Christmas Baking – Part 1

This morning’s Triumph in Christmas Baking was gluten-free (GF) peanut butter cookies. It was a recipe from the Sunday paper, and unlike many GF baked goods, required no unusual flours that I would have to out and buy. Peanut butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, peanuts. That was it.

I’d already baked some of my traditional cookies, but wanted to send off the box and have one GF family member who I thought needed something.  And being a morning person, morning, when my brain is functioning best, was the time to try something new.

My friends who cook GF more regularly may correct me or add to my list, but the first thing I had to do was make my prep area GF-friendly and not get any cross-contamination. Since I’d baked dozens of cookies the night before, there was no telling where flour (and therefore gluten) had gone. I washed all my bowls & utensils both in the dishwasher and GF cookie editthen by hand, using paper towels. I put waxed paper out on the counter to work on. I always use parchment paper for baking, so using that made the (washed) cookie sheets OK. I’d bought a fresh bag of sugar. when I bake, I measure out all the dry ingredients first, which means the measuring cup I use for the flour goes next into the sugar ( no, I don’t; wash it first, the flour & sugar are going into the same baked good! Yes, I do wash everything before I move to the next recipe). I had an unopened jar of creamy peanut butter. I wasn’t sure about the vanilla – I know sometimes the alcohol can be wheat-based, so I skipped it, figuring the peanut butter would carry the flavor. And while it doesnt’ seem enough gluten to matter, sometimes I think the cumulative effect of a little here and a little there add up. I bought some peanuts (ingredients: peanuts, peanut oil, salt) and chopped them finely (on a just-washed plastic cutting board)

And the finished product was excellent!!!! I’d skip the chopped/crushed peanuts next time (and use chunky peanut butter only if I wanted more texture). The crushed peanuts are pretty, but I like the traditional criss-cross of the fork tines. And I didn’t miss the vanilla at all.

GF Peanut butter cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crushed peanuts

Preheat oven to 325

  1. In a large mixing bowl. Beat sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla together until well blended.
  2. Form cookies using a small scoop (mine is 1 Tbsp). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten cookies slightly by making a criss-cross pattern with fork tines. Sprinkle with peanuts.
  3. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes app. 2 ½ dozen.

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