Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she’s dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

I can’t stop thinking about these vegan and gluten-free cookies. I made them with the schooners one day and we called it “baking class”. I’m always looking for simple recipes like these that have fun steps involved. Rolling dough into balls and covering in flaky coconut – it makes my children go wild.
You can make these vegan with maple syrup and since I buy the HUGE bottle from Trader Joes, that is precisely what we did. I always keep a bag of unsweetened coconut in the pantry and it comes in handy for moments like these….just a quick pop in the food processor and you have tiny little flakes for coating.
I am attempting to work more vegan and gluten-free recipes into my contributions here, as I have a lot of friends with dietary restrictions and I know several of you need to follow specific guidelines as well. It has been surprisingly fun to taste-test options in our kitchen, weeding out the duds and posting the keepers. Coming from a family with nothing really off-limits in the food department, I hope it encourages you in knowing that we reeeeeally liked what we tried. And it ends up here.
One note on the oat flour…I processed oats in a food processor and quickly made my own. However, if you are strictly gluten-free you may want to look for oats or oat flour that is gluten-free certified, as oats can be cross-contaminated.
Makes: 12 cookies

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp. honey {or maple syrup for a vegan version}
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. oat flour (this can easily be made by processing oats in a food-processor)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. desiccated coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk peanut butter, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Add oat flour and baking soda. Stir until combined. Scoop dough into balls and roll in coconut flakes. Place on baking sheet and press down with a fork, forming a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Yields 12 cookies.
*All photography is my own.


April 2, 2015


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