Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried peanut butter cookies. There was a semi-failure a while back, in which I tried the “amazing” flourless peanut butter cookie recipe that’s all over the internets. Well, they weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either. Not moist, not chewy. More crumbly and powdery than anything.

So when I asked a coworker if he wanted something baked for his birthday, and he asked for peanut butter cookies, I figured it was the perfect time to adjust, experiment, and cobble together something better.

Please note, I didn’t put “low carb” in the title of this recipe. It is a reduced-sugar recipe; however, it has more carbs per serving than my usual experimental baking. If you’re in maintenance, these should be fine, but be warned that there’s actual brown sugar in these.

8 oz peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Splenda (9 packets) or 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp softened butter (1/4 stick)
2 Tbsp whey protein powder (plain vanilla flavor)

Let’s talk about these ingredients. Almost every recipe out there demands a cup of peanut butter. But I find it a challenge to measure peanut butter into a cup, then get it all out. So sticky! Instead, I put my mixing bowl on my food scale, and plopped spoonfuls in until it hit 8 ounces. Much easier. Although my use of “plopped” is probably another example of why Scott says I should never write catalog copy for foods.

I split the sweetener between regular and brown, because brown is supposed to make a softer cookie. Because it has a little moisture (molasses) in it. I used coconut flour to bulk up the batter, and protein powder to … well, add protein. Which is apparently also supposed to help make a moister, softer cookie. This is the job that the protein gluten usually does with wheat flour. If you don’t have whey protein powder, no worries, just add a little more coconut flour. Or you could make up the 2 Tbsp in almond flour. Whatever floats your boat!

After dumping everything in the bowl and using the hand mixer on it, I threw on a pair of gloves (I have a huge box of latex-free rubbery gloves, good for everything from hair coloring to jalapeno chopping) and made balls of dough. I flattened them with my hands, then pressed them to an even height with a fork. Because peanut butter cookies without the fork marks are like Florida without sunshine.

Bake on a silicon sheet or parchment paper at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

On the advice of my lawyer the internets, I also put these on a brown paper bag when I took them off the baking sheet. Supposed to absorb as well as paper towels, but not make the cookies soggy.

Peanut butter cookies

But the big questions: how do they taste? And are they moist? Well, they taste GREAT. As for the texture, they’re not the weird, light, powdery consistency of the other ones. These are almost more cake-like. Fluffy and light. Definitely a better cookie than previous attempts.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make a truly moist and chewy low-carb cookie. So much of the chewiness comes from the wheat flour. But I’ll keep trying. And I’ll definitely eat my fair share of these.

Nutrition stats, per cookie, for a batch of 20 cookies (approx 2″ across):

100 calories
7g fat
5.5g carb
1.5g fiber (for 4g net carbs)
4g protein