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Feb 122013
 February 12, 2013  Posted by  Food, Hot Deals, Recipes
gluten-free peanut butter cookies

Gluten-free baking doesn’t have to require specialty flours or unusual and expensive ingredients. These three peanut-butter treat recipes are made with simple ingredients that most people already have in the kitchen. They’re  naturally gluten-free, so those with or without gluten allergies will enjoy them. Just keep them away from nut-allergy suffers.

By making simple recipes, you can save money at the grocery store and use what you already have in the pantry. Many people are partial to their brand of peanut butter, but I find that most brands work well in these recipes (stir natural brands first). Either creamy or crunchy peanut butter varieties will work, but your choice will affect the texture.

I usually buy my baking peanut butter in bulk at Costco when they have a coupon. Packages of two 40-ounce jars of Skippy are usually around $10 and coupons for $2 off come around every few months.  You can purchase 40-ounce jars of peanut butter of Skippy for $5.87 and Skippy Natural for $6.23 on Amazon with free shipping through the subscribe-and-save program.  You can also make your own vanilla extract to save even more money when you bake.

I decorated all of these cookies for Valentine’s Day with pink and red M&Ms and heart-shaped chocolates, but these could fit any occasion with different decorations or by just leaving the decorations off entirely.









Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

(makes 24-30)

These Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies are my favorites to make because they are so easy, contain the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter and taste great.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional; if you omit, cookies are slightly more delicate)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hershey Kisses, Rolos, peanut butter Kisses, or chocolate hearts

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable sil-pat mat (this is my favorite). Unwrap candies and place in a bowl.

Mix together egg, sugar, baking soda, and vanilla with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer (or combine very well with a spoon). Beat in the peanut butter.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup dipped in sugar to prevent sticking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly set and immediately press one chocolate candy into the middle of each cookie. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.








Peanut Butter No Bakes

(makes 24-30)

Peanut Butter No Bakes are a great option to make with kids or if you don’t want to turn on the oven. If you want these to be gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats because oats can be highly contaminated during harvesting and processing.  I purchase gluten free oats on Amazon for the best deal.  Old-fashioned oats will work, but the cookies will be slightly chewier.  If you prefer Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes, add 4 tablespoons cocoa powder at the beginning.

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk (non-dairy is fine)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats (use certified gluten-free if you have an allergy)*

Add butter, sugar, and milk in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Quickly, stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, and then stir in the oats. Drop heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Let cool until set.








Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

(makes 24-30)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares always remind me of cafeteria lunches. Our high school cafeteria often had these for purchase, and they were pretty hard to resist. These are also no-bake, but they will get pretty soft when stored at room temperature, so they aren’t a good option for picnics or hot days.

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2¼ cups peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips

Line a baking dish with foil or parchment paper for easy removal.  Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 cups peanut butter. Use a hand mixer to thoroughly blend the ingredients.

Spread in the bottom of a baking dish. Use a smaller pan for thicker bars or a 9×13 for thinner bars. These are rich, so thinner is fine.

Melt together chocolate and remaining ¼-cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high setting for about 90 seconds; stir until well blended. Pour chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture, and then place in the fridge to set for at least an hour before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

More recipes

There are plenty of other recipes for naturally gluten-free sweets. Here’s a more upscale list of 15 Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts from Saveur that will really impress your guests. If you’re more of a salty or savory snack fan, check out these 25 Naturally Gluten-Free Snacks.

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Val McCauley

Val McCauley was drawn to writing about Living on the Cheap after moving to Columbus from her small hometown after college. She realized that there were a ton of events and activities going on around the city, but there wasn't a website that made it easy to find out about these things. Her love of travel and desire to get out of debt after college cemented the need to live on less while still having fun. Over the last several years, she has paid off all of her debt and still has fun. In her free time, she loves to workout, play sports, and cook gluten-free meals. Val is the owner and operator of Columbus on the Cheap and That’s What We Did.

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