Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies

I first came across the notion of flour-less peanut butter cookies at book club. The year was somewhere around 2003 or 2004, and we were gathered at the home of a member, debating our next six months of selections. A few of us had brought along a dessert to share, and one of the offerings was an astoundingly rich and chewy peanut butter cookie. I knew I had to have the recipe.

Rather than write it out for me, M. rattled it off: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla. That's it. That's all. In a word, I was amazed. I had no idea it was possible to make cookies without flour. That's just crazy talk, right? Wrong.

M. assured me that not only would this recipe work, she'd been making it since kindergarten! It was the first recipe she ever learned and she never bothered, never needed to write it down. I didn't either. I committed it to memory ... and there its stayed in my pretty little head, lo this nearly decade or so. I always intended to make the cookies, but somehow it never happened.

Well, Monday's weather was a chilly 88 degrees, rather than 98, so it seemed like a fine time to bake. I mentally dusted off M.'s recipe and set to work. I changed it up a bit too - using natural peanut butter, rather then a commercial (read - too sweet) brand; some brown sugar in place of the white; and ... because I'm me ... I added some chocolate chips for good measure.

They may not be the best looking cookies on earth, but they sure are tasty.

Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies:
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the peanut butter into a mixing bowl and to it add the brown sugar. Stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. Crack in the egg and, again, mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla extract and a small pinch of salt, then stir well with a fork until fully incorporated. The mixture will appear grainy - remain calm, all is well. Add the chocolate chips and mix in with a wooden spoon or spatula. Don't worry if the chips don't want to blend, you can mash them in when you form the cookies.

3. Scoop cookies by rounded teaspoon and roll slightly in between your palms to form, pressing in any errant chocolate chips. Place formed cookies directly onto a baking sheet, and press each down slightly. Continue until all cookies have been formed. You should have about 2 dozen.

4. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown at the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

As written, this recipe will yield 2 dozen small cookies. Recipe may be doubled.

Hint - if you choose to omit the chocolate chips, you may press the formed cookies down with the tines of a fork to create that traditional peanut butter cookie look. Also, if you prefer a sweeter cookie, by all means opt for the white sugar and use one full cup. And, if you prefer, you may also use a commercial brand of peanut butter in place of the natural stuff. Hey, its your cookie!

There are probably dozens, maybe even hundreds, of flour-less peanut butter cookie recipes floating around out there. This is my version of the classic.



Fresh Local and Best said...

I have to love that this is the first recipe someone baked and that it continues to be a staple. Tried and true. This is a wonderful gluten free recipe, and I am glad that it's finally cooled down so that we can all bake again!

stephchows said...

mmm love any kind of nutbutter cookie. I need to make some ASAP!

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

I've heard of this recipe and was skeptical, too. But I hear nothing but good things about it. Glad you took it for a test drive with such delicious results.

The Diva on a Diet said...

FLB - isn't that a great story? I was completely charmed when she told me that it was the first recipe she ever made. And, yes, I guess it is gluten-free ... albeit somewhat accidentally! LOL

Steph - I thought you might like these! :) I wonder if they'd work with the cashew butter?

Charmian - I was wary too, which might be why it took so long for me to try the recipe. If you like peanut butter, you'll really like these cookies. The pb flavor is huge!

pixelgal said...

I think the 88 degree window of opportunity has left already although I did some baking today despite the returned humidity. These look great...my 2 faves pb and chocolate. I'll try them soooon. Thanks kiddo!

May Ling Wu said...

Looks great! Can't wait to try. I love how easy it is to make. Thanks for sharing :)

words...words...words... said...

The addition of chocolate chips just makes these over the top awesome :)