Austin-based gluten-free cookies Meli’s Monster Cookies deliver all the treat with none of the wheat – San Antonio Express-News

Gluten-free foods have become an everyday thing on most grocery store shelves, but they often come with a caveat. Maybe the noodles are gummy, or the bread a little too dense. It’s an unavoidable side effect that comes with removing the elastic properties of gluten.

One Austin-based company has figured out a workaround, and instead of using fancy modern gluten alternatives, they’re baking up success with a generations-old family recipe. Melissa Blue and Melissa Mehall, founders of Meli’s Monster Cookies, were whipping up a batch of oatmeal cookies and had a lightbulb moment when they realized the recipe was naturally free of gluten.

The Melissas recently sent the Taste Team a sample of their cookies (they also sell boxed cookie mix), and we’re hooked. Meli’s took the classic oatmeal cookie and amped it up for modern American tastes in the two flavors we tried.

The Original recipe is packed with colorful M&M candies, while the Choco-Lot was studded with a silly quantity of dark and white chocolate chips. They cost about $5.50 for a six-cookie bag, but each cookie is about the size and heft of a hockey puck, living up to its monstrous name.

On Recipe: Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Each bite of these treats is just right: a little soft, a little crunchy and oh-so oaty in flavor. They’re also a terrific reminder that most specialty diets, whether gluten-free or otherwise, can be accommodated with basic, natural ingredients our grandparents would have recognized.

Look for Meli’s Monster Cookies products at San Antonio-area H-E-B, Walmart and Target stores. More at

Paul Stephen is a food and drink reporter and restaurant critic in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site,, and on our subscriber site, | | Twitter: @pjbites | Instagram: @pjstephen