The rules for following a gluten-free diet are easy to understand, right? Simply don’t eat anything with gluten (i.e. wheat, barley, and rye). As it turns out, what seems like simple rules are actually a total pain in the butt. Almost everything seems to have one or more of those ingredients in it. Better still, sometimes they are hidden in things like “natural ingredients” and you just get blind-sided by them. If you are choosing to avoid gluten because you want to, then usually that’s okay, but if you have celiac disease that can result in a very uncomfortable couple of days.
In my case as a baker, you quickly realize that ingredients that contain gluten are in pretty much every baked goodie that has ever been made. (Or at least most of the ones that taste good.) There are many substitute ingredients on the market, but many of those aren’t designed to be used as a direct replacement for their gluten laden counterparts. On the other hand, with a bit of creativity and Google as a research tool, you can come up with some delicious recipes that do a bit better than a direct replacement would.
These chewy peanut butter cookies contain no flour or other gluten ingredients and are the best gluten-free cookie that I’ve made so far.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
(Makes 23 cookies)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Scoop about a tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball and press down on the top to slightly flatten them.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
- Let them cool on the pan for a couple minutes and then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Note that they will be a bit tender to touch but they will firm up as the chill out.
Six ingredients! I think I can handle that. The cookie dough is very sticky (duh, the main ingredient is yummy peanut butter). I find using a cookie scoop to be very helpful with portioning out the balls of cookie dough. I love my Oxo small cookie scoop.
You might be asking why I’m so interested in gluten-free baking. My husband and I were invited to a neighborhood Easter pot lock dinner over the weekend and one of my neighbors must follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons. I was in charge of bringing dessert to the party and I was determined to find a gluten-free dessert that everyone would enjoy, not just my gluten-free neighbor.
I think gluten-free goodies sometimes get a bad rap. People assume they don’t taste as good as the real deal. While that may be true for some foods, it’s not for these cookies. These cookies were a huge hit at the party! Everyone raved about them and that made me happy. In fact, I don’t think anyone realized they were gluten-free until I told them after they had nearly eaten them all. Go go gluten-free!
Gluten-free baking is new to me and I’m still trying to learn all of the rules. Like I mentioned above, if they can hide gluten ingredients in “natural flavors”, it’s not always clear what to avoid. For example, there are different opinions as to whether gluten exists in some foods, like flavorings and extracts. When in doubt, ask the person who’s following the program to see what they’re comfortable with (or ask your doctor). In fact, I arrived to the party with these cookies and the recipe for them so everything could be confirmed as gluten free before they were eaten (just in case I missed a rule).
As for these cookies, the real reason why I bet you’re reading this post, it’s very simple. If you like peanut butter and a chewy cookie, then you’re in for a treat. Is it just me or is a tower of delicious cookies one of the most awesome things on earth? 😉 (My husband points out that it looks like a stack of pancakes in a cartoon.)
Have you made gluten-free cookies? What’s your favorite recipe?
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour