Is it possible for a cookie made without butter or flour to be the most delicious cookie we’ve ever tasted? The answer is a resounding YES. With only 3 essential ingredients: peanut butter, eggs and brown sugar, these cookies are practically a miracle. Crisp on the edges, gooey in the middle, with real peanut buttery flavor. Adding vanilla, chocolate chips and coarse sea salt just makes a good thing even better.
Hello, friends. We just posted a potted history of our kitchen renovation, in which we mentioned that we’d baked a fresh batch of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Well, here they are. We think we speak for most of us when we say, can we please have a treat now? We’ve been very good, and we’re very tired of being at home and we just want something tasty and fun to have with a cup of tea (a.k.a. bourbon, straight, no rocks).
Oh and also, we don’t have any flour because there’s none left in North America — you know, since it’s now mandated that everyone make homemade sourdough bread at the exact same time. And we also don’t have any more butter because we used it up buttering all that sourdough bread. But we can still make cookies, right? RIGHT?
Yes, we can. Excellent ones, in fact. These are based on Smitten Kitchen’s three-ingredient peanut butter cookies and we haven’t done much to change them. We up the amount of vanilla, and add in some chocolate chips (a mix of white and dark because it’s a pandemic and we just want to be safe). These are the perfect gluten free base to add whatever wackiness you like in your cookies. Nuts? Yes! Butterscotch chips? Great idea! Tiny marshmallows? No idea, but try it and let us know!
What I love about these (aside from their overall deliciousness, of course) is how easy they are to whip up. As you may have read, our kitchen is a full on disaster zone so even finding a hand mixer in all the chaos is a chore. But these are simple enough to whip up with just a big bowl and a wooden spoon. (We keep an eye on the spoon by tying it around Matt’s neck). The one other thing I did find is our kitchen scale, which makes me happy because weighing ingredients is so much easier (and more precise) than measuring them.
To make the cookies, add the sugar (I prefer dark brown in this recipe, but light brown is fine too) to a mixing bowl with the eggs and vanilla. All the ingredients, except perhaps your eggs, should already be at room temperature, which makes mixing everything much easier, especially if you’re doing it by hand. Once there are no more lumps of sugar, add in the peanut butter and mix it until it’s all amalgamated and you can’t see any streaks of peanut butter. It will turn pretty thick but just keep working it in. Then add the chocolate chips or any other additions and mix them in well.
I like to chill the dough for about 30 minutes before scooping them so the cookies keep their shape better in the oven. Use a #40 (1 3/4 tablespoon) scoop, or estimate about 2 tablespoons with a spoon and place them onto a lined cookie sheet (we fit about 12 to a sheet). Before baking, we sprinkle a little flaked sea salt on top of each dough ball, and push it gently down with a finger so it sticks. These won’t need to bake long, about 10 to 14 minutes should do it. If you have a convection oven, turn on the fan and reduce cooking time a couple of minutes. You want them lightly golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Since the baking time is so short, do make sure you give them a good amount of time on the tray or a cooling rack once they come out of the oven.
Now all we have to do is figure out where to store the cookies in this God-forsaken kitchen. I know, we’ll tie them in a box around Matt’s neck. What could possibly go wrong?
- 1¾ cups (335 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter (eg Jif or Skippy)
- 1 (12oz) bag white or dark chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt, like Maldon, to finish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in the peanut butter until the dough is smooth and the peanut butter is completely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and then chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.
- Scoop or spoon the dough into 2 tablespoon-sized balls and place them on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes, until light golden brown on the edges. Let them sit on the sheet for a minute or two before transferring them to to a cooling rack.