These cookies are my love letter to peanut butter.
I’ve mulled on this recipe for weeks. Recently, I found a scrunched up piece of paper in the bottom of my laptop bag. It really is just scribbles of measurements. The writing is nearly illegible. Scrawls and scratches. A recipe that has been tinkered with until it reached my version of perfection. This means one thing – peanut butter experimentation can yield good things.
So let’s talk Peanut Butter. It’s delicious. It can be savoury or sweet. Admittedly, I get into peanut butter loving modes. During these time spurts, I ravenously eat peanut butter for breakfast and snacks by spreading it on deliciously, moist 12 grain bread (sometimes homemade). Occasionally, I slather on a thin layer of raspberry jam that is plentiful with seeds.
There is something gratifying about this simple pleasure. It reminds me of elementary school, particularly afterschool when I’d eat peanut butter while watching the cartoon, Inspector Gadget (I, like so many loved, Penny and her book/street smarts).
Peanuts aren’t actually nuts at all. They are legumes – in the same plant family as beans, peas and lentils. I find peanut butter to be interesting in that today’s product is remarkably similar to peanut butter produced a century ago. To legally label peanuts as peanut butter, a jar must contain a minimum of 90 percent peanuts with no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives. That is pretty awesome. What I gravitate towards is natural or organic peanut butter, which contains just peanuts and salt.
Still, for an ingredient that is lovable, peanut butter is powerful in that it’s a great source of protein and can help prevent diseases. Plus, peanut butter contains more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. When I get into my peanut butter must-have moments, I seek out grocery stores, usually organic focused ones that have peanut butter machines. Admittedly, it’s gratifying to select peanuts and then whirl them up in a machine that blends the oil and produces a container of pure deliciousness.
Now when it comes to cookies, peanut butter cookies tend to spark the kind of tense debate usually reserved for topics like religion and politics. There are adamant lovers and haters. So it is with great trepidation that I offer this recipe, hoping to suit the gluten free peanut butter cookiedom. As noted in the outset, this recipe was tested more than a half-dozen times, so please grant me some generosity when reviewing. I’m feeling quite cookied out.
I love baking. But sometimes more than that I love baking easy recipes. Ones that have a few ingredients that have the ability to produce endless variations. With a few ingredients (10 to be exact), these oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookies are the epitome of a minimum effort, maximum reward.
Easy to make in large quantities, they’ve become my go-to offering. I can easily whip up a batch of these delicious discs, giving me the chance to impress friends while simultaneously feeding an army of them. Even the ones currently on gluten free diets (you know who you are).
These cookies take all of about seven minutes, maybe even less time to come together. Then they’re spoon dropped on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and baked for about 10 minutes at 350F. Not bad, right?
Now these cookies are not about showing off, it’s really about the intensity of peanut butter that melds with gluten free oats, a bit of spice and sweet, and a handful or two of the darkest of dark chocolate chips (dairy free variety, of course).
I didn’t think I believed in such things, but these are: peanut butter chocolate heaven. There’s only one problem: it’s near impossible to eat just one. My advice: eat, in a comfy armchair, bowlful on your lap. Perhaps with a tall glass of milk, if you can handle the dairy.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 T water, set aside for 3-5 minutes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (dairy-free)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together oats, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and baking soda. Combine ground flax and water, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour into oat mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips until distributed. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on pan for 2 minutes before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.