We had battened down the hatches and were awaiting the approach of impending destruction from hurricane Sandy.  Since we knew the boys would be stuck indoors for the next few days we decided to take them to our favorite park on the river.  We went to collect some leaves before all the trees were stripped bare from the high speed winds.  I don't know why I decided to take on the task of making a gluten-free peanut butter cookie the day before Sandy was due to arrive, but nevertheless I was determined. 

    It could have been due to my current hankering for homemade peanut butter whipped up in my brand new Vitamix!  What else is better suited for homemade peanut butter then cookies.  I thought, "I would much rather be stuck in my home during a hurricane WITH peanut butter cookies then without" (You can never be too prepared you know).  After a few tries and some burnt cookies later I realized why there are no good gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipes on the internet.  You can however, find countless "flourless" peanut butter cookie recipes.  I've tried a few of these "flourless" cookie recipes and for me they tend to be too crumbly, gummy tasting and nothing but sugar and peanut butter. 

    My recipe below is a healthier version of my favorite traditional peanut butter cookie with a kiss on top.  I decided to incorporate unsweetened dark chocolate (100% cacao) and chopped peanuts into the dough and top them with raw demerara sugar for a more sophisticated look.  This recipe makes a small batch because you don't want a lot of these hanging around with no one but yourself to eat them. There are quite a few "exotic" ingredients such as buckwheat honey, teff flour and powdered peanut butter, but it is well worth the effort to find them.  Grab yourself a few with a glass of homemade almond milk and enjoy them with or without a hurricane approaching you.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate (Gluten-Free)
Makes about 3 dozen

Wet ingredients
4 tablespoons coconut oil (slightly solidified) *
1/4 cup homemade peanut butter or natural peanut butter with no added salt
1/4 cup buckwheat honey
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (unrefined)
1 1/2 teaspoons premium Madagascar vanilla (I use Penzey's brand)
1 egg

Dry ingredients
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour mixture (homemade or Bob's Red Mill all purpose GF baking flour)
1/4 cup teff flour
4 tablespoons peanut butter powder (I use PB2 powder)

1/8 cup finely chopped raw unsalted peanuts
1 ounce of 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate - chopped finely

Raw Demerara sugar (to sprinkle on top)


* If your coconut oil is in liquid form you can slightly solidify it by placing it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  It should be easy to scoop.  (Sort of like the texture of Crisco)

    Preheat oven to 325° F.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, all purpose flour, teff flour and peanut butter powder until combined and set aside.  In a large bowl with handheld mixer, or in a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat all the wet ingredients until combined and creamy (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).  On medium low settings slowly incorporate the dry mix into the wet mix, beating in as much as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon (The dough might be very firm so sometimes using your hands works better).  Mix in by hand the finely chopped peanuts and finely chopped unsweetened chocolate.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet leaving some room between them.  Press each ball with a fork making traditional crisscross pattern and sprinkle on some raw demerara sugar.  Place in 325° F oven for 8-10 minutes.  The edges should be firm and the bottoms lightly browned.  Place on a rack or plate to cool. 
 


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