February 25

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes gluten free things can be good. I mean, look at corn chips or taco chips. Totally gluten free and they’re way delicious, right?

Awhile ago, an ex-coworker suggested maybe I was gluten free because I was having issues with my allergies. Rudely, I insisted I knew more about my body and how it reacts to the weather, allergens, etc. than she did, but it never really stopped her nagging. “Maybe you should try gluten free. When I did, I felt so much better.” I never did, and I don’t care to, unless I really actually have to. I enjoy my food with gluten in it, even if gluten isn’t the best thing for you. That’s stubbornness for you. I don’t like a lot of gluten free foods, as far as the gluten free version of things. Muffins, breads, sweets… they just don’t taste right half the time. Then there’s the other half of the time when they’re okay.

This is one of those times.

I don’t know what brought it to my attention as something I should try. I guess part of me is concerned about my current diet and still wanting to indulge in things. I mean, my diet doesn’t restrict gluten by any means, but flour does have calories and carbs and those are things I’m trying to watch. So here’s to alternatives.

Another alternative in this little tasty goody is a partial substitution of stevia in place of sugar. I’ve not done much in the way of cooking or baking with stevia, but seeing as how I have a box of Stevia In the Raw in my cupboard, I might as well try to – again – cut down on some of the calories. The original recipe calls for a whole cup of sugar on top of a cup of peanut butter. That’s… a lot of sugar and carbs. In this particular instance, I made only half of a batch in case I didn’t like the end result. Plus, I knew I didn’t have enough natural peanut butter to do the full recipe and still have some for my breakfast in the morning.

I didn’t like the way the dough broke apart in my KitchenAid bowl. Luckily, it came together quite nicely and tasted pretty nice, too! Which is a bit of a relief considering the last time I had a flourless dessert (in this case, flourless chocolate cake), I wanted to die. The richness was too much to handle. I could have handled overly sweet. I could have handled bland. But it was rich. So damn rich. I was fearful the peanut butter cookies would turn out the same. I think if I had used fake-o peanut butter – y’know, the kind that adds extra sugar and oil and crap peanut butter doesn’t need – it might have been richer. The cheap brand of natural PB I use is mild and it’s apparent in the finished product.

I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for other gluten free desserts to make at home.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

source: PBS.org [Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies]

Ingredients

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 packets Stevia in the Raw
1/2 large egg, lightly beaten

Direction

1. Preheat the oven to 350º.

2. While the oven is heating, mix together all four ingredients. This can be done in either a stand mixer, with a beater, or by hand. By hand will require a little extra muscle.

3. Roll in to small balls and flatten out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use the tines of a fork to make those tell-tale peanut butter cookie marks.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown. Let sit for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*I made little half-dollar sized cookies and my half recipe yielded 20 cookies. They are 54 calories each, 1 gram of fiber, 4 carbs, 3 grams of sugar (remember that peanut butter sugar isn’t the devil, especially if you’re using natural!), and 3.5 grams of fat (again, peanut butter fat and egg fat are not bad for you in moderation).*

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