdered egg substitute, flax egg, or chia egg)
xanthan gum (optional)
favorite mix-ins (see the following image for some ideas of things that might be in your pantry!)
Note that these are basic directions only. Full directions are in the recipe card further down in this post.
Beat the butter (or coconut oil) and sweetener.
Add the egg and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dries and stir.
Add mix-ins and stir gently to distribute.
Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet and bake until brown – about 12-15 minutes.
Let cool on rack–chill in fridge for extra firmness.
Store in air-tight container for up to a week.
Special Diet Substitutions
Like almost all of my recipes, this one is easily adaptable for special diets. The cookies are naturally gluten-free, but I’ve successfully made them dairy-free and egg-free and sugar-free too. Any way you make them, they’re sweet and salty delicious.
Keto / Low-Carb Option: These cookies can also be made into low-carb / keto kitchen sink cookies, but you’ll have to adjust the recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but substituting almond flour for the flour, halving the fat, and increasing the leavening by 1/2 typically works.
Of course you’ll need to use keto pretzels and low-carb / keto ingredients for the rest of the mix-ins as well.
Sweetener Alternatives: Other sweeteners can be used in place of the low-carb sweetener. Coconut sugar is a great healthier option if you don’t want to use a low-carb sweetener. Honey or pure maple syrup can also be used but you’ll want to follow the instructions in this post about baking with liquid sweeteners.
Vegan: These cookies work well vegan too. I’ve made them with grass-fed butter and this powdered egg-replacer, but they’ll work with coconut oil too.
FAQs / Tips
What kind of gluten-free flour works best for these cookies?
You can really use almost any flour you like, as long as you aren’t that picky about the final results. I have used a DIY gluten-free blend of sweet rice, rice, and oat flour, and they turned out fantastic, but for more picky eaters, you might wish to purchase a quality gluten-free flour blend.
Bob’s Red Mill Flour is a popular brand, while this King Arthur blend gets rave reviews.
How can you keep gluten-free cookies from crumbling?
These cookies are very crumbly when hot. Gluten-free cookies are more crumbly than regular cookies, especially when not using an egg, so for best results, here are some helpful tips.
To prevent crumbling, making these (and any gluten-free) cookies smaller than traditional cookies. Also, let the cookies cool completely before eating, and chill them in the refrigerator for optimal non-crumbliness. Using the xanthan gum as well will really help ditch the crumblies, but I almost never use gums when baking.
What mix-in combination is best?
Of course, whatever you like best is going to yield the best cookies, but personally we love the chocolate chip, pretzel, and coconut combination, with some nuts as well. The coconut adds a really great flavor to the dough.
Tips For the Best Flavor
We think these cookies taste better the day after baking, and even better chilled, but any day you eat them, and at any temperature–they taste great.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 cup low-carb sweetener or alternative sweetener
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free baking flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg (or egg substitute like this powdered egg substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum optional
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups favorite mix-ins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the butter (or coconut oil) and sweetener until light and fluffy using a stand or hand mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir well to combine.
- Add the mix-ins and stir gently to distribute evenly.
- Drop the cookie dough into small balls onto cookie sheet or baking stone.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack to room temperature. Chill in fridge for extra firmness.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to a week (if they last that long!)
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Updated Recipe Notes: This post was originally published around 2014 and was written by another gluten-free blogger. It was updated in April 2022 with a completely new recipe and new photos. Here’s the original photo for reference: