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!


Yummy Yogurt Gummies!

I finally mastered making homemade gummies with these yummy yogurt gummies! You guys, I have been trying to make homemade gummies for at least 3 years. First of all, I love gummies and wanted to make my own. Then, when I realized you could add probiotics to your homemade gummies (you know, for gut health), I was jazzed. But each batch was grosser than the first. I couldn’t even get Grace to eat them (and she eats almost everything).

But then, as I was spoon feeding Claire her second dish of yogurt this afternoon, my lazy self thought, ‘I sure wish she could feed herself yogurt’; and BAM, an idea was born. Yogurt gummies. To my delight, they turned out amazing! In fact, Claire and I already ate the first batch.

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A few notes on the ingredients:

  • Use good quality gelatin. Gelatin is packed with protein that is easy to digest. My youngest is a bit of a picky eater, and while I know I don’t need to worry, I still feel better when she eats more quality fat and protein. These gummies are a good way to get those in her little body.
  • Use good quality yogurt. I got this grass-fed yogurt at my local health food store and I love it. Grass-fed yogurt is higher in Vitamin K2, which most of us don’t get enough of. If you can’t get grass-fed yogurt, choose a good quality organic yogurt instead.
  • I used vanilla to flavour these, but you could use anything! Blend up some blueberries and strawberries to make berry yogurt flavoured gummies; or try frozen mangoes or cherries with a bit of lime juice. Don’t eat yogurt? Just use blended fruit as the entire base. Still delicious. The possibilities are actually endless.
  • I used these silicone molds for mine. They are reusable, easy to clean, and the shapes are adorable. You can also make chocolates in them (or these) for a fun little snack. Don’t want to wait? Pour the mix into a pan and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes (like Jell-o Jigglers from 1991).

On to the recipe:

Yummy Yogurt Gummies

Delicious, healthy gummies you can make at home!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (use one with fat, please!)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (adjust to your taste preference)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp good quality gelatin

Instructions

  1. Stir the yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt together in a small pot or saucepan. 

  2. Sprinkle with the gelatin. Don't stir! Allow to stand for 3 minutes while the gelatin 'blooms'.

  3. Place the pot/pan on the stove on medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat gently until the gelatin dissolves (this takes about 3-5 minutes). 

  4. When gelatin is completely dissolved, taste it to make sure you like it. If not, adjust the sweetness or add a bit more salt. Remove from heat and spoon into your molds.

  5. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. They are done when you can easily pop them out of the mold. 

  6. Enjoy frozen or thawed! Yum!!!


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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Sweet & Salty Granola

This is THE BEST granola ever. Honestly. It is both sweet AND salty! What a good idea. Homemade granola is easy to make, free of fillers, and can be made with certified gluten-free oats. Best of all, you can control how much sweet stuff goes into it, which is essential in my house where my sweet tooth easily gets the best of me.

Eat this on its own, on top of chia pudding, with yogurt, almond milk, etc. The options really are endless. Just make it :).

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granola 2

 

Sweet + Salty Granola

The kettle corn of the granola world. This granola is a lot sweet, a little salty, and super delicious. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (old fashioned, thick cut)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup honey (local is best!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper

  3. Mix dry ingredients together

  4. In a small sauce pan, mix wet ingredients together. Heat over medium until the coconut oil melts.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.

  6. Stir with a spatula (or use your hands!). Mix well, ensuring everything is well coated.

  7. Spread on the baking sheet.

  8. Bake (watching carefully!) for 6 minutes. Stir.

  9. Bake for another 3-5 minutes, again watching carefully, until the granola turns golden brown. Watch closely! This burns really quickly.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool.

  11. Once completely cool, pour granola into glass jars and store in your pantry!

Did you try it? Let me know what you think!