Monday, June 10, 2013

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Several weeks ago, I saw a program called Unique Sweets where they visit various bakeries and eating establishments to feature their yummy and unique treats. This particular episode was about "sweet peanut butter treats". With some of the items, they gave the recipe, but with others they don't; they just talk about them and show them making them...and of course, they show people oohing and ahhing while they are enjoying them, etc. One of the items that caught my interest was a peanut butter cookie made with only peanut butter, sugar and flax...but they didn't given any measurements whatsoever!!!  I searched online and couldn't find the recipe for them. I found other cookie recipes that were flourless...but couldn't find the specific one I wanted. So, I just kind of put one together to see how they would turn out. My initial thought was to add more flax than I did...but I was afraid they might be too dry and crumbly. I also feared that the peanut butter would melt and spread out as they baked...but somehow, they didn't! Either way, since I only used 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of confectioners style Swerve sweetener and a tablespoon of flax with some added cinnamon and vanilla...I figured the worst case scenario was that I would waste a few ingredients. The cookies actually turned out good, believe it or not -- and they didn't spread at all!  

They are a soft, dense cookie, and I believe if I had added more flax, they might have been too crumbly. On the last 1/2 batch (they made 17 small to medium cookies total), I chopped some dark chocolate and stirred it into the dough to see how they would turn out with chocolate chips added. They were good, too, but I prefer the plain peanut butter version best.  Who knew you could make cookies without any flour OR eggs??? They are quite soft when they come out of the oven, but firm up nicely when completely cooled.  Since there is nothing raw in the dough, you can taste the dough to adjust the sweetness without worrying about it. These cookies were quick and easy to make and pretty darn good considering how few ingredients they required. I snapped a few photos below for you to see, as well as the simple recipe. Enjoy!


Voila!
Ready to pop in the oven... 
Last peek before going into the oven...
Fresh out of the oven (I added chocolate chips to a few to try both versions)
Here's one with chocolate chips...
Looks pretty good...
Here are both versions of peanut butter cookies...
Plain peanut butter...
And...peanut butter with chocolate chips
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (with and without the optional Chocolate Chips)

Ingredients:


1 tablespoon ground golden flax
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup Swerve, confectioners (or xylitol , erythritol, etc. equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar sweetness)
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (I used Smucker's Organic, smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Ceylon cinnamon which is a bit milder than regular)
1/4 cup chopped 70% or 85% chocolate bar, optional (I used Green & Black's)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside while you measure the other ingredients. Stir Swerve (or sweetener of choice) into the flax and water mixture; add peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon and optional chocolate chips.  Mix together well until a stiff dough forms.  Use a small retractable cookie scoop or tablespoon to make about 18 dough balls and space approximately 2 inches apart on baking sheet (I got 17 cookies with my batch of dough).  Use a fork and gently press the tines in opposite directions to make a crisscross pattern on top of cookies while flattening them a bit.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet about 10 minutes and gently transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies are very soft when hot.

*Note:  I used the confectioners style version of Swerve to prevent any possible graininess in the cookies that occasionally happens with granular erythritol based sweeteners.


  

22 comments:

Rita said...

These look great! I love peanut butter cookies. I'm not familiar with Swerve. Do you have a blog post explaining what it is and how you use it? Thanks for all your great posts.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Rita! Here is a link to their site where they explain it. It is predominantly erythritol and doesn't cause a rise in blood sugar. It's easy to use because it measures the same way regular sugar does...so no calculations required. I think on their website you can get a free sample to try first before buying it. It is one of my favorite sweeteners. Here's the link: http://www.swervesweetener.com/what-is-swerve/

fabricpixie said...

I will definitely make these ... I make my own p-nut butter so I'm excited about this recipe.

Like you, I prefer to use the Confectioners Swerve, since it is interchangeable with the granulated. Now I only buy the powdered Swerve ... only negative is the puff cloud of sugar, LOL. LOVE Swerve. Just wish it were less expensive ... I bought 12 1lb packages for $84, no shipping fee yay. Always looking for it when the price is better.

thanks for sharing your recipes with us!

sue in CA

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sue! I will probably stick with the confectioners style as well when I order it next time. I have quite a few bags still in my pantry of the granular -- I had found it on sale at Whole Foods -- I want to say it was $6.00 or around that which is unreal! I just stumbled on it and keep thinking I should have bought MORE! I am enjoying having a peanut butter cookie as a treat -- I had one at lunch time today. I hope you enjoy them! :-)

Kimberly McCauley said...

Oh, I am going to have to try this!! I wonder what other "butters" would be like? I'm thinking pecan butter since I have all the trees :-) If I get the recipe to work, I will totally link back to this recipe!!

http://www.firstfruitfullyliving.com/

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Making it with pecan butter sounds awesome Kimberly -- let me know how it turns out if you make them! :-)

Lori said...

I LOVE these. I have made them several times always a double batch. Today I used 1/2 Swerve and 1/2 Just Like Brown Sugar great maple flavor. So good. My Whole Foods isn't carrying Swerve yet and I too order the Confectioners in bulk. I know that they and Central Market have it in their system and can order just don't. So I ask every time I go in if they will order.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Lori! So glad you are enjoying them. They are great with a cup of coffee! I need to start pestering my local grocery stores to order it too -- Whole Foods isn't as close to me as 2 other chains...so I need to start asking frequently like you do! I have tried other sweeteners (like Zsweet, etc.) but never Just like Brown Sugar. I need to get some of that to try. Thanks so much for letting me know you are enjoying them! :-)

Darlene said...

I finally made these today...they are awesome! I made the crunchy pb/choc chip version. How nice to know that if I'm low on flour I can still make cookies! Thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Darlene! So glad you enjoyed them. It is a nice alternative when you don't have flour for baking! :-)

Peg said...

I have to relate a cute story regarding these peanut butter cookies. I wanted to make something a little sweet so decided these were just the ticket.

As the 1st batch was baking I opened the kitchen window to get a little fresh air moving. All of a sudden I noticed 3 squirrels in the front yard. I shooed them away but one was sitting on the gate. I went out to shoo him away and they all scampered away.

I was getting ready to remove the pan from the oven when I heard a strange sound. I looked out the window to see a squirrel holding onto the trim around the window peering in! I shooed him away again.

I went to tell my hubby what had happened and when I returned to the kitchen the squirrel was hanging onto the screen! Holy cow he must have really been desperate for peanut butter!

I ended up closing the window and that seemed to do the trick.

Just thought I'd let you know that these cookies will call to hungry squirrels. :-)

Oh, BTW we found them delicious.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Peg! That story is just too funny! I bet if you had waited a few more minutes, he probably would have found a way to chew through your screen -- as I read your story I wondered if you were going to find him sitting on the counter eating a cookie! LOL I have never had a squirrel get THAT close -- you are right, he must have smelled that peanut butter and been determined to get to it! Glad you enjoyed the cookies before the squirrel got to them! ;-)

JamieRebecca said...

Swerve gives me that horrible cooling effect on my tongue. It also gives me an upset tummy. Is it possible to use liquid Stevia or is the texture needed?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi JamieRebecca -- That's too bad about the cooling effect -- that must be from the erythritol in it. I think you need a granular sweetener for texture. The only other granular sweetener (other than Splenda) that is similar to sugar is xylitol and for some folks that causes cooling too. I'm guessing that would also be the case for you with that as well. You could try adding your liquid version to the equivalent sweetness of 1/2 cup and maybe add a tablespoon or 2 of ground golden flax to help compensate for the texture/volume part. I'm not sure if that would work, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what "might". Let me know if you try it. Thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

I want you to know that I am so very excited that I stumbled upon the viewing of "The Wheat Belly Diet" and saw your spot in the program I have made these cookies and the choc chip cookies and so far they all have been 1-day cookies-meaning we finished them off in a day. I did find Swerve locally, & like you I have several sweeteners. I have followed your recipes for 4 days now and love this way of eating. Thanks so very much for creating this blog and tinkering with recipes to find what works & tastes best then posting I can hardly wait to work my way thru your recipe collection. I haven't seen a posting of oatmeal raisin if you have one I would love it.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks so much for the kind comments! Glad you stumbled upon me via the PBS special too! Funny thing is that here in Georgia where I live, the show hasn't aired yet. I don't currently have an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe but am working on a grain-free version. Thanks again for the kind comments and hope you find some recipes to make your wheat free journey a bit easier! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I realize this is a much older post but I just had to tell you how yummy these cookies are! Canada Day is on Wednesday here which is the equivalent to your July 4. I don't make a lot of treats as a rule but I didn't want to be sitting around feeling sorry for myself (and tempted) by all the goodies everyone else is going to be eating. I have no idea how I missed this recipe but I am so happy I found it going through your treat recipes. I was a little leary about my peanut butter when it poured like honey into my bowl but just like you said it thickened up and made perfect cookies. Organic peanut butter is so runny! And so few ingredients. Go figure! I sprinkled some finely chopped Green and Black chocolate on them. I just finished a taste test with a cup of chai ( thank goodness for some cooler weather) I am also making your no bake cheesecake filling with a bit of lemon in it to have with blue berries! Treats fit for a queen! Thank you so very much for all the work you do on this stellar blog ~ Reens

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Reens,

I'm so happy you liked the cookies! They really are almost "too simple" aren't they! Who knew you could make a cookie with so few ingredients. I hope you enjoy the no bake cheesecake, too. Lemon sounds like a great flavor to go with blueberries.

Happy Canada Day...I hope you enjoy the treats and feel like a queen when you eat them. You are very welcome. So happy you stumbled upon the recipes. :-)

Anonymous said...

I just finished making these cookies at 8am after seeing your site last nite. They are smelling really good. I am new to low carb and have been trying to find some good recipes for low carb baked goods, not easy to do. I have always done a good bit of baking/cooking and now feel like I have to learn all over again how to cook. It has been daunting, especially with a family, to find things that will please all. Your site looks great and I know I will be trying a lot more recipes. Thank you.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi there,

I know exactly how you feel. I was there myself 3 years ago. If you need any help or suggestions along the way, please ask. I'm out of town at the moment but will be back in my kitchen in just a few days. Thanks so much ! :-)

Carol said...

I paid $13 for a 1# bag of Swerve yesterday. No one carries it except one store. I guess they charge what they can get!! Looking on Amazon for the next bag!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Carol,

Oh my...that is quite high for Swerve. I see it as low as $10.59 on Amazon. Not sure where you live but I see it on sale at Sprouts Farmers Market sometimes and have even picked it up marked down at Publix before for $7.00 (or a little less). I hope you can find it cheaper somewhere else!