I know what you're thinking, "A cookie recipe three days after Christmas? How could you, MG? Aren't you supposed to post a cleanse, or an exercise plan or something?"
But I've thought of something you haven't, New Year's Eve/Day. If you're anything like me, you spend all your time and energy getting things ready for Christmas and then on December 31st you realize you have a party that night and another one the next day and nothing to take to either.
If that sounds familiar, you are in luck, because I'm about to share with you one of my most famous recipes (among my clan at least). They are simple, sweet, but not overly-decadent cookies that are bound to make your friends and family beg for them every time you are around.
This was one of the very first gluten free recipes I ever tried and I know I based it off of someone else's recipe at one time or another, but that piece of paper has long since been lost to Davey Jones's Locker.
So let's get to to it. You'll just need a few ingredients and you probably have them on hand anyway:
1 Cup All Natural Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter (Laura Scudder's or Smuckers works best. Whatever brand you use it needs to be made of just ground up peanuts and salt, no Jiff of Skippy type peanut butter).
1 Cup Lightly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsps Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 345 degrees F
Start by pouring your cup of peanut butter into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Measure out and lightly pack your brown sugar
Dump it in with the peanut butter. It's important to measure the sugar second and in the same cup as the peanut butter so the sugar clings to the peanut butter residue and gets it all involved in the recipe.
Give it a good mixing by hand, making sure to smash out any sugar clumps.
It should look like this ^^ once it's fully incorporated.
Next crack in your egg and add the baking soda and vanilla (Do we need to talk about my feelings on imitation vanilla again? Okay very quickly, don't bother with vanilla unless it's the real deal. Imitation vanilla tastes like Coca-Cola and totally overpowers the entire recipe).
Give that sticky mess a mixing (again by hand. I don't know why, it just works better).
Pour in your chocolate chips and give it a stir again
Once your finished product looks like this ^^ you can start rolling your dough into balls and placing them on an un-greased baking sheet. The peanut butter is oily enough to keep them from sticking.
If you're taking these to a party, I suggest making your cookies bite sized rather than traditional cookie-sized. You'll get more out of your dough and people will have plenty of other things to snack on.
Once all your cookie balls are on the sheet, place them in the oven at 345 degrees F for 10-12 mins. The won't spread out much during cooking and will still be soft to the touch when they are done.
Take them out of the oven and leave them to cook ON THE BAKING SHEET for at least 15 minutes. If you try to transfer them to a plate or cooling rack immediately, they will crumble. They need to cool to set.
I was able to get about 25 cookies from this recipe. Although I did have to do batch of 20 and a batch of 5. But the yield will depend entirely on how large you roll your dough balls.
Once they are cooled, you can box them up for the party!
But don't forget to have a few with your tea first!
It is a poor baker who does not sample the fruits of her labor! How could you confidently serve something you baked to a crowd of party-goers without first making sure they are absolutely delicious?
The trick is stopping with just one ;-)
So there you have it an easy, delicious, gluten free, dairy free, cookie recipe to get you out of the New Year's Party Pinch and to delight your friends and family year round. Let me know what you think!