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Flourless peanut butter cookies with raisins, cinnamon, & cayenne pepper

As part of my food writing class, we had to complete a product tasting and write about it. At first, heavenly  visions of frostings, macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, and brownies flooded my brain, but then remembered I live alone and having heaping quantities of those foods around would not be good. I realized I needed something I eat all the time, every day. Something I’m obsessed with. And that’s peanut butter. I’d have no issues with having six jars of peanut butter lying around.

And these jars lied around my apartment for less than five weeks. Remember I live alone. I eat peanut butter like a crazy woman. On my oatmeal, on sandwiches, on a spoon. Sometimes I dip fruit straight into the jar. That’s probably not sanitary. I eat so much peanut butter that if I don’t eat it, I feel weird. Like something’s missing. I should probably find something else to fill my peanut butter void.

But before I plowed through these jars like an agribusiness-style tractor in a corn field, I made some cookies, and I wanted cookies with peanut butter in the spotlight on a vaudeville stage. I didn’t want measly peanut butter flavor. I must admit I was wary of this recipe at first because 1. they contained no flour and 2. I made them with my least favorite brand, which will remain nameless.

To my surprise, they, in no way shape of form, did they sacrifice. These are bomb. AND they’re gluten free. AND they are hardcore with peanut butter flavor and texture, sticky and sweet like the quicksand feeling  peanut butter creates in your mouth when you eat it.

These are so easy, and take hardly any time or effort. Make them for yourself or for your gluten free friend while I’m busy either eating or buying more peanut butter.

Flourless peanut butter cookies with raisins & cinnamon

Notes: These are perfectly spiced to my taste: not too much, not too little, but I like spicy things. If you don’t you might want to reduce the cayenne to 1/8 teaspoon because cayenne can sneak up on you like a creep. You could really add any or no spice or dried fruit or really whatever to these cookies. Just imagine: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, dried cherries, pistachios. Go nuts (ha)! Obviously, I don’t have a hard time making flavor combinations with peanut butter.

Also consider making these thumbprint cookies and using your favorite jam to make peanut butter thumbprints. Simply press your pointer finger (not your thumb like the name suggests – I learned the hard way) or a wooden spoon into them, gently, to make an indentation and spoon some of your favorite jam in there, about 1/4 cup total.

1 cup peanut butter (I like smooth, but chunky can work too)

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1/2 cup raisins (or any other mix-ins of your choice)

Set your oven at 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silipat (or butter or non-stick cooking spray) and set aside.

In an electric mixer, combine peanut butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Add egg, baking soda, cinnamon, and raisins and mix for another 2 minutes.  Note that the dough will be very crumbly, but it’s all good. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and spread on your baking sheet. If you wish, press a fork into them in a criss cross pattern for a decorative finish.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned, checking them frequently, because they can burn quickly. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  1. Sacha

    May 23rd, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    When the title of this blog post reached my inbox a few weeks ago, I immediately made a not to get back to it, as I’m also a peanut butter fiend. I’m reading it later that I would like, but I love the combination of flavors here! I’m curious, did you use a natural peanut butter to make the cookies? That’s what I buy, but I cannot always use it for baking purposes. Thanks!

  2. thegrizzlykitchen

    June 5th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I used natural for this recipe, and it worked out just fine! I like the natural variety as well.

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