Saturday, September 5, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip BonBon Cookies

Today I did a little baking. One of the things I baked was Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip BonBon Cookies. These are dense little cookies that combine two of my favorite flavors...peanut butter and chocolate. I tested out baking times with a few of them; for 15 minutes and for 12 minutes and liked the consistency of the 12-minute bake best...they were slightly moist and dense/fudgy textured. I didn't make them overly sweet so you may want to taste the batter before baking to make any tweaks if you like it sweeter.

I really like these cookies...but unfortunately we had a little snafu with these cookies because it just so happens that I was not the only one that liked them and it could easily have turned out tragically. I photographed them late in the afternoon and the best natural light was on the front of my house so I decided to photograph them in my foyer which was nice and bright. I did something that I normally don't do...I set everything up on the cooling rack full of cookies, and a small plate with a couple of cookies on it. No big deal so far, right? I snapped a number of photos and stepped into my family room to pop the SD card from my camera into my laptop to see how they turned out before I moved everything back to the kitchen. Hubby let Spike (my Bichon Frise) out in the backyard and while I had my back to the foyer, he let him back into the house. Maybe only 2 minutes later (at most), I turned around to see where Spike was...and found him hovering over the cookies and I screamed and ran to the foyer. That little sucker had scarfed the 2 cookies up that were on the plate and my heart began to race as I counted the cookies that he had moved around on the rack...4 more were missing from the rack. In less than 2 minutes he had inhaled 6 cookies....with CHOCOLATE in them. I about died.

Hubby ran outside with him to try and get him to "toss his cookies" while I called the vet. We calculated that he had ingested approximately 1 ounce of dark chocolate and for his body weight that puts him at "very mild risk" for sickness. It can be deadly or do serious damage to dogs and their organs. It's been a several hours since that happened and the first 4 to 6 hours are most important but it can take up to 24 hours for a reaction. I am keeping my fingers crossed and watching him like a hawk. The ONLY positive thing I can say about this event is THANK GOD I USED SWERVE (TGIUS) to sweeten these cookies (and this is not a plug for Swerve but honest to goodness thankfulness). It is not toxic to dogs like xylitol is which is absolutely deadly to dogs. I have been very careful for over 3 years about not using xylitol as a sweetener because of Spike, but just a week ago, I purchased a package of it at Sprouts to try. Thank God I didn't use it in these cookies because I don't think my little 11-year old boy would have survived ingesting both chocolate AND xylitol. This was his first exposure to chocolate and hopefully his last. He appears to be fine and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to be. Just another reason to remind all of you to be extremely careful about using alternative sweeteners like xylitol (or chocolate) if you have pets. Many people have lost pets to xylitol. I realize that most of you don't place your cookies on the floor to take photos like I do, but accidents happen. I still can't believe he ate 6 cookies in less than 2 minutes.

I snapped a few photos (duh) of the cookies below and included the easy peasy recipe. I got 26 cookies from this recipe. They turned out great and because he's okay, I can "jokingly" add that they are "Spike approved" as well (as my heart sinks). Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip BonBon Cookies


2 cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup Swerve sweetener or preferred sweetener
1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably no sugar added)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Equal Exchange 70% cacao)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sweetener together. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, cream and mix dry and wet ingredients together until the dough is mixed and blended well; dough will be stiff. Fold in chocolate chips. 

Using a 1 tablespoon sized retractable scoop, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined or nonstick cookie sheet; lightly roll each scoop of dough into a ball using your hands (if dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen up a bit). Bake for about 12 minutes or until barely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cookies firm up as they cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

*Note:  Update/tips: Texture of cookies with be more cake-like if baked too long (and the size of the balls you roll will affect bake time). They should be slightly under baked to get a more moist texture in center (to be sure, test bake 1 cookie first and increase or decrease bake time). If desired, sugar free chocolate chips like Lilly's chocolate chips can be used or for dairy free chips, Enjoy Life chocolate chips can be used.


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CyberSis said...


How awful for you! I can only imagine the utter terror at discovering that your little Spike had gotten into the chocolate and then feverishly trying to calculate how much he ingested. Things sure happen fast with these little guys, don't they? It sounds like he's doing fine so far, but I know you won't rest until that 24-hour period is up and you can be sure he's out of the woods. Yes, *very* good thing it was Swerve! It's been a while since I've looked into it, but it seems there's quite a long list of stuff that's OK for us but bad for dogs ... one other thing that comes to mind right now is onions. Funny how all that works ...

I hope your little guy continues to do well. In the meantime, I'll have to make this "Spike Approved" treat sometime soon ... looks great!

unter der laterne said...

Hi Ayla, I say with husband, kids and pets around there is never a dull moment! I am glad that you and Spike survived . I lost 3 dogs to accidents , decided not to have another one; it is too heart wrenching to see them suffer and then die.
I am happy that you do not have to experience that.

I think that these cookies will be a hit with my little ones .I also love anything with peanut butter. I make mine in the Blendtec, works like a charm.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks. He seems to be doing well, maybe a little more restless last night (probably from the caffeine he isn't used to). Otherwise, I think he is okay. It just reminded me of how quickly things can happen (like when my kids were very young). Hard to believe he has gone 11 years without exposure to any chocolate (considering that it is always around) and then within 2 minutes or less, he gobbled so much of it (although I must admit, I take full responsibility since after all I had it on the FLOOR!). Lesson learned and thankfully not the hard way.

Maybe I need to start creating health "dog treats" too! ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara,

You are right about that...there is always SOMETHING going on, isn't there. I can not even imagine what you have been through losing 3 dogs to accidents. I am truly thankful that he is okay because I'm not sure I would have forgiven myself since it was my doing. I also realize that in another couple of minutes he would have eaten the entire 2 dozen cookies which would have put him in dire straits and his "odds" would have gone from mild to severe toxicity based on the ratio of ounces of dark chocolate to body weight. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate due to much higher levels of caffeine and theobromine.

I hope your grandchildren enjoy the cookies. Great idea mixing it in the Blendtec, too. Maybe if you are feeling brave, you could have them "help" you roll them into little balls before baking. :-)

Meliss in MN said...


Hi. This is my first post, but I have been lurking for a while. I appreciate all your wonderful recipes, but it was your story about your precious doggie that got me to come out of hiding.

I am so happy he is okay. I had a Pomeranian who was being watched by someone for a day and ate a whole Hershey bar. Somehow, the little bugger was okay. :) They are pretty tough, and I will keep Spike in my thoughts.

Melissa in MN

Darlene said...

We found out about the chocolate/dog connection many years ago when our Lab devoured most of our daughter's Easter basket! Thankfully she was large enough that it wasn't deadly. Obviously, there is not as much leeway with a smaller dog...

Thanks for another great recipe which I'll be trying soon!

Anonymous said...

Hoping Spike will be OK. My dog grabbed a box of Hersheys Baking Cocoa and ate the whole thing(including grinding it into the carpet). We an to the vet and she just laughed and said "watch him". In the end, all was well, as I'm sure Spike will be.

Peg said...

Hi GG, I'm sure by now that Spike has survived his chocolate experience and suffered no ill effects. It sure is a scary situation for you and your hubby.

Our little girl is also 11 years old and due to negligence in our house she has ingested chocolate several times and has survived. She is still just as healthy and spunky as she ever was. I do not use xylitol so can't address that aspect of what they can get into.

In fact I remember a time when she was a puppy when she had a few laps of white wine when the opportunity presented itself. She is one tough cookie!

She will be 12 in December so we are hoping she has many more birthdays we can celebrate.

Unknown said...

Wow, prayers that all goes well for the next 24 hours!!! I have 90lb dogs in the house and have had issues with dark chocolate in the past. We keep hydrogen peroxide on hand for just those emergencies. It will make them throw up. I have xylitol in the house but it scares me to use it because of our dogs. Prayers from here that all is OK!!! ALL of your recipes!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Melissa,

Thanks so much. He has done well with no apparent ill effects other than a bit of restlessness last night, I'm guessing from the caffeine that he is not used to. Our 24-hour window has passed so it looks like we were fortunate. Glad your Pomeranian didn't get sick either...I'm sure your Pom weighs less than my Bichon. Thanks again for your is much appreciated. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

Thank you. Wow, an entire Easter Basket of candy? Yes, I'm guessing in your case, size mattered a lot with your lab devouring that much chocolate. He is doing fine today and we are thankful and I have learned a lesson for sure. I am always a bit freaky over the holidays when there are more treats and candy around and other family members in and out because it is easy for someone to casually sit something down not realizing there are a pair of eyes just waiting for that to happen. Thanks again for your concern. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

Oh my...a carton of baking cocoa!!! You are very lucky since that is pure chocolate. I can't imagine trying to get THAT out of the carpet, but thankfully your doggie was okay. I am so relieved that Spike is okay, too. I would have probably never forgiven myself if he wasn't. Thanks again for your is appreciated. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Peg,

Wow, it looks like there are more dogs than I realized that have accidentally been exposed to chocolate and survived. I'm so happy your little one is such a tough cookie. LOL on the white wine. My daughter's dog consumed a entire chocolate martini once years ago. She had friends over and set it down and in less than a minute had lapped the entire thing. She was totally and completely drunk, fell down the steps (the dog, not my daughter) and she rushed it to the emergency vet and they had to make it vomit as well as give it charcoal and keep it under observation for 12 hours. She survived and is now almost 15 years old! Glad your dog is doing well and wish her MANY more birthdays. Thanks so much for your concern. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Patty,

Thanks so much. Yes, Spike has done well and we are safely past the 24-hr mark. I have learned a BIG lesson, for sure. It happens so fast, doesn't it! Glad your dog has survived it's chocolate exposures as well. Thanks for your concern and I'm happy you are enjoying my recipes. :-)

Stephanie Trahd said...

So grateful Spike is OK! When our lab had gotten a hold of some chocolate, I induced vomiting immediately (hydrogen peroxide), and all was OK - except for my rapidly beating heart!! Sounds like you have a community of dog lovers here! :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks so much. He is doing great. I definitely understand the rapidly beating heart. I began to hyperventilate and panic until I understood the ratios he ate to his body weight. You are the 4th person that has mentioned hydrogen peroxide. I had no idea that I could do that and I'm thankful to know that now should I ever find myself in that situation again. The emergency vet never mentioned that over the phone. It does seem like there is quite the community of dog lovers here! Thanks so much for your concern. It means a lot. :-)

CyberSis said...


Glad to hear that Spike has passed his 24-hour "test." Something you said about charcoal jogged my memory. Probably not a bad idea to keep some medical-grade activated charcoal powder on hand. It absorbs many times its weight in all kinds of toxic substances. Could be worth giving some as you're rushing out the door on the way to the vet (I would get "pre-approval" from the vet, though.) The loose powder is *messy* but is much more absorbent than the tablets. You can find the powder in capsules, too. It's more pricey that way but probably more convenient for pet use. I still have a canister of loose powder around. I used to take it to soothe "lower tummy trouble," but haven't used it in ages ... not since I eliminated wheat from my life! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

You are probably right that it would be good to keep on hand because when you need it in a's too late to go find it. I'm guessing that is something I could find in the drugstore or would I have to ask for it (from a pharmacist). Don't believe I've ever seen it but I may have and didn't even pay attention. Hope you had a good weekend! :-)

CyberSis said...


The capsules are sold by Nature's Way and should be easy to find in the "herbal supplements" section of the drug store. Here's what the bottle looks like on Amazon:

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks. Don't think I've seen them now that I see what it looks like on Amazon. I was really surprised to see so many reviews about folks using them to whiten teeth? Who knew that rubbing black charcoal on your teeth would make them white? LOL I will see if they are available locally...if not, I know where to get them now! Thank you! :-)

CyberSis said...


Activated charcoal is kind of amazing stuff and can be used for many things. I've read about whitening teeth, too, but haven't tried it ... the Ick Factor, you know! :-)

It's supposed to be hot & humid here for a couple more days, and then a cool-down. I can't wait! Hope you have a great week.

Teresa in KY said...

I made your Chocolate Chip Cookies last night and they are sinful they are so good. Today I took some to my jewelry instructor and he asked if he could pay me to bake some they were so good. I added a little coconut flavoring as well as unsweetened coconut. I love these so much but cannot wait to try the Peanut Butter Bon Bons

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Teresa,

I'm so happy you are enjoying the chocolate chip cookies...they are one of my favorites. Too funny that you were offered payment to make them for your instructor! LOL

When/if you make these peanut butter bon bons...make sure not to bake too long, ideally they should be slightly underbaked. If you try them, you may want to test bake one first so you don't experiment with the entire batch. Also if you have problems with it (a couple have commented that theirs was more cakey...let me know and I will consider re-tweaking the recipe a little to make them less fussy). I don't mind constructive criticism and want my recipes to turn out well for everyone (or most 99%). ;-)

bonnie nelms said...

just want to say how much i LOVE these bon bons. i've made them 3 times now, using raw crunchy almond butter...recipe is soo easy (almost too easy!!). not sure i've found ideal baking time yet. when you said 12 mins or until lightly brown, i think i've overcooked cuz i don't really see change in color at all until after about 15 mins or more. then they are more crispy than fudgey. they're still delicious...have joined my fav list along w/sandwich buns and power bagels, which i keep on hand.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Bonnie,

So happy you are enjoying them. I bet they are good with raw crunchy almond butter!!! I try to keep the sandwich buns and power bagels in the freezer as well! :-)