Ridiculously Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (gf)

A few weeks ago, I found myself with 20 minutes to kill before my workout. What does a baker do with 20 extra minutes? Waltz right into Sur la Table to see what's new, get some pre-cut parchment and, apparently, buy cookie presses. Whoever had the brilliant idea to put my Pilates studio in a mall is clearly a genius in consumerism because although I had never previously wanted cookie presses, all of a sudden, there I was, feeling the pressure of getting to class on time and should I or shouldn't I buy these babies? "Okay, fine, ring me up. I'll blog about them" said I to myself, forking over the cash.

Now, what cookie wants to be pressed? Any robust, semi-solid, shape-holding cookie dough will work - sugar cookies are especially nice - but, I always want the most decadent treat available, so, I opted to try peanut butter. Not certain peanut butter cookies wouldn't spread out and lose their shape during the baking, I knew I needed to use a non-butter recipe. My all-time favorite peanut butter cookie recipe happens to be butter-free and gluten-free all at once. So very simple, these can be rolled in sugar and pressed with anything from your fingers to a fork to a cookie press. Yay! They also happen to impart the very best peanut butter flavor, totally uncut by flour and butter. These are pure peanut butter bliss and incredibly easy to make so I hope you whip these up very soon. And, when you do, please come back and tell me how they worked out for you in the comments. 



Peanut Butter Cookies
1 C Jif or Skippy peanut butter (don't use natural. You need the oils and extra sugar, et al, to make sure these turn out)
1 C sugar, plus 1/4 C for rolling the dough
1 large egg
1 t vanilla (optional)
1 t baking powder

Place all ingredients in your mixer and blend. Using a tablespoon, form the dough into balls, one at a time and set aside.

Place the 1/4 C sugar on a small plate (a saucer is great for this) and roll each cookie in the sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Using a fork, make a criss-cross shape in each cookie. Or, if using your fingers, take your first 3 fingers and gently flatten the cookie. These keep their shape nicely, so, they will not spread all that much. If you're using the cookie press, you'll need to repeatedly dip it into more sugar to keep it from sticking to the cookies as you move along pressing them. 

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. These are soft to the touch and continue to cook after baking. Let them sit up to 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a plate to finish cooling. These keep beautifully in the fridge (2 weeks) and/or freezer (3 months), but this batch never lasts long in my house. Enjoy!
Sugar for dipping cookie balls and/or cookie presses.

I just thought this was pretty.

Ready to bake!

Going into the oven.

Et, voila! Finis!

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