Super-Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

In my opinion, peanut butter cookies are one of the world’s most perfect desserts. 

Not just any peanut butter cookies, but warm, homemade ones fresh from the oven - complete with criss-cross patterns across the top.

After years of making them with the usual long list of ingredients, I found an easier way.  By using only five ingredients - which you probably have in your kitchen right now - you can go from craving to fresh-baked cookies in less than 15 minutes.

I make these for my husband, who adores them, as well as for parties, bridal showers, church gatherings – pretty much anywhere someone asks me to bring dessert.  Not only are they scrumptious, but since you don't use flour, they are also gluten-free.

Regular creamy or crunchy peanut butters like Jif and Skippy work best here.  Natural varieties tend to yield cookies that are crumbly or “spread” excessively when baking.  I also prefer using brown sugar, as the cookies are a bit chewier than with regular white sugar.

Here is the super-simple recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Scoop onto a non-stick cookie sheet or baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and flatten by making crisis-cross patterns with the tines of a fork.  Depending on your oven, cookies will be ready in seven to eight minutes.  Remove pans from oven about a minute before cookies appear to be “done” or start to brown.  Makes about two dozen cookies, depending on size.  These are best enjoyed with a glass of ice cold milk.  

If you try them, please let me know what you think.  Happy baking!

Fudgy Brownies (and They're Gluten-Free!)

When it comes to baking, cookies and bars are my thing.

Since we have quite a few friends who avoid gluten (due to celiac or other reasons), I have several go-to gluten-free dessert recipes for dinner parties or whenever people come over for lunch after church on Sundays.

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Of course, there are times when only a thick, fudgy brownie will do.  I could never come up with a gluten-free brownie recipe that everyone - not just my g-free friends - would like, but finally found a super-easy mix that does the trick.   (I discovered these several years ago when I did some work for this company).

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When I make these, I tell the appropriate people they are g-free, but don't make a big deal of it otherwise.  Why not?  Because they are some of the best brownies I have ever had (g-free or otherwise) - and there are always those people who think if something is 'different' from what they are used to, they won't like it. 

Brownies are one of the things I only bake from a mix.  And they're still "homemade" - if I'm stirring in the eggs and butter, that still counts in my book.   You can find this mix online, but it seems to be more widely available in stores than some of King Arthur Flour's other mixes.

Oh - and it takes less than five minutes to prep a baking pan, mix these up, pop them in the oven - and get on with your day.

Note the thick, dark chocolate batter.  Just 35 minutes later, voila!  Fresh-baked brownies - with those all-important crunchy edges.

I don't even bother with my old brownie recipes, since this one fits the bill - no matter who is coming over.  (Just be sure to hide the box so the gluten-free label doesn't scare anyone away!)

Do you do gluten-free?  What are some of your favorite recipes?