Skip the flour for these peanut butter cookies

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Dan Bolyard/courtesy photo Whether itís to avoid gluten or just bring out more flavor, try making your peanut butter cookies without flour.

Iíve always been a fan of peanut butter cookies. Way back in my early days when folks werenít quite so uptight about eating cookie dough, the peanut butter variety was always my favorite, as the dough flavor is far more intense than the final baked cookie. Iíd even take a small taste of peanut butter cookie dough in my commercial bakery days, whether it was the looser machine cookie dough, versus the drop cookie dough. I also donít mind them if they are baked to a chewy or crispy texture.

With all of that in mind, I had a cookie the other day that had that same intense flavor that I recall as a dough, but these were baked. It turned out these were gluten-free cookies. This particular one was flourless. It was also dead simple to make up and bake.

I did find that they were more easily burnt if you leave them in the oven too long, so that part is a bit more finicky. Even with that, Iíll never make the flour version again.

The muting of flavor in a food by flour is well known to me. For example, making up a gravy by thickening a flavorful liquid with a flour slurry, versus thickening with a cornstarch slurry. The flavor of the flour version will be muted and less intense compared to the cornstarch. To me, now, the flour in the peanut butter cookie mutes the peanut butter flavor.

FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES 1

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt on medium speed until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla, and blend on low-medium speed until incorporated. Scoop dough by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press the top of the cookie to flatten lightly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until barely starting to brown. Allow to cool on the pan before removing.

FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES 2

1 large egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat all the ingredient together until well blended. Scoop dough by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press the top of the cookie to flatten lightly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until barely starting to brown. Allow to cool on the pan before removing.

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