Have you ever had a quest to come up with the perfect recipe? Well I've been on a journey for years to create the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe. Not just any peanut butter cookie recipe though! I set out to create one that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs and one that is naturally sweetened. To go a step further I also wanted a recipe free of starches and xanthan gum. A whole foods cookie if you will.
I haven't really been dabbling in baking that much lately. Spring is here, my 2 year old twins recently weaned, and I have been craving lighter, cleansing foods for the first time in 8 1/2 years. Yes, this is the first time I haven't either been lactating or gestating in nearly nine years! The boys sleep soundly now with their sisters for a good eleven hours. I no longer need those calorie-dense foods that baked goods provided. However, as I was turning off the light in the pantry last night, a recipe struck me. It came to me in a flash, in the amount of time it took me to turn off the light. I had to bake! At 10:30pm the cookies were in the oven and I patiently waited for the arrival of the perfect peanut butter cookie. They weren't it! Too gummy and chewy but definitely worth the effort to tweak the recipe and try again.
I have found that using just a tad too much chia seeds can cause the whole recipe to turn into a gummy mess. Chia seeds are similar to flax seeds though with more binding power. I add them to green smoothies if I want my smoothie to be my breakfast and keep me full until lunch. They are also delicious sprinkled over your morning hot breakfast cereal or over a bowl of fruit.
I played with the recipe a bit this morning, with less chia seeds this time, and came up with something I think you will like. My taste testers (the children and parents at school) all gave me two thumbs up today so I am calling this recipe blog worthy and hoping that you all will enjoy it too! I'll probably still continue to test this recipe to see if it can be any more delicious. I'd love to hear your feedback if you make them. :)
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies are true to their name: peanut butter. The flavor of the peanuts shines through and isn't masked by any other ingredients. They are crispy on the outside, chewy in the center. I tested them with both sucanat and coconut sugar. The batch with coconut sugar is slightly less sweet. My bet is that any granulated sweetener will work here, such as maple sugar or turbinado sugar. My preference is for coconut sugar which is a low-glycemic sweetener. My taste testers noted that this recipe might do best using salted peanut butter (I used unsalted in my test batches). Sunflower butter is another option for those of you who need to eat nut-free. One of the batches I made used half sunflower butter and half peanut butter. To grind chia seeds, place at least 1/4 cup into a coffee grinder or Vita-Mix. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy! :)
Yield: About 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1/4 cup very hot water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar or sucanat
1 cup creamy organic peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the ground chia seeds and hot water into a medium-sized mixing bowl; whisk together until stringy, about 30 seconds. Then add remaining wet ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until incorporated, about 60 seconds.
Add dry ingredients and beat again until the dough forms a ball. The dough is sticky and may ride up on the beaters. If this happens just turn them off and scrape down the dough then mix again. Use enough flour until the mixture holds together well.
Roll dough into balls, place onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and press down using the tines of a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com
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