Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-free)

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For a recent family get-together, I made this flour-free version of old-fashioned peanut butter cookies.  They got rave reviews, so I’m sharing the recipe with you.  The gluten-free eaters loved them, and the peanut butter lovers loved them too, so it was win-win 🙂  Next time I make a batch, I’m going to try and reduce the granulated sugar to one cup.  I’ll let you know if the quality suffers at all.

Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2″ apart. With a fork dipped in a bit of cornstarch, flatten cookies slightly, making a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie.  Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges are set, 9 to 11 minutes, being careful not to overbake. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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Almond Cherry Shortbread (Snowballs)

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Snowballs

1 cup butter, softened

¼ cup icing sugar

1/3 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup ground almonds

2 cups flour

15 candied cherries, halved

about 1/2 cup additional icing sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 300° F. Cream together butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in flavorings , ground almonds and flour and mix well to form dough. To form cookies, take about a tablespoon of dough and begin to form a ball. Push one half of a cherry into the ball and pinch the dough together to hide the cherry, and then finish forming the ball. It should be about 1 1/2” in diameter. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes. Do not brown the cookies, they should be just starting to have a hint of color when they are done. Cool in the pan for about 4 minutes, then gently roll the balls in icing sugar and allow to cool completely on wire racks.  The recipe should yield about 30 cookies.

More sweet treats

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I’m revisiting some favorites,  Ginger Oatties and Praline Crunch.  I feel like I should try some new recipes, but sometimes the old standbys are very comforting:)

Christmas Treats

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It feels like the right time for a few sweet Christmas treats. I’ve got a double batch of these Peanut Butter Chocolate Spirals cooling in the fridge. After I run a few errands, the dough will be ready to roll. We’ll have fresh cookies in time for coffee break 🙂

PB Chocolate Spirals

Peanut Butter dough

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Cream together butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to peanut butter mixture, mixing until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Chocolate dough (in the same bowl as the PB dough)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. Add melted chocolate, mixing thoroughly. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to chocolate mixture, mixing until well combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Once the dough is chilled, take half of each amount of dough and roll into 1/4″ thick rectangles. Layer the chocolate dough on top of the peanut butter dough. Beginning at the long end of the rectangle, roll doughs together to form a tightly rolled log. Re-wrap the roll and chill for about an hour (or up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. For a more marbled effect in the baked cookies, fold the rectangle into thirds and roll dough into a rectangle again before forming the final log.

When ready to bake, slice the rolls of dough into desired thickness of slices (about 1/4″). Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350° F for about 12 minutes, until the centers of the cookies are firm and bottom is golden brown. Baking time will depend on thickness of slices. Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

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We have some cooler days right now, perfect weather for a treat from the oven, in this case cookie, as in one big one.

There are all kinds of recipes and methods out there for skillet cookies, but to me, the point of baking a cookie in a frying pan is to keep it simple and fast with a very minimum of prep work and clean up.  The trick is to let the butter soften and begin to melt over very low heat, but not let it get hot.  You want to be able to get on with it quickly, and not have to wait while the butter cools off before you stir in the egg (nobody wants scrambled egg in their cookie!) plus if the dough is too hot all the chocolate chips melt.  Then it becomes chocolate skillet cookie (no chips!).

The other thing about this recipe is that you need an oven-proof skillet/frying pan.  Lots of you probably have a cast-iron pan, and that works great.  If you don’t, as you can see in the picture above, I used my ordinary non-stick skillet, but wrapped the handle in a couple of layers of aluminum foil.  At 350° F, the foil is enough to keep the handle from getting damaged.

So that sounds a bit complicated, but it isn’t really.  Once through the process and you’ll be a dab hand next time:)

Skillet Cookie

Preheat oven to 350° F.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt, if desired

1 cup chocolate chips

In a small bowl, stir together flour, soda and salt (if using).  Set aside.  Using an 8″ ovenproof skillet, soften butter on lowest heat of stove-top burner.  When butter is softened and beginning to melt, remove pan from heat.  Stir in sugar and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Incorporate beaten egg quickly.  Then add flour and chocolate chips, mixing well.  Smooth the dough to the edges of the pan.  Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes, until cookie is just set and golden brown.  Cool 10-15 minutes and then gently loosen cookie from pan and slip out onto cutting board to slice into wedges.

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Ginger Oatties

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Ginger Oatties

2 cups of butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

5 cups rolled oats

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

4 heaping teaspoons ground ginger

4 tbsp hot water

2 tbsp golden syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir together hot water and syrup and add to butter mixture, mixing well.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, salt, soda and ginger.  Add flour mixture to creamed butter in 3-4 additions, mixing well.  Roll dough into small balls (about 3/4″-1″), place on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly.  Bake about 9 minutes, until cookies are set and just starting to brown on the edges.  Be careful not to overbake.  Allow baked cookies to cool slightly on pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

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Cowboy Cookies

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I have no idea why these cookies are called “Cowboy” cookies, maybe they taste their best out on the trail, or after a long hard day of wrangling cattle, but even if you’re not a range rider/cowboy, the cookies are still a delicious treat.  A hint of cinnamon adds a nice depth of flavor.    If I remember correctly, I think the original recipe called for chopped pecans, but I’ve substituted almonds.

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1 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla (extract or paste)

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Cream butter and sugars till mixture is light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly, then add vanilla.   In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture to creamed mixture in two orIMG_2211a three additions.  Then stir in oats, chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 ” balls, place on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 9-10 minutes, being careful not to overbake.  Makes about 3 dozen.

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Toffee Cornflake Cookies

Here’s a quick and easy sweet treat.   McIntosh’s Toffee doesn’t come in bars anymore, so you have to count out the single candies from a larger bag, but that’s no big deal.  Don’t make too many at once, it’s hard to eat just one 🙂

Toffee Cornflake Cookies

28 individual toffee pieces (224 g in total)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp cream

2 1/2 – 3 cups cornflakes

1/2 cup coconut

Melt together toffee, butter and cream.  The microwave works well for this.  Stir to combine.  Add cornflakes and coconut and mix.  On parchment paper, shape mixture into small cookies.  Let cool.

Ranger Macaroon Cookies

This is a nice sturdy cookie, perfect for packing in lunches and having on hand in the freezer.

Ranger Macaroons

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups cereal (corn flakes or rice krispies or shredded wheat)

1 cup chocolate chips  (1 1/2 cups  for chocolate lovers)

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (we like sliced almonds)

Beat butter till soft and creamy.  Add sugars and vanilla and beat again until mixture is lightened in color and fluffy.  Add eggs.  In another bowl stir together remaining dry ingredients, then slowly begin incorporating dry mixture to the sugar batter.  Once dough is thoroughly mixed, shape dough into slightly larger than walnut-sized balls, place on ungreased cookie sheets, flattening slightly, and bake about 10 minutes, at 350 degrees F till very lightly golden.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

O (Sugar Cookie) Christmas Tree, How Lovely are Your Branches

Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one!

My sugar cookie Christmas tree looks a bit sad and pathetic.  I was too tired by the time I started plying icing to do a good job, but the cookies are delicious, if I do say so myself.  Plus this is a much easier project than say, gingerbread houses.  If you had time and energy, you could do a Christmas tree forest!

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

3 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla paste

1/3 tsp almond extract

2 1/4 cups flour

Cream together softened butter and cream cheese.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in egg yolk and flavorings, mix well.  Gradually add flour and mix well.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 45 minutes or so.  When dough is chilled, roll to about 1/8″ thickness and cut shapes as desired.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until cookies are set and golden around the edges.  Carefully transfer baked cookies to wire racks to cool completely before decorating.

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