cookies dessert gluten-free

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

August 13, 2013

Let’s just take a minute to talk about food photography…aka the bane of my existence. Seriously guys, taking pictures of food gives me more anxiety than running out of peanut butter (that’s A LOT of anxiety). Unlike cooking and baking, food photography is not a passion of mine. It’s something I do to make my recipes look as good as they taste since most of us eat with our eyes before our mouths. I really do try my best, and recognize I am absolutely a perfectionist, but every time I make something I literally dread reaching the point where I have to photograph it. I’d rather just eat it…

I’ve read an obscene number of books and blog posts on the topic, put in a moderate effort to read my DSLR’s manual and have become obsessive about only photographing in “natural light”. So far my strategy has been this: take as many pictures was you possibly can and at least 1 or 2 pictures will turn out. It’s been an okay plan and I’m definitely not totally thrilled how a lot of my pictures turn out but considering I’m no professional and have absolutely no desire to be taking pictures in the first place I really can’t complain. I’m hoping one day I develop an interest in photography, but in the meantime you’ll have to deal with my sub-par pictures!
So why are we talking about food photography? I swear it relates to today’s recipe. I made these Maple Oatmeal Cookies in a last minute procrastibaking session late one night. They are actually incredible and I ate half a dozen immediately. What I didn’t do immediately was have a hot photography session with them. Why? Well the lighting wasn’t PERFECT of course! This whole perfectionism thing is gonna drive me crazy one day. So I had to wait until the next morning to capture these beauties.
Fast forward to the next morning. Sleepy Davs rolls out of bed and realizes that her procratibaking led to annoyingly early photo-shoot. Not pleased. With crust in my eyes and my hair at afro-status I pulled out whatever “food props” I could find, grabbed my camera and began to shoot. I was not happy about  how they turned out but I was impatient and hungry so I ate 3 cookies for breakfast (they’re oatmeal right?) and wrapped the shoot. Moral of the story? Food photography drives me crazy. Thankfully cookies don’t so I guess I’ll keep on baking and dreading the inevitable photo-shoot that will follow!

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

by Davida Kugelmass

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 22 mins

Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free oats cookie

Ingredients (Yields: 2 dozen cookies)

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (GF if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour (or regular AP flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using an electric mixer combine coconut oil (or butter) and coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar).

3. After well combined add in egg whites, applesauce maple syrup and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet while mixer is running.

6. Once fully combined roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls and flatten lightly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone-mat.

7. Bake for 11 minutes.

8. Let cool for 2 minutes on sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

9. Try not to eat all of them at once 🙂

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Do you have any food photography tips for me? How about any hobbies you dislike but do anyway?


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  • Reply
    March 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hi Maven,
    I just printed out your recipe for Maple Oatmeal Cookies….haven’t tried them yet. As I read over the print-out,
    I notice that the 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce did not print. Just wondering what’s up with that. I will try
    these with the applesauce….hope they turn out. Also wondering if I could increase the maple sugar in place of the
    coconut palm or brown sugar and then how to adjust the dry ingredients. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much,

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Sarah! Sorry about that. I’ve fixed it now to include applesauce in the directions. Also feel free to use maple sugar in place of coconut palm sugar. Should be one-to-one. Haven’t tried it myself in this recipe but I’m usually able to swap maple sugar in place of coconut sugar without a problem. Enjoy! -Davida

  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Made these today. I doubled the recipe to freeze some for school lunches. I also added some cinnamon to the cookies. They are delicious. My 2 year old ran to me yelling more cookies and he still had a mouth full of his first one lol! A keeper that I will make again for sure.

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    March 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I so feel your pain. I actually enjoy food photography, but only when everything is going my way. And I’m just like you with the natural light…. it can be such a pain. The cookies look right up my alley!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I love the look of these cookies! Oatmeal cookies are the BEST!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Such self control, all in the quest for photos that shine! Great work! I’m looking forward to making these too!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    These look so yummy! I was just talking on my blog the other day about how any recipe I make with oatmeal I wind up loving. Oats rock! And btw, your pictures look fabulous. I don’t dislike taking food pictures, I just don’t think I’m that great at it because I’m impatient and just want to eat the food already!!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Could not agree more!!! Oats never fail to please! I don’t think I could live without them.

  • Reply
    *CaNdY FiT*
    August 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I never thought I’d take as many food pictures as I do today! lol

    Your pics are great, as are your recipes 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Kierston! The number of pictures on my iPhone is actually absurd. If I ever lose my phone whoever finds it is going to think I’m some crazy foodie…oh wait, I am a crazy foodie!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Yum! I love oatmeal cookies

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I love anything oatmeal! I’m seriously oatmeal obsessed!

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    August 14, 2013 at 5:16 am

    scrumptious cookies…loved the use of our favorite palm sugar and maple syrup…these look so good…tempts us to make some now and finish off the whole batch in one go,adorable healthy munchies 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you both!!! I’m clearly obsessed with coconut palm sugar (it’s basically in everything I bake!). Go make some! I think I’m gonna have to bake another batch soon since they only lasted 1 day in my house!

  • Reply
    Paige Podbelsek
    August 14, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I feel your pain….I have no interest in photography and I literally just can’t get great pictures. I know people can do it with iPhones but I just don’t have the talent. I just cross my fingers and hope that people trust my food tastes way better than the pictures show 🙂 On that note though, I think your pictures are fantastic! ESPECIALLY these cookies!!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Paige I think your pictures are great! Your recipes always sound and look delicious! But thank you for the compliment 🙂 Much appreciated!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]' Out
    August 14, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I think your photos are lovely! So much better than my iPhoto ones… I can definitely tell you put a lot of effort into them! I absolutely love taking pictures, but I also understand just wanting to eat! Sometimes I think I should put a disclaimer on my recipes that I can only testify to my dishes being good cold due to picture-taking. 😉
    I’d love to give these cookies a try! Maple is seriously one of the best flavors ever. And coconut oil is awesome to bake with! Keeps everything moist but adds extra nutrition and a great different flavor dimension. All good in my book! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Alex! Sometimes my iPhone pictures turn out better than my SLR…It’s probably because all other factors are “better” aka I’m more patient lol.

      Maple is one of my favourite flavours too (maybe it’s the canadian in me?). Coconut oil finds it’s way into almost everything I make…and coconut palm sugar. So I guess coconut is one of my favourite flavours too 😉

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    August 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I completely understand how you feel!! Being a slave to natural light sucks and I also get a ton of anxiety before I shoot something. I love when I am able to take a good picture but the process is SO much work. Trying to fit that much work into my already packed schedule is exhausting!

    Really though, these cookies look awesome! I think you are doing a fantastic job. The composition and the white balance look great. I do see a little bit of “shake” in the pictures which a tripod can work wonders for. Are you using a tripod?

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Yes! Definitely looked into getting a tripod. My birthday is coming up so I may just have to treat myself 🙂

      Thank you though I appreciate the positive feedback! I love that you called it “being a slave to natural light” because that could not be more true!!! Now if only I quit my day job…

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