10 Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies: Recipes & Easy Ideas for All


Before I get to those delicious ideas, we have a crunchy cookies sale to share! In honor of Allergy Awareness Month, Enjoy Life Foods is offering an exclusive discount to Go Dairy Free viewers through June 8th. Get 15% off ALL Enjoy Life snacks, treats, and chocolate when you use the promotional code ENJOYGDF at shop.enjoylifefoods.com.

A funny thing. I used to swear off crunchy cookies. I was a soft, chewy cookie loyalist, through and through. But something changed a few years back. Some might say my palate “grew up,” but I think it was my brain that finally matured. A stubborn mental block about “what cookies should be” shattered when I discovered the versatility of crunchy cookies – especially for special diets.

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)

10 Reasons Why Crunchy Cookies Are Awesome

My crunchy cookies of choice are Enjoy Life Foods, because they come in just the right flavors, are easy to find in stores, they taste deliciously “normal,” and they fit almost every dietary need. They’re non-GMO verified and made in their gluten-free, allergy-friendly facility. They’re also vegan, with the exception of the grahams, which contain a touch of honey. (Tip: swap in the Sugar Crisps to make any of the Graham ideas below vegan.) Over the years, these crunchy cookies have helped me make dozens of recipes and quick treats that everyone can enjoy, including the following.

Crumb Pie Crust

Crushed crunchy cookies made a wonderful crumb crust. And unlike graham cracker crusts, you don’t have to add any sugar. Just grind those cookies up, smash in a little allergy-friendly shortening or buttery spread until clumps form, and press it into your pie pan. Bake or chill the crust to set it. If you want my favorite quick recipe, it’s in Go Dairy Free, 2nd Edition. I used the Vanilla Honey Graham Coookies in the picture below, but I often use the Double Chocolate Cookies to make chocolate crumb crusts.

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)

Pudding Parfaits

Pudding and crunchy cookies go together like peas and carrots. The Double Chocolate Cookies make the perfect “dirt” on these healthier, dairy-free dirt pudding cups. But for my banana cream pie parfaits I use those Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies.

Dairy-Free Dirt Pudding Cups - 10 minute, make-ahead treat! (vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free)

Upgraded S’mores

Why settle for simple grahams when you can make a crunchy cookie s’mores! I went traditional with the Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies. But it’s fun to put out allergy-friendly chocolate bars and an assortment of Double Chocolate, Sugar Crisp, Vanilla Honey Graham, and Chocolate Chip to let each person pick their favorite. They all go well with marshmallows and allergy-friendly chocolate! No campfire? Cheat like we do. Heat these treats in the microwave (roughly 20 to 30 seconds) for a fast fix that’s almost too easy.

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)

Ice Cream Bon Bons

Crunchy cookies are problem solvers. When I decided to make homemade dairy-free ice cream bon bons, I ran into a little problem. Those little scoops of ice cream don’t like to hold their shape when you’re attempting to dunk them. And they tend to melt into the chocolate. So I rolled them in crushed crunchy cookie crumbs and re-froze them. With a firm exterior, they were easy to dunk and refreeze without allowing any creamy goodness to escape. Not to mention, the crunchy cookie layer is delicious!

Cookies 'n Ice Cream Bon Bons Recipe - easy, fun, delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan & allergy-friendly!

Better-Than-Oreo Swap

When I made my allergy-friendly cookies ‘n cream ice cream recipe, it was brought to my attention that gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free sandwich cream cookies are hard to find. Most contain at least a wee bit of soy. So I whipped up a top allergen-free solution with Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Cookies and a quick filling.

Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Sandwich Cream Cookies

Sift 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup allergy-friendly shortening (I use sustainable palm shortening), 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring, and a pinch of salt. Blend on low with a hand mixer until combined into crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon water, or as needed, until clumps form and the mixture comes together when you press it with your hands. Pinch off 3/4-inch pieces (or larger!) and roll into balls. Gently press a ball evenly onto the bottom side of one chocolate cookie. Top with a second cookie, right side up, and very gently press to stick. This should make about 12 to 15 sandwich cookies, so get two boxes. And a warning: these are addictive!

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)

Ice Cream Sandwiches

I assumed that soft cookies would work best for making dairy-free ice cream sandwiches. But after several tests, I discovered that crunchy cookies came out on top! They work with all types of ice cream sandwiched in the middle, but I couldn’t resist going S’mores with one recipe. It includes a homemade, allergy-friendly marshmallow ice cream recipe, too.

S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches - complete with homemade dairy-free marshmallow ice cream. The recipe is even gluten-free, top food allergy-friendly and vegan optional.

Sweet Dippers

Crunchy cookies are like the sweet version of chips when it comes to snack time dips. I love dunking them in some whipped seed butter for a hearty bite. Or I go all out withe this quick allergy-friendly cheesecake dip.

Dairy-Free Cheesecake Dip Recipe - a 10 minute treat! (vegan, gluten-free and top allergen-free)

Easy Party Treats

Crunchy cookies are perfect for decorating. You can simply coat them in chocolate, or get a little more creative for celebrations. I’m not a pastry artist, but even I was able to whip up these cute mummy cookies last Halloween  thanks to the flat, sturdy cookie base.

Mummy Cookies Recipe - Super Easy! Made dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan & allergy-friendly

Icebox Cake Jars

I discovered something so cool last summer. Crunchy cookies fit perfectly into many single-serve jars. You can make our icebox cakes recipe into personal desserts by layering dairy-free sweet cream, fruit, a cookie, and repeat. If the cookies are a little too big for your jars, just trim them around with kitchen shears to fit. Any leftover trimmings can be crumbled and sprinkled on top.

Dairy-free Icebox Cake Jars! Recipe includes Full Cake instructions & Red, White & Blueberry option

Poolside Snackers

I don’t know about you, but swimming wears me out! So if I plan on lounging for long, I bring a bottle of water and some carbs. Mini Cookies are a nice nosh with just the right amount of energy and they serve as a sweet reward for all those laps. They’re also a great “safe” snack for packing along to amusement parks and on other outdoor adventures.

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)

It’s #Tealspotting Time!

You can find Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies in their new teal packaging, a colorful ode to the food allergy community. But before you head to the store, I’ve got some tasty deals to share:

  • Get 15% Off all Enjoy Life Products between now and June 8, 2018. Just shop on their website and use the following Promotional Code at checkout: ENJOYGDF
  • Go #TealSpotting for a chance to win a free product coupon. Snap a photo of any Enjoy Life product in its new teal packaging on the shelf, post it to Instagram or Twitter, tag @enjoylifefoods and the retailer, and use the hashtag #tealspotting.

10 Delicious Ways to Love Crunchy Cookies (Recipes and Ideas: Gluten-free, Vegan and Allergy-friendly)This post is sponsored by Enjoy Life, but the stories, opinions, ideas, photos, and recipes are all my own. They asked me to share the Enjoy Life products that have had the biggest influence on my life, and it was their crunchy cookies, hands down. They’re not only delicious, but they’ve also allowed me to make dozens of allergy-friendly recipes that (almost) everyone can enjoy.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Pingback: Vegan Cookies 'n Cream Muffin-Cakes Recipe (aka Fancy Muffins)

  2. I LOVE crunchy cookies, and the Enjoy Life ones are by far my favorite. I want to make ALL of these ideas – which to try first?? (I have used these cookies for s’mores… YUM.)

  3. I’m so excited to have a few more ideas on how to use my cookies. We’ve done a few of those, but I really like how you coated the bon bons with them before dipping in chocolate.

  4. I didn’t realize that Enjoy Life makes cookies! I know them for their chocolate chips. I love that there are so many ways to enjoy them other than just eating them straight out of the package.

  5. I tend to be a chewy cookie person, but you’ve made an excellent case for crunchy cookies! What a great idea to use them as pie crusts or “dirt” on pudding. So many tempting options!

  6. Pingback: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Recipe (Dairy-Free & Coconut-Free!)

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