I’ve been making this classic peanut-butter cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking for years. One of the things I like about it is how suited it is to gluten-free flour. Oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies need to be tweaked when using gluten-free flour so they don’t melt and run all over the baking sheet. But these peanut-butter cookies can be used cup-for-cup with gluten-free flour with no other changes.
When we served at the pre-teen camp two weeks ago, I got to meet Lidia, who is half-French and half-Italian, and whose husband is Italian, born and raised in America. Their two boys are perfectly fluent in three languages! Lidia – who lives in Milan – and I share two mutual friends. One is Danila here in Paris (also half-French and half-Italian) whose daughter Eleanor is Juliet’s best friend. The other is my friend Sissi, fully French, but born and raised in the States. Twenty-two years ago, I was baptised in her bathtub in New York City. The world is small and multi-cultural is it not?
Back to Lidia. I brought a huge batch of brownies, peanut-butter cookies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies when I came to camp, all gluten-free, of course. Lidia eats gluten-free too. Did you know that most restaurants in Italy will prepare any pasta dish you choose from their menu in the gluten-free version if you ask? And they even have dedicated pizza restaurants that are gluten-free. Incredible, isn’t it? Anyway, she loved the peanut-butter cookies and I promised her the recipe, and here it is.
Based on the Joy of Cooking classic recipe (but not 14-in-one) and with a few of my own adjustments.
Use 170 grams of softened butter, or 12 tablespoons. Beat that and add a cup of peanut-butter. To that, add two eggs, a cup of brown sugar and 1/3 cup confectioner sugar and beat all that together.
When I make cookies, I usually beat first the butter, sugar, egg in that order. And then I add what I call the small ingredients. Salt, vanilla, baking powder, etc. So add 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. I added 3/4 teaspoon medium grain sea salt because I think adds to the flavour. This is what the sea salt grains look like.
When that’s all beat together, add 2 1/2 cups flour, regular or a gluten-free blend. Preheat the oven to 350°F or 170°C. Form small balls, 12 or 16 to a pan, and smoosh them down to form a criss-cross pattern. You can dip the fork in flour in between if you find the dough sticks to the fork.
Put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. I usually put mine in for 8 and turn the pan for 2 more minutes so it bakes easily. And there you have your classic peanut-butter cookies!
Or you can discover mini Reese’s peanut butter cups in your supermarket (first time!) and make a not-so-classic “peanut button” cookies.
Or … you can just stick to the plain ones that are oh-so good.
See? Who can resist?
Not me, I say.
- 12 tablespoons butter, 170 grams
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ confectioner sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon medium-grain sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2½ cups flour, gluten-free or regular
- Beat the softened butter, peanut-butter, sugar, and eggs.
- Add the baking soda and powder, salt and vanilla.
- Mix all it together, then add the flour.
- Form in balls and push down the dough in a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
If you’d like to see more French recipes, click here to see my recipe index!