Confession: I like peanut butter cookies, though try as I might, I simply don’t love them. Their alluring crosshatch imprints do beckon, and I wouldn’t turn down a nutty morsel when offered, but they’re never my go-to treat. I don’t crave them like I do a proper fudgy brownie, or chewy caramel candies. When offered the choice between peanut butter cookies and just about any other comparable confection, be it gingerbread, biscotti, thumbprints and beyond, it’s almost always going to fall to last place.
Perhaps this isn’t such a scandalous admission, especially compared to the controversy that merely including raisins in cookies can cause, but somehow it feels like a personal shortcoming. There must be something inherently wrong with me that I can’t appreciate the subtle art of classic peanut butter cookies more thoroughly.
Ultimately, it comes down to texture. I’m not talking about creamy versus crunchy spreads; the very foundation of the treat fails to meet my expectations for an ideal cookie. Coarsely textured, a bit crumbly and sometimes sandy, yet it doesn’t have the same buttery richness of shortbread. Plagued by dryness if over-baked for a single second, they’re easy to throw together, but shockingly unforgiving once they hit the oven. Making peanut butter cookies is a snap; making great peanut butter cookies is no small task.
The solution is surprisingly simple: add more peanut butter.
Peanut butter powder stands in for plain flour, adding an extra punch of rich, nutty flavor along with a more flexible foundation. Working in concert with cornstarch for a gluten-free base, the results are exceedingly tender, soft, and chewy. Better yet, there’s no eggs or butter anywhere to be found in such a spare list of ingredients. In fact, no extra oil is needed at all when you can harness the natural oil of the peanuts themselves.
Complete with classic crosshatching, they may look like the traditional sort of peanut butter cookies that deserve only a passing glance, but I’d implore you to look closer. These treats could upset the conventional cookie hierarchy as we know it.
- 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter Powder
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter powder using a sturdy spatula. Once smooth, add the applesauce and vanilla, stirring vigorously to incorporate.
- Mix the cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together before adding them to the bowl, stirring thoroughly until the batter is thick and smooth.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or two spoons to portion out about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Gently press them down using the tines of a fork in a crosshatch pattern. Be sure to allow plenty of space between cookies because they do spread.
- Bake for 9 - 11 minutes, until no long glossy on top and just barely browned around the edges. Immediately drop the baking sheets down flat on the counter to deflate the cookies. Let them finish cooling completely on the sheets before enjoying.
For best flavor and texture, I like to store these cookies in the fridge. Pack them in an airtight container, separated by layers of parchment paper so they don't stick, for up to 1 week.
You can also keep them in the freezer for up to 4 months. To thaw, place them in the fridge for at least 24 hours before enjoying.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.