I know what you must be thinking.
How may jars of peanut butter does this girl go through in a week?
Yesterday we did cupcakes, a couple weeks ago we did cheesecake bars, and a little before that, there was stew. Considering these cookies are my 31st post, that means about 13% of the recipes on this blog showcase peanut butter as the main ingredient.
I like peanut butter, a lot. But at the same time I wouldn’t write “peanut butter lover” in my About Me section, like 34% of all bloggers seem to do. Peanut butter, almond butter, pecan butter, butter butter, you all have an equal piece of my heart. I have been known to let all four occupy separate quarters of a single piece of toast. Getting back to what I said yesterday about never being able to choose just one thing…
These cookies are installment numero dos in our little sweet treat marathon week. You may have noticed I didn’t just title these “Peanut Butter Cookies,” but rather “THE Peanut Butter Cookies.” Once you try them, you’ll know why. This vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened cookie is the only peanut butter cookie you’ll ever want to eat from this day forward, “healthfied” or otherwise. Nutritional quality aside and judging on taste alone, I’d take these guys over the traditional flour-sugar-butter combo ANY day. Big words, friends.
I’ll tell you up front, this is the only recipe coming at you this week that takes health and dietary restrictions into consideration.
I’ll also tell you up front, people are shocked when they eat these to find out they’re made from nuts, whole grains, natural sweeteners, and little else. I came up with the recipe nearly five years ago, when I initially started experimenting with gluten free and naturally sweetened baked goods. They were my first success, and probably the reason I continued to develop countless recipes for the dietarily -restricted. What would have happened had these cookies come out terribly those five years ago? Would I have ever bothered to look at a gluten free flour or a bottle of brown rice syrup ever again? Who knows.
These cookies also earned me my first income from cooking. At the time I came up with the recipe, I was working part-time at a yoga studio that had a cafe inside. I brought these in to share one day, and all the waify, quinoa crunching, “carob tastes just like chocolate,” yoga ladies insisted that I bring a batch to the owner and ask her if I could sell them in the cafe. So I did. And she said yes! They sold for $1.50 each. I think I was compensated $1 a cookie. They cost about fifty cents a piece to make, so my take home was like $12 a batch, and I made only two or three batches a month. Basically it wasn’t so much a paycheck as it was bragging rights, and it was so fun to pester all the yogis into buying a cookie along with their 48oz boxes of coconut water.
I’m reading one of Julia Child’s memoirs right now, and in it she tells about how when she was writing her first cookbook, she was reluctant to send her chapter on sauces to anyone, out of fear someone might steal it. When she finally sent the recipes to her sister, she wrote “CONFIDENTIAL” and “to be kept under lock and key” all over the pages. Those sauces were her pride and joy, a mark of her hard work and commitment to excellence.
These Peanut Butter Cookies are my sauce chapter. My signature recipe, if you will. Any time I don’t know the dietary requirements of the guests at a party, Peanut Butter Cookies. Any time I need to please everyone, Peanut Butter Cookies. Any time I need a recipe I could make in my sleep, Peanut Butter Cookies. Any time I need a sweet snack but don’t need a sugar crash, Peanut Butter Cookies. Any time I want to make someone smile because everybody loves these damn cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies.
You get the idea.
A full cup of peanut butter for flavor, almond meal, brown rice, and oat flours for structure, brown rice syrup and maple syrup for sweetness and chew, refined coconut oil for texture, ground flax seeds for binding and even more chew, then a touch of molasses and a dash of cinnamon to take these Peanut Butter cookies over the top.
My favorite cookie, my first great recipe, my “sauce chapter.” I now share it with you. I am 99.9% sure that you, and everyone else who eats these Peanut Butter Cookies will absolutely love them.
Would you like to know why that is not a full 100% guarantee? My father. I offered him a cookie, he took a bite. His expression unchanged, he said, “…peanutty.” You know what I said?
“Get out of my apartment.”
I guess the saying stands that one really truly can’t please every last person. But if you want to come damn close, as in 99.9% close, make these Peanut Butter Cookies as soon as you’re able, and share them with all those you can. They are simply THE very best.
THE Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields 24 cookies
The only peanut butter cookie recipe you’ll ever need.
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) brown rice or quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup (45g) oat flour
- 2 tsp. ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1 cup (256g) natural-style peanut butter*
- 1/3 cup (93g) brown rice syrup
- 1/3 cup (81g) maple syrup
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted*
- 1 tsp. (5g) molasses
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, brown rice or quinoa flour, oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, wisk together remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into wet until a firm dough forms.
Roll the dough into 24 balls, and arrange on the baking sheets. Use a fork to press a criss-cross pattern into the tops of the cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when still ever so slightly under-baked.
Allow to cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store cookies in an air tight container. These cookies will have a crumbly edge on the day you bake them, but after a day or so in a sealed container, they get softer and chewier, and in my opinion even better!
* You may use either crunchy or smooth peanut butter.
*I typically use refined coconut oil because it has no coconut flavor. Unrefined coconut oil totally works but the cookies will taste very subtly like coconut. It’s still yummy, just go with your preference!