These are actually healthier than they sound and taste, really! And by flexible, I mean not only do they not crumble apart (despite not using gluten or xantham gum), but the recipe itself is really easy to tweak for your dietary needs or ingredients you have available!
For example, adding 1/2 c buckwheat flour or garbanzo bean flour to the GF Flour mix, or a tablespoon or 2 of flax seed meal, adds tons of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. The peanut butter and eggs add some protein (and could probably be substituted in case of nut/egg allergies although I haven’t tried yet).
They have half the chocolate chips most chip-cookies call for, and yet I can’t imagine twice the chocolate in these… I use dark chocolate dairy free chocolate chips (Guittard is available in most stores) and they are sinfully delicious and sweet enough as it is for me! You can double the amount, but I also usually eat half the package before I get to making cookies anyway so I only have a cup to use. You could try PB chips or raisins for another twist on this recipe.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Flexible PB Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c Peanut Butter*
1 c Brown Sugar + 1/2 c White Sugar (Or 1 1/2 c whatever sugar you have on hand)
2 tbs Agave nectar (or Honey, or 1 extra tbs of sugar and 1 extra of water if you have neither)
2 Tbs Water
2 Tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 c GF Flour Mix**
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 c Dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the PB and sugar. I mean, really make sure it’s mixed well. My sister always baked better cookies than I did until she told me this bit was super important. To make it easier, get a manly man to do it “because his manly bulging muscles are clearly superior for this task”. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and again mix well. Add agave nectar (or honey), water and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together separately and add to wet ingredients 1/4 or 1/3 at a time… If you try to dump it in all at once you will get flour on EVERYTHING and that means more cleaning up. So go slow. Fold in whatever chocolate chips you haven’t eaten. Then drop tablespoon/ping pong ball sized balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. 12 is perfect in my oven, you may be somewhere between 11-14 minutes.
Let these suckers cool for at least a minute before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet! Transfer them to a cutting board or wire rack if you have one, or a make-shift tin foil tray if you don’t. Then let them cool to whatever temperature you have the patience for before scalding your mouth. If you have a second cookie sheet, you can have that ready and pop in the next batch… other wise let your cookie sheet cool a bit and spoon up the next batch. Enjoy!
*On the peanut butter: I recommend buying bulk PB that you grind yourself with the nifty machine at the store. It usually doesn’t have any extras like oil and salt and it can be a lot cheaper! They also usually have almond butter right next to it, and that stuff is expensive so definitely check your bulk options if you need/want to substitute almond butter. Also, you don’t need a whole cup of Peanut Butter… you can do 1/2 cup PB 1/2 vegetable oil or shortening too, or any ratio as long as it adds up to 1 cup total.
** On Gluten Free Flour Mixes: Again I recommend the bulk section. All you really, really need is Rice flour and a starchier flour like tapioca flour, potato starch, or buckwheat flour. It needs to total 2 1/2 cups. Here are some variations I have tried with great success:
1 1/2 c rice flour + 1/2 c buckwheat flour + 1/2 garbanzo bean flour = the man of the house’s favorite, he really likes the buckwheat flavor with the PB and chocolate combo.
1 1/2 c rice flour + 1 c tapioca flour = the cheapest mix, and the minimum I have on hand
1 1/2 c rice flour + 1/2 c tapioca flour + 1/2 c garbanzo bean flour, plus 2 tbs flax seed meal = a neutral tasting flour that is a little more nutritious than the previous one
As you can see, I don’t use xantham gum or buy the fancy premixed GF flours. Too expensive for me, and I like the flexibility I have mixing my own. Once you experiment and learn the different qualities of each flour, you can really get the texture you want in each dish. Plus, when it’s cheap it’s less scary to experiment!