Fudgies… or No-Bake Cookies – A geographic and cultural debate!

gluten free fudgies

The proper name for these cookies is a matter of some debate in my household. My husband – and most of the country, as far as I can tell – calls these cookies “no-bake cookies.” In my family, these cookies go by one name and one name only – “fudgies”. My grandmother was a bona fide cookie lady for many years, making cookies at a high school cafeteria in Massachusetts. She called these fudgies, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not arguing with a cookie lady!


Another reason why these cookies should be called “fudgies” – you cook the base as you would cook a fudge candy. This is the reason why some people have difficulty with the cookies coming out dry and crumbly, or so soft that they never firm up. Most recipes specify a cooking time, which can vary from one to five minutes, and your results can vary wildly based on the size of the pot you use, or if you scale the recipe up or down. If you want to avoid dry or mushy fudgies, it’s time to haul out the candy thermometer. Fudge is cooked to 240ºF (soft ball stage), but I prefer to slightly undercook the sugar mixture to 220ºF. This results in a slightly creamier, glossier cookie.


Using a candy thermometer sounds like a pain, but you may only need to use it a few times, and you can record how long you needed to boil the sugar mixture. Just keep in mind that if you double or half the recipe, or use a different sized pot, your timing will probably change. A candy thermometer is the only way to guarantee consistent results every time.


Ingredient note: This recipe contains gluten free oats. Some people on gluten free diets cannot tolerate oats, even if they are certified gluten free. If you are sharing these cookies, please let any GF dieters know that they contain oats!


Yield: 30 cookies using #40 portion scoop


  •  2 c. white sugar ( 400 g)
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder (20 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 114 g)
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (140 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  3 c. old fashioned gluten free oats (285 g)

Other Equipment:

  • parchment paper or waxed paper
  • cookie scoop
  • candy thermometer
  • 6 Qt pot
  • rubber spatula

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Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles


If you keep the gluten free flours on hand, these cookies come together quickly anytime the warm-cookies-NOW urge strikes.

I have actually found that I tend to throw these cookies together a little too quickly… on two separate occasions, I have forgotten the xantham gum and the baking soda and powder. I guess the good news is that this seems to be a fairly robust recipe… the texture was affected slightly, but the cookies were still very tasty.


Nevertheless, it’s worth taking a minute after you have made the flour blend and making sure all of the ingredients actually made it in the bowl!


Yield: 18 cookies using #40 portion scoop



  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 c. sugar (150 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (recommended: Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste)


  • 1/2 c. rice flour (75 grams)
  • 1/2 c. corn starch (70 grams)
  • 1/2 c. tapioca starch (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon with unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon with salted butter)


  • additional sugar for rolling dough in (~1/4 cup)
  • optional: cinnamon for snickerdoodles

Other Equipment:

  • parchment lined baking sheet
  • #40 portion scoop (optional)
  • electric mixer

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Chocolate Walnut Cookies

This is François Payard’s recipe for a flour-less, butter-less cookie that has a delicious fudgy interior and a beautiful shiny exterior.

The dough is not going to look like typical cookie dough. In fact, the first time my mother made this recipe, she thought the batter was such a sad prospect for cookies that she dumped it in a pan and baked it like brownies instead… and those tasted great, too!

Ingredient note: If you are making these gluten free, make sure to check the brand of walnuts that you buy. I have noticed a few brands, and specifically Diamond brand, have a warning on the back that their product is made in a factory with wheat products.


Yield: 24 cookies using #40 portion scoop


  •  2-3/4 c. walnuts (halves and pieces)
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/4 to 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Other Equipment:

  • parchment paper
  • portion scoop (optional)

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Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are easy to make and don’t require any specialty flours. If you are making them for the Celiac in your life, and don’t keep a gluten free kitchen, I would recommend using fresh jars of peanut butter, and as always make sure all other ingredients are gluten free and uncontaminated as well.

Yields: 16 cookies using #40 portion scoop


  •  1 c. traditional peanut butter (such as Skippy), or combine 1/2 c. traditional PB and 1/2 c. natural PB
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 Other Equipment:

  • Electric mixer
  • parchment lined cookie sheet
  • portion scoop (optional)

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