I’ve been into flourless desserts recently (I made flourless chocolate cake this week–so good). I like that flourless recipes usually involve fewer ingredients, but I mainly love ’em for the fudge-y texture. I’ve had a love affair with fudge as long as I can remember (which truly makes the holidays the most wonderful time of the year).
When my husband John studied abroad in Scotland, he asked Ma Lepine to send him some recipes. Among others, she sent the original recipe for these peanut butter cookies. They’re John’s go-to dessert for any sort of potluck or gathering—with good reason—as they are quick to whip up on short notice.
A vital tip: the dough should not feel sticky. I use our homemade peanut butter for this recipe and it works great! You can use store-bought peanut butter, too, for a more indulgent cookie (thanks added oil and sugar).
This recipe and I have been through some not-so-fun times. Occasionally, I’ll get on a roll with eyeballing recipes and get a tad arrogant, feeling like I don’t need to measure anything. Not so with this recipe: exact measurements are especially important here, as it’s the proper ratio of peanut butter to sugar—wet to dry ingredients—that allows the cookies to hold their shape and not dissolve all over the baking sheet.
If you do end up with a mess, the mangled cookies can become “cookie balls,” a little invention of mine for the most desperate of times (literally scrape them off the sheet and mash the goo into a ball, then pretend like the end result was the goal all along).
But dear one, that shouldn’t happen if you measure. Which you will, because you’re self-aware enough to know your limits and probably believe in always measuring things (and that’s okay).
The original recipe doesn’t call for any butter and just one egg, so I knew it could be easily adapted for the vegans among us. And, yay, it was! I just substituted two flax eggs (1 tablespoons flax meal + 3 tablespoons water) for the egg. Two thumbs up for both versions.
These peanut butter cookies are everything I want: soft, chewy and fudge-y, with a slight crisp. They’re fabulous with a chilled glass of milk (non-dairy or not). I also have a recurring fantasy-like daydream where I dunk them in some melted chocolate, but I haven’t tried that yet (let me know if you do).
Update: I have since drizzled these with chocolate ganache (see my Insta @katielepine) and topped them with sea salt—yum. A couple weeks later (since I like to complicate things) I topped some with kisses, Lindt truffles, and fig jam, then sprinkled all those babes with some finishing sea salt. The jam version was my jam, surprisingly, because chocolate truffles, am I right?! Go crazy, friends, apparently imagination is the limit when gussying up these cookies.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar (white or brown, white preferred)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg or 2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons water) to make it vegan
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Combine all ingredients and stir until glossy and smooth.
- Using your fingers, shape into twelve round disks. The dough should not be sticky.
- Bake on parchment paper at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
- Cool for 2 minutes.
- Serve or transfer to a wire rack to cool further, until you’re ready to serve them.