Make these cookies with only 5 ingredients – peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and baking soda. They are so quick and easy that you’ll never make regular gluten-free chocolate peanut butter cookies again.
Heat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Combine egg and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should gain volume, thicken and change to a paler brown. Don’t skip this step. Beating the egg activates the proteins that will hold the cookie together and also whips air into the mix to make your cookies lighter.
After beating, add vanilla, baking soda, peanut butter and chocolate chips, if you are using.
Beat together just until mixed, 10-20 seconds at most.
If using honey – the dough needs to be refrigerated overnight, or in the freezer for a few hours, but as long as it’s chilled firm they come out great.
To make 12 large cookies, drop the dough by round tablespoons, or use a one-tablespoon, medium cookie scoop. The whole dozen will fit on a standard sheet.
Peanut butter cookies will not flatten completely on their own. Take a flat-bottomed cup and press them down. If you do it before putting them in the oven, they will have a very smooth top, so criss-cross a fork design along the top. If you like a more natural look to your cookies, press the tops down as soon as you remove them from the oven.
Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. They’re very soft right out of the oven, let them set for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (if they last that long)
Peanut butter is a sticky ingredient that is hard to measure in traditional measuring cups. I use an adjustable measuring cup to make sure ingredients are easy to get in and then back out of the cup. This cup works great for any kind of ingredient but especially for thick items that stick to your cup.
Natural Nut Butter Tips
If you haven’t used natural nut butters before there are a few tricks. Most end up separating, with the oil on top and thicker peanut butter residue below. You need to mix it properly, or you’ll end up with very runny and oily peanut butter in the beginning and then a thick paste as you use more of the jar. To avoid that, you need to mix the oil in thoroughly.
The best way I’ve found is to take an icing spatula and mix in the oil so that it’s not sitting at the top of the jar. Try to get all the way down to the bottom of the jar and scrape along the bottom and sides of the jar as you stir. As you pull out the spatula, make sure to scrape the peanut butter back in to the jar, or you’ll lose quite a bit of product.
Set the spatula aside and take your hand mixer, with one regular beater only (not the whisking beater), and put it down deep in the jar. Once the beater is in the jar, hold the jar as tightly as you can and turn the mixer on low. It will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute to thoroughly mix the oil in, but it will be worth it.
Remember to mix the oil in with a spatula first and then hold on tightly to the jar at all times. I can speak from experience that you will spend a very long time cleaning nut oil off multiple surfaces in your kitchen if you leave the oil on top or let go of the jar while mixing!
Store your nut butter in the refrigerator to keep separation to a minimum. Since the oil in the nut butter will harden, take the jar out of the refrigerator to soften an hour or two before cooking with it.
After a thorough mixing, you should be able to use a regular butter knife to keep the oil mixed in. If you leave your nut butter out and it separates, just repeat the mixing process again.