Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Chocolate Cookies!

Yep, Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Chocolate Cookies. Holy moly: what a mouthful (literally! bah!). I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s recent post about peanut butter balls delightfully hidden inside delicious chocolate cookies and decided that I needed to do a natural sugar, vegan, gluten-free version of these tasty morsels as soon as possible. I also happen to be enrolled in an amazing gluten-free baking course that is teaching me how to *actually* be good at gluten free baking, so I used some of those tricks to help make these cookies.

So, before I get to the recipe, I have a lot to say about these gems. First, they are filling. I can’t remember the last time I made a batch of cookies and didn’t eat at least 2 immediately. I couldn’t do it with these guys. I’m gonna attribute that to the fibre in them. More on that in a minute. Second, eat them cold (I would argue that about most cookies though). That said, I know you’ll want to try them straight out of the oven. Sure, do it if you have to, but promise me that you won’t judge them until you’ve tried them cold. Bonus points for eating them frozen. Third, they are labour intensive. Please don’t let that stop you from making them. But, be forewarned that if you have little kids who are not interested in baking, who are demanding your attention, this might not be the recipe for you….until nap time.

As usual, a few notes about ingredients:

  • insert my usual peanut butter rant: use a brand with only salt and peanuts in it.
  • coconut palm sugar: it has trace minerals, has some fibre and isn’t quite as empty as white sugar. No, I wouldn’t call it a health food. But we are making cookies, right?
  • psyllium seed husks: we usually need an egg to bind gluten free cookies (or any cookies…) together. Since this is a vegan recipe, I used psyllium husks. They clump up in water, are FULL of fibre, and aren’t heat sensitive like chia and/or flax ‘eggs’.
  • brown rice flour: a gluten free baking staple
  • oat flour: made from ground oats 🙂
  • arrowroot powder: helps to bind everything together and has a super mild flavour.
  • cocoa powder: to make them rich and chocolatey!
  • gf baking powder: yep, lots of baking powder has gluten in it. If you are trying to avoid gluten, make sure to get the gluten free version.

On to the recipe! Hope you love them <3.

Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

These are just sensational. Really sensational cookies. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Surprise!

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Chocolate Cookies!

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • up to 1/3 cup warm water (1 tbsp at a time)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles (for topping)

Instructions

Peanut Butter Surprise

  1. Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Spoon into tablespoon sized balls, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and freeze until the cookie dough is ready.

Chocolate Cookies!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

  3. Put the sprinkles in a separate bowl and keep them for later.

  4. Using a food processor fitted with the 's' blade (or by hand!), mix the coconut oil, peanut butter, palm sugar, and vanilla powder until uniform.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, ensuring they are well blended. 

  6. Sift the dry ingredients into the food processor (make sure you sift!) and mix until a dough forms.

  7. If your dough is dry and crumbly (like mine was!), then add warm water, 1 tbsp at a time to the food processor until a soft dough forms. Do this quite carefully!

Assemble the cookies!

  1. Once you have a nice dough, put it in a bowl for easy access. Take one tablespoon at a time, flatten it in your palm and put a ball of peanut butter filling in the middle. Make another cookie disc and cover the top of the peanut butter ball. 

  2. Pinch the edges together to seal in the peanut butter. 

  3. Roll the cookie in the sprinkles. 

  4. Lay on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly.

  5. Bake for 9 minutes.

  6. Let sit on the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

  7. These cookies are DEFINITELY better when they are cool. In fact, I think they taste best straight out of the freezer. So freeze them fast so you can eat them sooner. 

 

 

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Chewy, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip COOKIES!

I found my new cookie staple: chewy, gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I married everything great about all the cookies. No, I don’t feel bad about it. These gems are the perfect chewiness (is that a word!??!) and are completely satisfying. Plus, I didn’t even need my mixer to make them! It was simple enough to mix up by hand in about 5 minutes.

As usual, I keep the sugar to a minimum because that helps me stay emotionally stable and my hubs feels better without gluten, so we try and keep as many things around here as gluten-free  as possible.

Some notes on ingredients:

  • I used gluten free rolled oats, but use whatever works for your family.
  • Use Adam’s natural peanut butter. Public service announcement + helpful tip: please stop using peanut butter with sugar and trans-fats. If you love sweet peanut butter, sweeten your own with maple syrup!
  • Coconut palm sugar is the perfect replacement for refined sugar. You can sub it 1:1 in any recipe. It adds a delightful caramel flavour, as well as minerals that you won’t find in refined sugar.
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On to the recipe!

Chewy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The only cookie you'll always want to have on hand. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (use 1/2 tsp if using vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper

  3. Mix oats, palm sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, peanut butter, and honey.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Scoop into cookies and place on the baking sheet. Flatten them just a little with your hand or the spoon. 

  7. Bake for 8 minutes, or until they are just barely set.

  8. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

  9. Enjoy!


Upgraded Peanut Butter Cups

Who doesn’t love peanut butter cups!? I started making my own about 6 months ago and have never looked back. In fact, I bit into a store bought one about a week ago and seriously thew it away! It was not nearly as good as my own. Plus, consuming refined sugar usually makes me feel emotionally unstable, so I try and limit that (which my family really appreciates!). I always felt like my usual recipe was missing something, though. So, I tinkered around a bit and came up with these upgraded peanut butter cups that combine everything good about a raw dessert tart with chocolate and peanut butter. I LOVE them and I know you will too.

I made the chocolate using a combination of maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla powder, coconut oil and raw cacao. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, good fats, loaded with minerals (like magnesium to keep you relaxed!), and low in sugar. These are peanut butter cups you can feel great about eating! But, do keep in mind that this version is melty at room temperature, so the treats need to stay in the fridge or freezer until you eat them.

One other thought: I bought these fancy silicone baking cups and they are perfect for making these (and all kinds of other frozen treats). They fit right into your muffin tin, and then you can reuse them over and over. I don’t find them great for baking, but I do love them for these.

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Upgraded Peanut Butter Cups

Scrumptious homemade peanut butter cups that are free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy - but still amazingly delicious. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 large cups

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the chocolate

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

For the peanut butter filling

  • 1/2 cup natural, no-sugar added peanut butter (or almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or local honey)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

For the crust

  1. Pulse everything together in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. The 'dough' should stick together when you pinch it.

  2. Spoon 2 TBSP into a muffin tin, lined with silicone baking cups. Use your fingers (or the tamper from your blender) to evenly distribute the crust in the cup. 

  3. Pop it into the freezer.

For the chocolate

  1. Mix the wet ingredients together with a small whisk or fork. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The chocolate will be quite runny.

  2. Pull the crust from the freezer and pour about 1 tsp of chocolate into each crust. Use only half of the chocolate mix! Save the rest of the top. Pop back in the freezer.

For the peanut butter filling

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix well. 

  2. Pull the crusts from the freezer. Use two soup spoons to evenly distribute the peanut butter mixture amongst the cups. 

  3. Top with the remaining chocolate. If your chocolate firmed up too much, just re-melt it again on the stove or in the microwave.

  4. Pop the tray back in the freezer for about 30 mins.

  5. Devour 🙂

  6. If for some reason you don't eat these all in one sitting, just pop the cups out of their liners and store them in a large mason jar in the freezer. Like them a little softer? Store them in the coldest part of your fridge. You'll definitely eat them before they go bad. 

Go make them now! And, if you are looking for traditional peanut butter cups, sans crust? Just leave it off. They will still be delicious.  Got a nut allergy? Sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter or coconut butter. Yummmmmm. You can see where this is going: there are endless options of cups to make! Stay tuned as I tinker around with this recipe :).

 

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

I have been trying to come up with some fun sample ideas to lure folks down to see me at the GreenZone Grocer on Saturday mornings. Last week, we used vanilla chia pudding and chocolate chia pudding samples to encourage folks to stop by. When we offered folks the cute little samples that were sitting on the counter, I was completely surprised by the number of people who had never even heard of chia pudding (what!??!). Then, lots of folks on Facebook confirmed that they, too, had no idea about this scrumptious (and healthy!) treat. I was, again, flabbergasted. So this recipe is for all of you who are brand new to chia pudding. You can start out with something more basic and layer it with apples and walnuts. Or, you can go really crazy and puree the pudding wth nut butter and chocolate (which is what I am going to show you how to do today). But first, why should you even eat chia pudding (besides that it is delicious)?

Chia seeds are super nutrient dense, with a good amount of protein and fibre, and omega-3s. So they are going to help keep your blood sugar stable and your brain healthy. Plus, they gel up when soaked and have a soothing effect on your digestive system. And a fun fact: chia seeds aren’t only good for you – they are also good for growing chia pets. Yep, they are the same seed!

PB chia 1

A quick note on the other ingredients: I used peanut butter here because I was out of almond butter. I should say here that I don’t think peanut butter is the best nut butter in the world (more on that another time), but I went ahead with good old PB this time. But, hear me out, if you are going to use peanut butter, please use one that has peanuts and salt as the only ingredients. You don’t need sugar and trans-fats in your PB. To sweeten this, I used maple syrup (the good quality stuff!), but you could also try mashed bananas or dates instead. I used raw cacao for the chocolate-y goodness. Raw cacao is unprocessed chocolate and it is high in magnesium (to help you chill out) and antioxidants. You can sub it with regular cocoa, which is easier to find in BL,  but you’ll lose some of those nutrients. Anyway, on to the recipe!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Gooey, creamy chocolate chia pudding topped with sliced bananas, nut butter, and chocolate chips.

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups nut milk (I used homemade almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference)
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • pinch or two of sea salt

Top with sliced bananas, a dollop of nut butter, and some chocolate chips!

Instructions

  1. Put everything into a medium sized mixing bowl.

  2. Mix. This will take a bit because the cacao is hard to stir in, but it will eventually come together.

  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours, until it resembles a pudding-like consistency).

  4. Stir it up! 

  5. If you like a more tapioca pudding-like consistency, then keep it as is (my personal choice. Plus, I am kind of lazy), dish up, and top with the fun stuff. 

  6. If you like it creamier, then blend it up until it is smooth and creamy, adding a bit more milk if you need. Then dish up and sprinkle with toppings.

 

 

 

 

 


Irresistible Banana Bread Cookies

I’ve been trying to find healthy’ish cookie recipes that double as quick breakfasts. As a nursing mama with a busy toddler and a hungry baby, I need quick, delicious food on hand to stop me from grabbing just coffee for breakfast (or chocolate treats in the middle of the day). These irresistible banana bread cookies are the answer. They are enough like muffins that you can eat them for breakfast, but shaped like cookies so they seem like a treat! They are gluten-free and nearly refined sugar free (except for the chocolate chips, which you could technically leave out, but you definitely shouldn’t). Hope you like them as much as I do!

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Irresistible Banana Bread Cookies

Delicious chocolate chip - banana bread cookies that taste like cookies but eat like a muffin, so they are totally acceptable for breakfast. 

Course Breakfast, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups super ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk bananas, eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together

  4. Add coconut flour (sifted if yours is lumpy), baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together until flour is mixed in.

  5. Add chocolate chips. Stir until combined.

  6. Using two spoons, spoon the wet dough onto the cookie sheet. 

  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.

  8. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before devouring!