4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies: No Gluten, No Dairy, No Mixer, No Kidding from Cleo Coyle

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This tasty peanut butter cookie is one you can make at midnight in your bathrobe and flip-flops with one fork, one bowl, and four simple ingredients.
Click here for the free PDF.
It's my version of a classic recipe that's been around for decades. It's also gluten-free and dairy-free, but there are a few keys to getting good results. I share them in the recipe.

To download the recipe in a free PDF, click here now.

To read my full recipe post, scroll down, click here, or on the read more link below...

And eat with peanut butter joy!


~ Cleo



















Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
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When my amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, is hired to cater a party for a company of quirky geniuses in Billioniare Blend, she is given the difficult task of pleasing a mix of junk food lovers and foodies with dietary restrictions.


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If you ever find yourself in the same position, this insanely easy cookie could be the one to make everyone happy. No dairy and no gluten, and yet it's a classic that even junk food junkies will enjoy. 

~ Cleo




To download this recipe in a 
PDF document you can print, 
save, or share, click here.




Cleo Coyle’s (way of making the classic…)
Flourless, Dairy-Free
Peanut Butter Cookies


Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter** (
What brand you use
   may 
change your results, see my note below)

1 cup white, granulated sugar
   (+ a little extra for rolling)



**IMPORTANT NOTE: For this recipe, I used classic, creamy Jif, the number 1 bestselling brand in America (which now has zero trans fat). It produced a fantastic peanut butter cookie. Regular Skippy (not "natural" but the standard PB) also gave me great texture and flavor. I can't promise the same results with homemade PB or natural spreads (see my notes on a brand vs. brand bake off below). Give your favorite peanut butter brand a try and see what you think. If the results are not stellar, try another brand. 

Directions:

Step 1 - Make Batter: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break the egg into a mixing bowl and whisk with a fork. Add vanilla extract and whisk again. Add peanut butter and sugar and beat ingredients again with your same trusty fork until smooth.


Step 2 - Form balls and coat with sugar: Dough will be very sticky. Dip clean fingers into a shallow bowl of sugar. (Sugar-coated fingers will prevent sticking.) Tear off small pieces of dough and drop them into the sugar bowl. Lightly roll them into balls that are a little smaller in size than a walnut. (Cookie balls do not have to be perfectly round.) Place them on your lined baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for spreading. 


Step 3 - Flatten the dough balls (as shown) with tines of a fork that you dip continually in the sugar bowl to prevent sticking. Make a classic cross-cross pattern as shown in my photos.


Step 4 - Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes until they are golden around the edges. Do not over-bake. If the bottoms become scorched the cookies are inedible! 


TIP: To be sure the cookies are done (without burning), here’s what I do. Using a spatula, I gently remove one test cookie from the oven. I flip it gently on a paper towel. The bottom of the cookie should be golden brown but not dark brown. See my photo below.


Step 5 - Rest Warm cookies are delicate and will crumble easily. So allow the cookies to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. They will firm up, and you’ll be able to handle them just fine.




BRAND VS. BRAND

As I mentioned above, I was skeptical of this recipe working and happily surprised when it did. But it's clear that different brands will give different results. The Jif (America's most popular brand) baked up cookies that tasted like a classic PB cookie, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Delicious flavor. Unfortunately, the cookies made with Skippy Natural were off in flavor and texture. Those cookies were mealy. Regular Skippy worked well, but the "Natural" did not. 

One of our Coffeehouse Mystery readers, Libby D., once suggested that I try Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter (it’s simply roasted peanuts and salt). 



To read an interesting brand vs. brand
evaluation 
of Natural Peanut Butters 
at the Huffington Post, click here.

Keep in mind, Americans can’t always find specialized brands in their stores, and while I have not used Jif in years, I was happy to discover (for this recipe post), it now has zero trans fat. Many companies like Jif’s are getting rid of their "partially hydrogenated oil," which makes me happy, happy. 

What I learned from this post...

"Partially hydrogenated" oil is the bad guy. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you see "fully or completely hydrogenated oil" on an ingredient list, don’t panic. As the Mayo Clinic explains here"partially" is the bad guy. To quote from the Mayo Clinic's post...

It sounds counterintuitive, 
but "fully" or "completely" 
hydrogenated oil doesn't
contain trans fat....

To make it easy on yourself, just look for the amount of trans fat on the food label. Jif has zero, and that's what most concerns health officials.



RECIPE NOTE:

Repeating for those who jumped down to here. "Natural" peanut butters may not work for this recipe. For me, they yielded a cookie with mealy texture and subpar flavor. If that happens for you, try another brand. Again, regular Jif and regular Skippy peanut butters worked very well for me, yielding excellent results...



Click here for the
free PDF, and...




Eat (and Read) with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


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