Gluten free baking can be a pain. Oh, it’s not that I mind. I know enough gluten-free folks that it isn’t even difficult to cook meals for them on the fly (after all, neither Asian nor Mexican foods use wheat as a primary grain), but when it comes to dessert. . . well, I’m not one to make an inferior recipe using more expensive types of flour. Yes, there’s always flourless chocolate cake. But–bear with me here–how about we make some chewy peanut butter cookies instead? Will you believe me if I tell you they are just as good as the floured version, and have a greater depth of flavor? And that they’re just as easy to make as normal cookies? ‘Cause I’m about to say it. And Mr. Salt Owl will be most perturbed if you doubt me. You don’t want that.
2 C peanut butter (I use Jif creamy)
2 C packed dark brown sugar (you can substitute 1 cup of granulated sugar if you want.)
1 1/2 t salt
1 T baking soda
1 T vanilla
Just throw everything in your favorite mixing bowl like so:
Then mix it all together with a trusty hand mixer.
Make balls of about 2 tablespoons each (I got 30) and plop them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten them a bit. I do the fork cross-hatch because that’s what one does with peanut butter cookies, but it won’t be visible on the final cookie, so you can just smoosh them if you want. I know the dough looks scarily dark and un-peanut buttery, but it’s supposed to. Don’t worry; they’ll look more normal when they’re cooked.
Now bake at 350° for 8 minutes, turning it the over halfway through. My cookie sheets each comfortably hold twelve, so I saved the dough balls for the last six for later.
It’s very hard to not start devouring them just out of the oven. They’re so chewy, almost like a peanut butter candy! Now, this batch was for another birthday at work (a great excuse for me to bake and not have two dozen servings of sugary delectables tempting me at home), so I wanted to present them as one would a birthday cake. How?
Why, arranged in circles with a giraffe on top, how else? Plus this arrangement only takes 21 cookies, leaving one free for Mr. Blackbird, one for me, and one for the friend who stopped by the night I made these. Delicious!
Oh, I had some sugar in the raw out to sprinkle on top for a bit of extra crunch, but I forgot. If you’re going to do this (and it isn’t necessary), do it when they’re just out of the oven and still piping hot.