Have you ever noticed how cookies offer a solid answer to so many of life’s questions? What are you bringing to the preschool Valentine’s Day party? Cookies. Quick! I need something to take to the dinner tonight! What does everyone like? Cookies. What dessert can feed a crowd? Cookies. You look like you’ve had a hard day. How can I help? Cookies.
You get the idea.
Truth be told, the baking — and the cookies — has dwindled a bit in our house over the past few years, largely because the youngest member of our household has some food allergies that we’ve been learning to juggle. Although Bear’s allergies to wheat and egg are only an issue if he eats them himself (we don’t have to worry about someone sitting next to him eating pasta or brownies, thank goodness), it’s taken us some time to find a happy medium between offering him alternatives to what the rest of us are eating and finding recipes that we all can enjoy together. Meals, for the most part, we either keep wheat and egg free, or we adjust just slightly for him (no bun on his burger, for instance). He knows he’s allergic to some things, he’ll ask if foods are gluten free or have egg in them, and he honestly doesn’t get upset about it.
I never want him to feel like he’s missing out, though, and the kid has a major sweet tooth, so I’ve been dabbling in the world of wheat- and egg-free baking. For a while, it was recipe after recipe of wheat alternatives and egg substitutes that all left Bear continually unimpressed. He’d ask for ice cream instead (not that I blame him), and I’d be left with a tray full of just-okay-tasting sweets. But this recipe was a game-changer for us.
These peanut butter cookies, I’m confident enough to say, are undetectably gluten and egg free. Bear eats them. Beany eats them. We all eat them. Hooray!
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Substitute for 1 egg (I recommend Ener-G Egg Replacer or 2 tablespoons aquafaba)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Beat in both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacement and vanilla, and beat until blended thoroughly. Add the salt, baking soda and flour, and beat until just combined.
- Chill the dough for about an hour, and then roll it into tablespoon-sized balls. Place balls of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet about an inch apart, and use the back of a fork dipped in flour to make a cross-hatched pattern atop each cookie.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden and edges just start to firm up. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
One reason I think this recipe works is because the amount of flour is pretty minimal to start with, but the real magic is in the peanut butter and brown sugar combo. Without the help of gluten or egg, it’s really tricky to get that satisfyingly chewy texture in a cookie. This one works really well, thanks to all that natural chew and stickiness thrown in. I’m wondering if the same can be said for molasses, so that’s next on the docket. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll give these a try! And if you have any allergy-friendly favorites in your house, I’d love to hear about them.