Recently a friend asked if I could make some cookies to bring to a meeting. I am usually the one who brings the food to all our gatherings since I like to cook, and I am excited to have some “taste testers” for my new recipes. A cookie is a pretty easy request, but my challenge was to make a classic cookie with only vegan and gluten-free ingredients since we were honored to have a prestigious guest at our meeting that week, and she had those dietary restrictions.
After the excitement wore off, the panic set in! The most important quality in my recipes is that they must always taste good. When you say “classic” and “cookie” together, a few come to mind: chocolate chip, sugar, and peanut butter, for example, all of which call for wheat flour (not gluten-free) and butter (not vegan). The classic peanut butter cookie is not only my favorite but the one in which you can increase the peanut butter and leave out the butter, therefore, solving the vegan dilemma.
My favorite gluten-free flour is derived from oats. It is very versatile, and it’s super-easy to make on your own at home. I start with about 1 cup of whole oats and process them in a food processor for about 1 minute, which yields about ¾ cup of oatmeal flour. It will be a coarse flour, one in which you can still see some of the oat flakes, but that’s my preferred type to bake with anyway. It holds moisture more readily, and it is easy to swap one- to- one for wheat flour.
Those two swaps made this recipe for Classic Peanut Butter cookies a winner! They are crunchy around the edges and just chewy enough in the center. We often make accommodations for dietary needs nowadays when entertaining or feeding family, but you don’t have to compromise when it comes to taste and texture. The recipes that are most successful are those that still use wholesome ingredients and let that one main flavor shine through; in this case, that’s the peanut butter! The Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter is the star, and its flavor is what makes this cookie one of my all-time favorites. It doesn’t hurt either that the oat flour adds a bit of fiber that you wouldn’t find in the regular cookie recipe!
1 cup sugar
2 tsps. vanilla extract
¾ cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup water
1 cup Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter
In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Next, add oat flour, baking soda, salt, and last, the water. Mix well, and then using your hands, roll into small balls. Place on baking sheet, and employing the back of a fork, flatten out each cookie. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are golden. This recipe will make 18-24 cookies, depending on size of each serving.