Peanut butter and chocolate… Not convinced? Salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy, only five ingredients, one bowl and gluten free.
I could go on and on…and on about these cookies but this is a less-is-more situation. If you like peanut butter cookies, you will love these. They are a breeze to throw together and naturally gluten free so no swapping or subbing as they are altogether flourless. All you need is peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and a little coarse salt to finish – that’s it. And a bowl and a whisk, of course.
I discovered these cookies on Smitten Kitchen who found them in the Ovenly cookbook. I didn’t change a thing but I added the optional (not optional) dip in dark chocolate. Admittedly, I have a chocolate dipping/coating/covering problem. As far as I’m concerned, if something is good to begin with, it’s probably even better enrobed in 70% cacao. I understand chocolate isn’t everyone’s thing but if it’s your thing, you’re going to like it here.
The cookies pictured in this post were baked immediately after scooping but the original recipe says you can freeze them for about 15 minutes before baking and they will come out of the oven with more of a dome shape. Deb (of Smitten Kitchen) went a step further and chilled the dough for 15 minutes before scooping and then again after scooping. You will end up with delicious cookies no matter what you decide but if you prefer a taller more rounded cookie, chill before baking.
Chocolate-Dipped Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
These 5-ingredient cookies are gluten free, simple to prep and nearly impossible to resist. They have a slightly crunchy exterior and chewy interior with a satisfying brown sugary bite.
- 1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter (roughly 16 ounces)
- course sea salt or kosher salt
- 4-6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350º. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat. To bake one tray at a time, position the oven rack in the center of the oven; for two, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in the vanilla, then the peanut butter, and whisk until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated and no streaks of peanut butter remain.
Scoop or spoon the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. I use a #30 scoop which holds a little over 2 tablespoons. Sprinkle the tops with some coarse sea salt or kosher salt. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time if using two racks. The cookies will be golden at the edges when done. (If you use a larger or smaller scoop size, adjust the baking time accordingly.) Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl or mug with an opening large enough to dip the cookies. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until only a few small pieces of chocolate remain. Continue stirring until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. (Be careful not to scorch the chocolate!) Partially dip each cookie in the melted chocolate letting any excess drip back into the bowl and then place on the wax paper lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little more coarse salt if desired. Once all of the cookies have been dipped, place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the chocolate is set.
The cookies can be baked immediately after scooping but if you want a taller more rounded shape, freeze the cookies for about 15 minutes before baking.
I prefer "old fashioned" or "natural" nut butters that contain nothing more than nuts and salt but this recipe seems to work better with the more processed peanut butters like Skippy or Jif. If you want to give the natural kind a try I would recommend a "no-stir" variety.
***If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise are serious about eliminating gluten from your diet, always check your labels carefully and buy certified gluten free products.