I’ve got to post something kind of healthy. It’s been candy bars and cola all week long. Consider this recipe equally delicious, but a little less crazy than black cherry cola cake and Baby Ruth brookies.
Of course, it’s a peanut butter recipe. I have a rule when it comes to gluten-free baking: chocolate or peanut butter (or both) has to make an appearance. I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t mastered the GF yellow cake. It’s on my baking bucket list, but as yet, no progress. I’ll keep working on it.
Chocolate and peanut butter are both strong flavors, and they work well with my favorite of all gluten-free flours: oat flour. It has to be certified GF, by the way. Just remember that. I wouldn’t put oat flour in more delicately-flavored desserts, but in peanut butter cookies? Fo sho. For an added bonus, these puppies just happen to be vegan. Eat that, all y’all!
Last night, I went to go see the latest Terminator movie with my dad. We haven’t done a father-daughter date in quite some time, so I appreciated the fact that we could spend the time together. We picked this particular movie because even though my father is a mega-educated retired English professor, he loves Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or at least, he really enjoys the Governator’s movies.
As a big fan of the Terminator franchise myself, I’d lie if I pretended that watching Sarah Connor kick butt one more time wasn’t a whole heap of fun. But at the same time, I spent huge amounts of the film wincing. Like, I would actively catch my face in full-on wince. It was mainly during the giant explosions (every two seconds or so), especially those involving motor vehicles. You know, the bus blows up, or the truck explodes, or fifteen cars all crash into one another. If you’ve seen any action movie in the past 20 years or more, you catch my drift.
I didn’t used to mind those scenes very much. They were so very hypothetical. Maybe it’s part of getting older and feeling more vulnerable by the second, but I actually found myself wondering yesterday about the poor truck driver that got taken out in a burning inferno because Arnold had to rescue Sarah Connor once more. With all those vehicles crashing into one another, nobody ever stops to care about the people inside the cars you can’t see. They just want the bad guys to lose and the good guys to win. No real shades of gray there at all.
That’s enough deep thinking about Terminator. Honestly, it was a fun movie, and I don’t want to overthink it. I just want to pretend that the world is a happy sunny place where machines will never take over. I hope they don’t. Because they don’t have souls, nor do they understand the joy in eating a peanut butter cookie.
Peanut butter cookies are like any other category of baked good; there are a million ways to make them. This way is just one more method. If you’re vegan or GF (or, like me, if you love somebody who is), these cookies come together quickly with no mixer or special equipment. The recipe is very similar to the famous three-ingredient flourless peanut butter cookie, but with a twist: these babies definitely have flour. Oat flour.
For those of you who are food scientists, the presence of oat flour means that these cookies are more filling than their flourless counterparts. Oats are a whole grain, and combined with the protein from the peanut butter, these cookies actually have some nutritional benefit while being completely tasty. It’s a win for everyone! Furthermore, the presence of oat flour should mean little to no chilling time, since oats stop cookies from spreading. But I like really thick cookies, so I chilled the dough.
If the machines ever do rise up and cause mass mayhem, I’ll be in a bunker somewhere eating the last of the cookies. I invite you to join me. Will we survive and kick butt? Nope. But it’ll be a few good hours of fun. And no matter what, the Terminators will never enjoy a good cookie. They can’t take that away from us.
The Best Vegan, Gluten-Free PB Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup oat flour (labeled gluten-free)
1/4 cup water
- In a medium bowl, cream the peanut butter and brown sugar until well combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the salt and oat flour. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the peanut butter mixture. You might want to use your hands to get everything well combined.
- Stir in the water until a smooth dough forms.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls and place two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press the tops with a fork to create a crisscross pattern.
- Chill the cookies for 2-3 hours. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.