Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten Free)


I'm lucky that I've never had a need, due to allergy or intolerance, to cook gluten-free in our home. Sure, we make healthier choices and cookie to reduce certain "bad" things from our diets (so we can enjoy all of the yummy, butter-laden things I like to bake), but gluten free baking in particular has always eluded me because I see a lot of recipes that require substitutions with ingredients I just don't have on hand or come across in my regular grocery shopping. But when I do see an accessible recipe, I'm happy to jump on board and give it a try. Like these cookies I made for my coworker, Laura's birthday. Laura isn't gluten free but does make conscious decisions about her food choices, so while I wanted to celebrate with a sweet treat, I also thought I'd try something new with a little adjustment. Now, these cookies are by no means "healthy," but they do work with the idea of using simple ingredients and only a few of them--six to be precise. And they're delicious. I'll admit, I was skeptical about a flour-less cookie and more than a little concerned they'd be incredibly sweet with that much sugar. But I was pleasantly surprised. Sweet--but not overly so--and full of perfect peanut butter and chocolate flavor (THE baking flavor combo in my opinion), these cookies are the sure for anyone who needs a treat but looking for something without gluten. And I'm happy to have a new recipe in my arsenal for this need.

Searching for something to fit Laura's dietary habits, I stumbled upon this recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks and thought for sure it'd be a winner, just like everything else I've made from her. The simple ingredients, the care of walking through the process including the pros and cons, and the pairing of dark chocolate with peanut butter (not something I normally do) sold me. And I'm so glad I went for this recipe. As recommended, I used the full tablespoon of vanilla and since I didn't have dark chocolate chunks, I went with the chips. The result is a soft, almost gooey, flavorful peanut butter cookie stuffed with more chocolate than really fits. Seriously, I actually had some chips left in the bowl that I couldn't jam into any more cookies. Try these out, share them with your gluten free friends, and see for yourself how delicious they are.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten Free)


Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter (natural or homemade not recommended)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat peanut butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.


Add egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until mixture becomes smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Then beat in baking soda.


Add chocolate chips and stir just to combine.



Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough into balls. Roll balls between hands to form a smooth ball and encourage chocolate chips to stay in the dough. Place balls on a plate or lined baking sheet. Press slightly to flatten, cover with plastic wrap and chill. Dough should be chilled for at least 2 hours and should be cold when ready to bake.



Arrange cold dough on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart (plan to bake only 8 or so per baking sheet, Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just set. The middle may look underdone, but take care not to overbake. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.



Cool on pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Makes 12-16 cookies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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