As one of the women in my Creative Writing program says, “Peanut butter is my one true love.”
It’s true: Without peanut butter, I wouldn’t have gotten through living in dorms for two years, my first year of apartment-ownership, or the occasional bout of insomnia.
The King Arthur Flour company’s recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free peanut butter cookies is my favorite cookie recipe, bar none. (Gluten-free means it’s healthier, right?) I usually have the ingredients in my pantry, they’re quick to make, and the only tools I need to make them are a bowl and a fork. If you are not familiar with volume measurements by eye, add a one-cup measuring cup and a teaspoon to your list of materials. And that’s it. You do not need a hand mixer for this recipe, though you are welcome to use one. Me? Baking days are usually also arm days.
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to memorize (nearly everything is a 1:1 ratio) and the minimal number of tools. You can make these cookies at midnight without waking any roommates, unless you’re like me and your dog can smell the peanut butter even in deep slumber and tries to trip you up in the middle of the kitchen.
It is really easy to mistake these cookies for being done. The peanut butter and the brown sugar combine to a color that makes the cookies look done before you put them in the oven. It is also really easy to overbake them. I like them best when the ridges of the cookie just start to brown up a little bit. If you want a crunchier cookie, you can wait for a little more browning along the outside.
If you are eating these at home, go ahead and eat them as soon as they cool down enough to not burn your tongue. If you plan on serving them, wait until they cool completely. They do have a tendency to get crumbly, and they’ll hold together easier once cooled down.
—1 cup peanut butter
—¾ cup packed brown sugar (roughly translates to 1 cup loose)
—½ teaspoon baking soda
—Pinch of salt
—1 teaspoon vanilla extract
—½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the peanut butter and brown sugar until you get an even consistency, just like if you were creaming butter and sugar in a standard cookie recipe.
While this recipe calls for peanut butter, you cannot use organic peanut butter (I’m sorry). It necessitates a more processed product. With organic peanut butter, the oil separates while baking even if you incorporate the peanut butter while mixing. Learn from my mistakes.
While I don’t notice much of a difference taste-wise, I recommend using light brown sugar as opposed to dark brown sugar. It’s easier to believe the cookies are fully baked when they are still undercooked in the center with the darker sugar.
Add the egg and stir until combined.
Mix in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract until combined. I frequently forgo the vanilla extract because I forget about it unless I’m looking at the recipe. I haven’t noticed a taste difference.
Stir in the chocolate chips. (Let’s be real here. Don’t measure the chocolate chips. Add in as many as your summer body deserves. Hint: that would be all the chocolate chips.)
Spoon out a spoon’s worth of dough onto the parchment paper. To get more dough on the parchment paper rather than your fingers, use a second spoon to dislodge the dough from the first.
Makes ~12 cookies.
Bake for 12–15 minutes. Pour a glass of milk and enjoy!