GFCF Day 5–Pizza & Preacher Cookies

I had a good day yesterday. I cooked and had relative success. For me this isn’t always the case. I’ve had plenty of kitchen catastrophes over the years but I try to look at them as stages in learning. For snacks yesterday we had Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Preacher Cookies (recipe will follow shortly) and for dinner GFCF Pizza. I continue to be amazed at just how good Vegan Gourmet Cheese is. I used Mozzarella Style for the pizzas and it was almost impossible to tell that the cheese was dairy-free. I say almost because if you were really looking for differences, they could be found. But if you were just eating pizza, well then, one would be hard pressed to notice the cheese was different.

For the preacher cookies I used GF rolled oats by Bob’s Red Mill and they cost a small fortune. $5 for 2-pounds. It took about 1/2-pound to make the cookies, and I have to say that in the future I will be saving oats for very specific, popular uses, such as Preacher Cookies or maybe Oatmeal Cake (which I haven’t made GFCF yet, but hope to one day)

Gluten Free, Casein Free, Vegan Preacher Cookies


  • 1/2 cup soymilk (rice milk would probably work too)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine ( I use unsalted) or butter flavored shortening
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (make sure it’s gluten-free, Kroger brand is)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (these are a little thicker than conventional old-fashioned rolled oats)

In a large saucepan combine the soymilk, margarine or shortening, sugar, cocoa and salt. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil rapidly for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture has just barely reached the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Finally stir in oats. Mixture will be a little thin. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cookies will harden in about 10 minutes. If for any reason they do not, then refrigerate and eat anyway. They still taste out-of-this-world! Makes between 12 and 18. These are far too good, and should only be made sparingly.

 GFCF Preacher Cookies

gluten-free, casein-free pizza



  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Cornstarch for dusting
  • Vegetable Oil for greasing pans.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, forming a very thick, sticky batter. Divide the batter in half.

Pour 1-tablespoon of oil onto each pizza pan. Plop half of the dough/batter onto each pizza pan. Dust the top of the dough generously with cornstarch so it won’t stick to your fingers. Press the dough out to the edges of the pan. This is a little tricky and a little sticky, but it was easier than some Box’O’Pizza Crust Mixes I’ve used. Prebake the crusts for about 8 minutes at 400°. They will be a little puffy, but not browned.

Remove the crusts from the oven. Drizzle each crust with another taplespoon of vegetable oil.


  • 10 ounces Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 26 ounce can GFCF Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 or 2  4-ounce cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained, optional
  • Other toppings as desired

First shred all of the cheese and set it aside. This is a great job for a helper.

Next fry the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up into small bits as it cooks. When well browned add the salt and pepper. Pour half of the Spaghetti Sauce in the pan with the beef. Reserve the remaining sauce for later in the recipe. If desired add some mushrooms to the beef too. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

Pour the reserved half a can of Spaghetti sauce over one of the crusts. This will be the cheese pizza. Sprinkle it with 6-ounces (a little more than half) of the Vegan Mozzarella. Add mushrooms, or other toppings if desired. Sprinkle 2-tablespoons of nutritional yeast over the Mozzarella.

Spread the meat mixture over the remaining crust. This will be the meat pizza. Sprinkle 4-ounces of Vegan Mozzarella over the meat. Finally top with 2-tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Bake the pizzas at 400° for about 15 minutes. The cheese pizza may need a little less, the meat pizza may need a little more. When the cheese is lightly browned and well melted remove the pizza from the oven. Cut each into 12 slices and serve. Makes enough for 6 hearty servings.

This crust is adequate, but not excellent. The boys loved it, but to me it seemed a little coarse and crumbly. I did like the fact that it went together so quickly and that it was easy on me, the cook. I will experiment in the future to find a crust that more approximates what we’re used to. On the bright side, the crust was better than many frozen pizzas I’ve had in my lifetime, so I might be a little too particular on this matter.

Click for closeups:     Meat Pizza     Cheese Pizza    



Filed under GFCF Recipes

14 responses to “GFCF Day 5–Pizza & Preacher Cookies

  1. Billie

    Interesting to watch your experiments 🙂

    How are you feeling on the new diet?

  2. Great job Maggie!! I just love finding somebody else who calls those oatmeal cookies “preacher” cookies! I think the Roanoke area is the only place they call them that! Where I live they call them “stove top cookies” or “no bake cookies’ and that just seems wrong! lol They look wonderful! I do use my GF oats sparingly!!

    Your pizza looks really yummy too! I’ll be posting an egg-free, gluten free, casein free pizza crust soon that is SO good! We made it last night!

  3. I’ve heard them called Preacher Cookies in other places in the South. In many parts of West VA they’re called Preacher Cookies. I’ve heard them called “Oatmeal Fudgies”, “Hay Stacks” when made with added coconut, a peanut butter version called “Peanut Butter Fudgies”. Up north they are often called No Bake Cookies, and I agree, all of those other names Just. Seem. Wrong. Looking forward to your Pizza Crust recipe soon. I mean REALLY looking forward to it. I know there have got to be better recipes for pizza crust with so many creative cooks out there, and I want to try them!

  4. Hi Billie. I’m having zero tummy trouble which is pretty wonderful. I’ve been thinking about how to manage my PCOS while being gluten-free and haven’t made any decisions about it yet. For now, I’m just getting through the 2-weeks, and then I’ll reevaluate where I want to go.

    The boys are doing VERY well. I think they feel better and that is why they’re being so cooperative.

  5. Can you explain why you call the cookies “Preacher Cookies”?

    I make these, though I don’t have to worry about the gluten aspect, and we call them “No Bake Cookies”. My good friend loves for me to make these with mini marshmallows mixed in at the very end.

  6. They were named Preacher Cookies because they were quick and easy to mix up when you spied the dust from the Preacher’s Horse at the bottom of the mountain. By the time he made it up to the door, the cookies were done and waiting on him.

  7. Gilana

    Hi, Maggie!
    Just am curious if the nutritional yeast sprinkled on the pizza is a taste thing, appearance thing, or nutrition thing. Sounds like you guys are doing great!
    By the way, I think us Northeasterners called them no-bake cookies. A shame, really. Preacher Cookies is much more colorful. My mom made something similar with chocolate chips, peanuts, and those thin crispy Chinese noodles. My brother still insists that nobody can make those no-bake cookies like mom did, but I think that’s because she threw everything leftover into them. I have yet to see a fudgie/peanut buttery no-bake cookie that calls for Cheerios, coconut, Rice Krispies, raisins and (probably) leftover meatloaf.

  8. ROTFL, leftover meatloaf! Sounds like something my kids would accuse me of.

    Nutritional Yeast gives a cheesey flavor to the pizza toppings. My kids are used to sprinkling Parmesan on their Pizza, so I gave them nutritional yeast instead. They still got to sprinkle something cheesy on the pizza and did it without adding any actual dairy products.

    I have a recipe in my Uncheese Book by Joanne Stepaniak for a Parmesan-type topping that includes Almonds and Nutritional Yeast. I hope to make it eventually, but until I do, sprinkling on plain Nutritional Yeast keeps the boys happy, and adds an appropriate touch of flavor.

  9. Mrs. T (South Africa)

    We also need to try a GFCF diet as my son tested on his allergies and as Learning difficultes however he is extremely alergic to soya maybe you can assist in what to replace the Soya Flour within your Flour mix.

    Found a place to buy a grain mill attachment for my Kenwood Chep and will also be grinding my own rice flour.

    Here it costs over 3 dollars a lb.

    Thanks for yout help.

  10. Erika

    So THAT is what Preacher Cookies are supposed to look like! By coincidence I found a recipe for these last week and tried them…talk about a kitchen catastrophe. I wanted them sooo much and was so careful to follow directions: I think my candy thermometer isn’t working right. It was a dry, crumbly mess when I was done. Packed it into a pan and chilled…still a dry crumbly mess. But I ate a few “spoonfuls” (and then a few spoonfuls more over ice cream…still pretty good!) I am glad this GFCF diet is working out well so far for you Maggie–what a big project to change so much!

  11. Hi Mrs. T, I would try another type of bean flour, like chickpea (besan) or even split pea flour. I think the protein in the bean flour helps the texture of baked goods. If it were me, I would just look around for the cheapest bean flour, or the cheapest bean to grind myself. I hear that yellow split-peas have a very sweet flavor in baking, but haven’t used them myself, at least not yet.

    I thought the rice flour I saw for $1.50 a pound was expensive. Boy was I naive. Now that I’m looking for it more often, I’ve seen it for as much as $4.79 a pound! Ouch.

    In large bags, regular white rice is about 50 Cents a pound in my area right now. I haven’t been to my Chinese store yet, but when I do go, I hope to find it cheaper. Meanwhile I’m cooking rice almost daily, and the kids are really enjoying it. I thought we had a lot of rice in storage (35 pounds), but at this rate, we’ll be through in about 6 weeks.

  12. Erika, I think every Preacher Cookie Maker has had results similar to the ones you describe. The chocolate mixture was over-cooked and if you added more than 2-cups of oatmeal, then that can contribute to it being crumbly too.

    If you find the chocolate mixture getting too hard too fast, and you haven’t yet added the oats, then add a little milk or soymilk to the chocolate and cook it over low heat until all the hard chocolate chunks have melted again. Test again for just entering the soft-ball stage, and proceed with the oatmeal. I’ve had to rescue many batches of preacher cookies over the years, and I know this method works. Preacher cookies become easier to make with time and practice. The good news is that mistakes taste just as good as successes.

  13. Erika

    Thanks for the cookie advice 🙂
    Maybe I’ll be brave and make them again…I did not know that rescue was possible once it had seized up. Yours in the picture look so nice.

  14. Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a reasonable price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

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