Alisa Fleming ~ I had a recipe idea for some sandwich cookies. The concept was basic, tried and true really, with just a little twist. Seriously, what could go wrong?
As expected, the cookies looked perfect, the filling tasted as I had hoped … but when put together … meh. The recipe parts did in fact work, but to my great surprise, that old school flavor combination just didn't float our sweets-craving boats. So what's a girl to do? Why take the safe way out of course … chocolate chips! I still haven't found a purpose for that filling, but the cookies combined with chocolate chips became a simple sensation.
I'm sure many of you are familiar with those basic 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies: 1 egg, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar. Mine were based on these, but I wanted to make them egg-free (for Tony) and lower in sugar, all while maintaining their gluten-free / grain-free status … and though the three ingredient route is insanely simple, the cookies are just okay when made that way. A little ingredient finagling takes them up a notch or three, if I do say so myself …
Keep in mind that peanut butter can vary in consistency from brand to brand or if you are using homemade. Since the PB is acting as both the fat and the "flour" in this recipe, the taste and texture of the PB can make more of a difference. I use Trader Joe's unsalted creamy peanut butter. It is all natural (just peanuts) and has a very soft, almost runny consistency at room temperature. Feel free to use salted PB if you prefer a salty contrast (for me, the baking soda adds enough of a sodium hit), or crunchy PB if you want some texture. If the PB you are using is quite firm, you may find your dough a little too solid. If so, simply add a little water, a teaspoon at a time, until it has a cookie dough-like consistency.
Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, and Soy-Free. Though I haven't tried it, you can certainly make these peanut- and nut-free with sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter.
- 1/2 Tablespoon Flaxseeds
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I use creamy, unsalted, all natural – nothing added)
- 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted (I used Trader Joe’s Organic)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey (can sub agave nectar for vegan)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/3 Cup Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Grind the flaxseeds in your spice grinder, and place them in a mixing bowl. Stir in the water and let that sit while you measure out the other ingredients. Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar, honey (or agave), vanilla, and baking soda. Stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips to evenly distribute. If the mixture is too moist to handle, feel free to place it in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes or so.
Place the cookies by the tablespoonful on your baking sheet (I line mine with a silicone baking mat), and flatten them a bit (they don't spread much). Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies will need to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before you handle them … they do firm up as they cool.
Makes 8 to 10 cookies
Article and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.