Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck on cooking or baking ideas, I like to visit recipe websites like AllRecipes.com in search of some inspiration. They feature a recipe for pretty much everything under the sun and most recipes have a bunch of reviews from people who have made the dish; this is helpful because it gives you some honest feedback about the recipe and often times people will share what worked for them, what didn’t, and any substitutions or changes that they made to the recipe.
While I was browsing AllRecipes recently, I came across this recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies. It caught my attention because it only included 3 ingredients: 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of peanut butter and an egg. The short list of ingredients and the fact that flour was excluded had me skeptical so I started reading the reviews. They were mostly positive but there were a few that mentioned that the cup of sugar left the cookies with a gritty texture and that the dough was crumbly and hard to work with. I was still intrigued at the idea of a flourless cookie so I decided to work with the recipe and see if I could come up with anything worth writing home about.
I’m happy to report that I did! I made them last night and they were a hit – Justin gave them a thumbs up.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my recipe rating system before, but whenever I make something, I ask Justin 3 questions:
1. Do you like it?
2. Should I make it again?
3. Is it good enough to share with friends and family?
Justin always gives me his honest opinion, although it sometimes takes some digging to get it out of him, which is how the 3-question system came to be. He could politely tell me that he likes something that I’ve made to avoid hurting my feelings, but he knows that I would be embarrassed if I shared a not-so-great recipe so he always comes clean by question 3. Or sometimes a recipe is just fine and he likes it, but it could use some work before it goes public. There have definitely been some recipes that didn’t make it past question 2 and that’s fine, but I still get excited when I get the Justin Seal of Approval.
So much so, in fact, that I went ahead and created this:
Yup, the official Seal of Approval. It will be featured from now on whenever Justin approves of a recipe. (via)
Back to the cookies. The cookies came out crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle, which is just how I like ’em. You won’t miss the full cup of butter that regular PB cookie recipes call for – the fat in the peanut butter keeps these guys from drying out. I used generic store-brand chunky peanut butter but any kind will do (although I do find that the non-natural PB delivers the strongest PB flavor, but that’s up to you). I also wanted to cut back on the amount of processed white sugar so I used some brown sugar and honey as well, but use whatever you’ve got on hand. And chocolate chips are a delightful addition but again, your call.
Since flour is omitted, they don’t puff up like other cookies do and they definitely spread while they’re in the oven, so you have to give them some wiggle room. You should also keep an eye on them while they’re baking because they seem to go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye – I learned this the hard way (as evidenced by the darker cookies on the back of the rack in the picture above). Luckily Justin likes his cookies on the crispier side (whereas I would be happy eating them straight from the bowl!). Between the honey and the oil from the PB, the dough is a little slippery, but you can pop it in the fridge for a little while to make it easier to roll.
Plus, these bad boys are gluten-free if that’s your jam. Heyooo!
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
makes: about 20 cookies / prep time: 10 minutes / bake time: 8-10 minutes
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in the bowl of an electric mixer or mix by hand until everything is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips until combined. Working with a rounded teaspoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your hands and flatten slightly between your palms. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar and bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are brown, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
I had tears running down my face when I saw the Justin Seal of Approval. Awesome.
Haha thanks. That seal is able to capture Justin’s expression so perfectly, it’s uncanny.
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