Naked Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ancient Grains Make Great Pastry

Barley Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dive right in, they are melty in the middles and crisp at the edges

If you read last week’s post, you know that I’ve been playing around with beautiful naked barleys from Oregon. This week is another installment in the theme. Instead of making rolled barley into bars or pudding, I ground whole, naked barley into flour and made cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies, just simple, easy cookies to really see what barley tastes like in a dessert. You see, barley has some gluten, but not as much as wheat. That makes it closer to a pastry flour than a bread flour, and that’s what you want in a cookie.

But my question was, could I pull off a vegan, low-gluten barley flour cookie, with only ground flax to act as a binder? As you can see by these photos, the cookies were a complete success, with no crumbling or breaking to mar a stack shot.

Vegan Barley Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

A stack of chocolate chip goodness

Coconut oil is the other secret ingredient, and it works really well in this cookie. The natural balance of fats in coconut oil makes it solid at room temperature, so the mouthfeel is like butter, once they are baked. I’ve found that treats made with coconut oil stay crisp longer than most baked goods, too. I use refined coconut oil in baking when I don’t really want a coconut flavor, just the richness.


Barley Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Naked “Streaker” Barley Makes a Fine Chocolate Chip Cookie

The paleness of the naked barley makes the flour light in color, so nobody will suspect that they are eating whole grains.

Who cares, when you are enjoying a fabulous fat chocolate chip cookie?

Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole, hulless barley is easy to grind for a fresh flour, and makes an irresistible cookie. I made these as a birthday treat, and they were a big hit!

Servings 11
Author Robin Asbell


  • 205 grams hull-less barley about 1 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground golden flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.

  2. In the dry grinding container or the regular container of your Vitamix, grind the barley for at least 1 minute. Dump out into a large bowl to cool. Stir in the baking soda and salt

  3. In another large bowl, combine the coconut oil and brown sugar and cream with a fork. In a cup, stir the milk and flax and let stand for a few minutes, then stir into the coconut oil mixture, and add the vanilla, stir in.

  4. Stir the flour into the coconut oil mixture, and when mixed, stir in the chocolate chips. Use a 1/4 cup scoop to portion the dough onto the pans, leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies. They will spread.

  5. Bake for 6 minutes, then reverse positions of the pans and bake for 6 minutes longer. When the edges are browned and crispy and the middles still look soft, take out and cool on racks. Let them cool on the pan completely before transferring to a plate.

  6. These keep at room temperature, tightly covered, for a week, if you don't eat them all immediately.

Recipe Notes

These cookies are whole grain and vegan, but don't tell anyone. If you miss the flavor of butter you can always use grass-fed butter for coconut oil. If you don't have barley, you can make these with whole wheat pastry flour, too.




5 Responses
  • Tash
    May 5, 2019

    Hi, if you were to use barley flour instead how many cups should you start with?

    Tash May 5, 2019
    • May 5, 2019

      Hi, Tash, thanks for reading. I think you would do best to go by weight, so just weigh the flour to get 205 grams. You can always look at the package of the barley flour you are using and calculate that there, as well. Weight is just the most accurate way to bake.

      I hope you enjoy the cookies!

      Robin Asbell May 5, 2019
  • Tash
    May 7, 2019

    Okay thank you! I’ll give them a go tonight 🙂

    Tash May 7, 2019
  • mj
    Sep 8, 2019

    I just made these and mine didn’t turn out so good. I guess you could call mine brittle, like peanut brittle. My coconut oil is Tresomega Organic Coconut oil. I am going to try again because I am sure these are fantastic if I can get it right. I softened my coconut oil and I don’t think it was needed. I think this caused too loose a cookie hence the one cookie that is brittle. I posted in case you had any ideas to help me correct my issue.

    mj Sep 8, 2019
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Ovens are so different, maybe bake them a shorter time, and refrigerate the dough so it won’t spread too much.
      Thanks for trying them!

      Robin Asbell Sep 9, 2019

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