Friday, December 4, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Let the cookie-ing begin! Okay, I know. These aren’t fussy, fancy holiday works of art that everybody seems to enjoy, nay, expect, this time of year. They’re admittedly humble-looking for a Christmas cookie. They do have at least one advantage over some of those fussy, fancy concoctions, however: they taste at least as good as (if not better than) they look!
These Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies also have another advantage for some folks, and that is that, being entirely flourless, they are gluten free. Hey, why should those of us who can tolerate gluten have all the fun over the holidays? And speaking of advantages, as a gluten free option, these cookies have one more. They were never trying to substitute gluten with anything, and so do not suffer in texture the way that some (many?) baked goods made with gluten-free flours can.

I love peanut butter, so I was destined to love this recipe. The cookies get gently crisp on the outside, while staying fairly moist and just a bit sugary on the inside. The peanuts give them a nice crunch and even more delicious peanut flavor and the chocolate chunks are, as always, a totally welcome accompaniment to peanut butter. You could use chocolate chips instead, or you could gourmet things up by chopping a fancy chocolate bar and stirring that into the dough instead.

These cookies are very easy to make. While I used a stand mixer to prepare the dough, which took, like, seconds, that dough would also be very easy to make in a big bowl with a wooden spoon. I used a small cookie scoop to portion out the dough, but you could use any spoon and shape the dough into balls to make your cookies nice and round. The dough is sticky, however, but wetting your hands before handling the dough should help with that.

I found this to be a great cookie recipe to kick off my holiday cookie madness. It’s really quick and easy. I shared the cookies with a friend who avoids gluten. They got rave reviews from my own private, ahem, peanut gallery. I love peanut butter and chocolate. Winner, winner, cookie dinner!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food Magazine

If you need this recipe to be strictly gluten free, be sure to check ingredient lists on the packages for the recipe ingredients like chocolate chips, peanut butter, and roasted peanuts to be sure they are gluten free.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine salt
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
½ cup roasted salted peanuts (I used lightly salted cocktail peanuts)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and peanuts.

2. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place the dough mounds about 2 inches apart. If desired, you can take the time to make more rounded balls. Gently press down on the dough mounds to flatten slightly.

3. Bake at 350 F for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are very slightly browned on the edges and the tops appear dry. Cool on the cookie sheets 3-5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 20-24 cookies.

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