One of my standby cookie recipes back in the day (translation: when I was eating gluten) was peanut butter. I always made them for my dear friend, Cindi, for special occasions like her birthday or when she just needed a “pick-me-up. ” She would just flip over my peanut butter cookies, so I obliged as often as I could. After going gluten free, I was anxious to find a worthy replacement. I kept seeing a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe on the celiac listserv and on other blogs. It only required peanut butter, an egg, and granulated sugar. However, I had actually tried this recipe years earlier because I’d been intrigued by the few ingredients. While the cookies turned out okay, they didn’t wow me. Quite some time later, I saw another recipe for peanut butter cookies on the celiac listserv. This one looked more promising. The ingredients were: peanut butter, brown sugar, an egg, baking soda, and vanilla. Plus, you could use smooth or chunky peanut butter and you could add chocolate chips if you liked. Hmmm, make that very promising.
I eagerly made the recipe and the peanut cookies were the best—even better than my old, standby recipe! The first dozen times I made them, I used chunky peanut butter and mini chocolate chips. Yum. Delightfully chewy with just the right amount of chocolate. I’ve even made them with regular-sized chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. As expected, the chocolate merits almost equal billing with the peanut butter in those versions. Using chocolate chunks actually elevates these cookies to a whole new level. The big semi-sweet chocolate chunks show through the surface, making the cookies very appealing, but better yet, the chunks stays soft and gooey after baking. How often does that happen? Not often in my experience, but it’s certainly wonderful when it does. Still, most of the time now I tend to go for the classic version when I make these cookies—using smooth peanut butter (no chocolate chips needed). Simply delicious.
Because there’s no flour of any kind in all versions of these cookies, the peanut butter flavor really stands out. For a purer peanut butter pleasure, if you will. If you are a peanut butter lover, that’s a great thing! I always make these cookies as one of my sweet treats for parties (like our Valentine’s Day party, hence, the picture above). And, this recipe is also the first one I share with those who are newly gluten-free. Everyone is always amazed that they don’t contain flour, but yet have just the right cookie consistency and flavor. What’s really neat is that folks can usually go right home and make some for themselves, because the ingredients are ones most of us are likely to have on hand (that is, in homes where family members do not have peanut allergies).
Another nice thing about this recipe is that these cookies can be made quickly. I sometimes make them before going to work when I’ve promised to bring in a treat. I’ve also made batches right after work to add to a care package for a friend. Just a little prep time and about two cookie sheets worth of baking and you are done! It’s a great recipe for children to make, as well. It’s easy and fun for them to roll the dough into balls, remove the cookies from the cookie sheet, and, of course, taste the results of their efforts. Try these … if you like peanut butter cookies, you won’t be disappointed! I think my friend, Cindi, will definitely approve when I make them for her when she returns to Virginia soon. Or maybe she’ll go ahead and give them a test run with the able help of her daughter, Olivia.
- 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky/crunchy (or almond butter or sun butter)
- 1 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional—mini, regular size, or chocolate chunks)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together well. Last, add chocolate chips (if desired) and mix well.
- Grease or moisten hands slightly and form dough into 1-inch balls.
- Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet. (DO NOT press down as in some traditional recipes. See exception in notes below.)
- Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and cookies look “set,” but not done. Do not overcook.
- Makes about 24 – 30 cookies. If you want to turn these cookies into a really decadent treat, get out your jar of Nutella and spread some on the underside of one cookie and then press another cookie on top (top side out). See the resulting Peanut Butter Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookie here.
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