Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

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What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Do you prefer them fresh out of the oven or do you like to hide them in the freezer and sneak one or two when no one is looking? (Oh, me!) Are you into crispy edges and soft centers or chewy almost cake-like cookies? I have a secret to share with you; there’s no such thing as the wrong kind of cookie lover. If you love cookies, you win.

I’m so glad you love cookies.

You and I both know that right now is the best season of the year for making, baking and eating LOTS of cookies! These should be at the top of your to-bake list, especially before the holidays come to an end and you’re eating kale again. Made with simple, natural ingredients that keep them gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free, they are crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft in the middle with a burst of peanut butter flavor. Can you believe that? They’re perfect. Dipping them into some dark chocolate and sprinkling them with flaky sea salt takes them to heavenly heights. (Swoon!) They are simply not to be missed.

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Ingredients: 

Peanut Butter Cookies: Makes 34, 2 inch cookies 

  • 1 1/2 C. natural creamy peanut butter (no sugar, oil or salt added)
  • 1 C. coconut sugar*
  • 1/4 C. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C gluten-free flour*

Chocolate Dip or Drizzle (Optional)

  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate** (Dairy-Free if necessary for you. I used 70% Cacao)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, if needed to thin chocolate as it melts
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

*Note: Coconut sugar can be found at most grocery stores in the baking aisle near brown sugar and flour. I love and use this brand, but usually buy whats on sale. You can substitute white sugar for the coconut sugar and white flour for the gluten-free flour but they will not be refined sugar-free or gluten-free if so.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix together the peanut butter, coconut sugar and maple syrup until well combined.
  3. Next, add the vanilla extract and egg while the mixer is on low speed followed by the salt and gluten free flour. Continue to mix until no lumps of flour remain and be sure to scrape down the bowl so everything is mixed in.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon to make sure the cookies are evenly sized, scoop out the dough and roll into balls with your hands. Place the cookies onto a baking sheet topped with parchment paper or a silpat (lightly oiling the cookie sheet with a spray of your choice will also work) and lightly press them down with a fork twice in a crosshatch pattern. They should be about 2 inches in diameter. Be sure to space them evenly on the baking sheet and only bake 12 at a time.
  5. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes until they are golden brown on the edges and bottoms, remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before dipping or decorating with melted chocolate.
  6. (Optional) To melt the chocolate, place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, stopping to stir the chocolate to make sure it doesn’t burn. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a teaspoon of coconut oil to thin so that it becomes pourable. Dip or drizzle the chocolate onto the cooled cookies and top with flaked sea salt for an extra layer of flavor. Let the chocolate set for 20 minutes and enjoy!

**Note: To keep these cookies refined sugar-free, make sure you use a dark chocolate that’s made without cane sugar, corn syrup or glucose syrup. Hu Kitchen makes a great chocolate bar that I usually find both at my local Whole Foods. You can also omit the chocolate entirely and enjoy them “bare”. They’re just as tasty and even quicker to make!

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Baking cookies this weekend before Christmas? I want to see! Tag me in your posts on Instagram using the hashtag #heartofahostess. Merry Baking to you!

XX,

D

 

 

 

 

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