Bean’s Test Kitchen: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s been cold, windy, and very changeable here lately. One minute the sun’s pouring from the sky, the next a kind of fluffy sleet that looks like styrofoam pellets. It makes your tiny hands stick to the monkey bars at the playground, if you’re the Bean:

mittens

Which is why we wear mittens.

It also plants one heck of a cold in you. Poor Bean’s been barking for about three days now. She’s been otherwise pleasant– no temperature, no other symptoms– but the cough is wet and ugly. Yes, we have an appointment on Monday.

In the meantime, the only clear solution is cookies.

This cookie recipe is less bad for you than others: it’s lower in sugar, it’s not got any flour, it’s high in fiber and protein. If you really wanted to Atkins the heck out of it, you could use artificial sweeteners, but they have that horrible aftertaste. Plus, the ingredients are really simple:

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 12-14 drop cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or honey, or maple syrup if you are made of money)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Special equipment: Parchment or baking paper to line cookie sheets with.

Method:  Break the egg into a bowl and beat it with the vanilla and salt. Then add the sugar or honey, beating steadily until the mixture becomes pale and thick. Fold in the peanut butter until well-combined.

If you like, you can chill the mixture for an hour or so to make firmer “ball” shaped cookies. It’s not really necessary, though.

So if you’re not chilling, pre-heat the oven to 175 C/350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and plop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the sheets, giving them about an inch of space. They shouldn’t spread all that much.

Bake about 8-11 minutes, rotating once. Cookies will look lumpen and unappealing but smell heavenly (if you don’t have a nut allergy). A good sign of doneness is a nice toasty-brown color at the edges and peaks of the cookie.

Allow to cool on a rack before passing to your barking child, if you have one.

Bonus tip: eating half the batch will definitely de-rail your diet goals.

Bonus bonus tip: substituting 1-2 T of maple syrup for an equal amount of other sweetener is delicious (1/2 cup is 8 tablespoons).

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