Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These are some reeeeally tasty cookies I enjoyed baking this winter. We were living in a fantastic house overlooking a beautiful tropical lake, and this house had a great little kitchen with a large gas oven, as well as some kitchen gadgets I haven't had a chance to use in a long time - like an electric mixer. I took full advantage of that electric mixer and large oven and baked-up a storm. It was truly an amazing winter, and every day I was happy and grateful for the weird and wonderful life I made for myself - still am. :)

Flourless anything is awesome, right? And there are many good flourless pb cookie recipes out there. I was inspired by this blog post comparing 2 great recipes - so I based this recipe loosely on the winning cookie. If you know me, you'll know that I make things as tasty and healthy as possible (I walk the line) so these are just about as healthy as non-healthy tasting cookies can be.

While developing this recipe, I did have one challenge… no good peanut butter. In this part of Mexico, you can only find the stuff with hydrogenated oil. So I made my cookies with whole roasted Spanish peanuts (with the red skins) ground in a coffee grinder till they just started to clump. A few big chunks gives a nice texture anyways - and it's the freshest healthiest "peanut butter" you can get. There's also the bonus of antioxidants from those red skins.

There's butter in the cookies too, but just a little. There is sugar too, oh yes. I played with the ratio of sugar until there was just enough to make them sweet, but not too sweet, and still have that nice caramelized texture that only sugar can give - and used flavourful muscovado sugar. When I used different brands of muscovado sugar, the cookies turned out either more crisp, or more chewy - as natural ingredients vary a lot. Yes, these are the "crispy chewy" type of cookie - yummm…

Anyways, I made these cookies many times until I got the ratios just right - I hope you love these as much as I do - enjoy!

xo Patty

Ingredients / Directions

1 1/3 c roasted Spanish peanuts
1 large egg
2 Tbsp butter
5 Tbps muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats (for gluten-free use gluten-free oats)
1/2 c chocolate chips or chunks (semi-sweet or dark)

Have all ingredients at room temperature, except for the chocolate chips/chunks - put those in the fridge/freezer to chill. Grind peanuts in a coffee grinder or food processor until they start to clump. (This makes about 3/4 c very chunky "peanut butter" - so you could probably use that instead - and if you do please leave a comment and let us know how it goes.)

In a large bowl, beat/cream the butter, egg, and sugar (1-2 Tbsp at a time) on medium/high until the sugar completely dissolves. This will take several minutes as muscovado is pretty large-grained. Beat in the vanilla. Now beat in about 1/4 of you ground peanuts. If your mixer can handle it, mix in another 1/4 at a time - otherwise mix it by hand. (I was using a hand mixer, and after adding 1/2 of the ground peanuts I had to mix by hand with a heavy duty wooden spoon.) The batter will be very sticky and hard to mix, so unless your mixer can handle it, be ready for a work-out. Sift and mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and then oats. Last, mix in your chocolate. (I chill the chocolate so that it doesn't melt into the batter.)

Line a large cookie sheet (or 2 medium/small sheets) with parchment paper (or a silicone mat). Place about one sticky Tbsp of batter per cookie on the sheet with about 2" of space between them. In my experience, sometimes they spread quite a bit, and sometimes they don't - it depends on the muscovado sugar as it varies a lot. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 until slightly golden around the edges - about 12-15 minutes - but check after 10.  Try not to over-bake these if you want them chewy. (If your oven is very hot, and/or you're using a dark cookie sheet, you may need to bake them at 350.) Remove from oven, wait about one minute, then place cookies on a cooling rack. When cool, store at room temperature. Makes about 20 nice-sized cookies. They won't last long. ;)