Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Go Gluten Free

This is not a recipe blog…

Yeah, I know, big shocker for most of you, huh? Seriously, though I love to cook, I’m not about to throw down in the ring with the myriad of foodie bloggers out there. I lack the patience.

This, however, simply must be shared.

If you are like me, then your life has been impacted by at least one gluten-free diet. To be honest, we have enough people over on a frequent enough basis that the special dietary restrictions no longer even cause a raised eyebrow. I just start calculating which things I can and can’t cook.

One of these days, I’ll post about the biggest dietary challenge meal I’ve ever made. But that is a story for another time.

Today, I’m all about peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – that are gluten free.

Somewhere in my wild internet searchings I came across a recipe for these gluten-free gems that I promptly wrote down. Why? Because I seem to have gluten-free friends coming out of the woodwork and I like feeding them and making them smile.

Anyway… When I wrote it down, I did not note the website. I did, however, make a few tweaks. The original recipe called for all-natural, fresh-ground peanut butter (yeah, not happening!) and turbinado sugar (which I didn’t have handy). It also called for the cookies to bake at an unbelievably high heat.

So, I shamelessly tweaked. Since I had neither turbinado or sugar in the raw, I substituted brown sugar. And since I didn’t have fresh peanut butter, I substituted a good quality chunky PB. Hey, the recipe called for all that healthy stuff, then said, “Nestle Chocolate Chips” – WTF? And I lowered the temp… then lowered it again after the first batch, and again after the second.

The result? Holy crap, these are actually good! I mean, really, really, really good. And they disappeared. Half of them disappeared before I said the magic words, “gluten free.” Upon uttering that magical phrase, the rest vanished instantaneously.

The initial result led to further tweaks and some research (partly in a failed attempt to find the original). I did find similar recipes, but most include baking powder – which I don’t use, nor would I want to add that flavor or chemical element.

These come out quite nicely on their own. And while I would like to give inspiration credit where it is due, sadly I cannot. And, to be honest, the final result is significantly different than the original.

Now, without further ado… the recipe.

1 cup chunky peanut butter (the chunkier the better)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use vanilla paste for a real wow factor)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet give the cookies a stronger, less sweet character, milk chocolate chips make them into cookie-like versions of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – just sayin’)
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped peanuts, optional (careful – the peanuts I had in my cupboard had gluten. The package I had picked up to keep in my desk at work did not. Obviously, I used those)

Beat the egg with the vanilla and sugar, then stir in the peanut butter until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and stir well.

The “batter” seems really goopy until you add the chips. The nuts are not necessary, but I liked the extra level of crunch they gave. This is a tiny recipe – so double it if you want lots of cookies.

Scoop by spoonful onto parchment or silpat and slightly flatten the cookie. The first ones I tried to shape into balls, but the stuff was too sticky. I left a set as mounds, but they didn’t flatten or spread much. I basically scoop out and shape a cookie on the parchment.

Bake at 300 (and I mean 300, you could go down to 275 even!) until the cookies start to brown on the edges. About 12 minutes. Remove from oven and slide the entire parchment off the cookie sheet and onto a rack. Allow to cool.

These are almost untouchable while super hot – seriously, they will just fall apart. They are awesome – and very cohesive – when still barely warm and really good totally cooled.

I don’t know – since none of these have survived more than an hour after coming out of the oven – but I’m going to assume that these are like most gluten-free baked goods and don’t stand the test of time very well.

Photos will come as soon as I can actually get a picture before the darn things disappear.

Future notes:

These have spawned a desire to attempt peanut butter meringues. Just because.

I think if doubling the recipe it would be possible to cut out one of the egg yolks.

If you like really sweet cookies, you might want to up the sugar content a bit, make sure to use milk chocolate chips and maybe even opt for a peanut butter that contains additional sugars. For me, these are the perfect sweetness level for PB cookies.

Oh yeah, and one other note: you’ll want milk!