Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Food52’s Kristen Miglore has perfected her Genius Recipes column. Her writing and the recipes she picks out have gotten lots of kudos, but I’d like to add some more – just the way Kristen adds her original kudos to great recipes that may have already made their way around the internet.

When I first starting posting recipes and stories online, I was sure that food writing prized originality above all else. I’d consider posting a recipe for pasta in tomato sauce, but then I’d decide against it. Everyone can figure out how to sauté onion and garlic and add a can of tomatoes. Readers didn’t need to know how I did just that every Sunday night. Right?

And I felt a pressure not to riff off of what other bloggers and writers were baking and braising. It felt like copying. Sometimes, instead of sharing classic recipes, I’d share bizarre ones. For the hell of it, to be different. I had some big wins, like the time I put carrots in cookies. But there are times when I wish I’d developed more straightforward dishes, even if they weren’t the brandest newest meals of all time.

But then at some point I started appreciating, like really appreciating, the creative community around food. I was inspired by the cooking of people I didn’t even know – whose food I’d never even tasted in person. I’d put spin on inspiring recipes I’d found elsewhere, and then watch as readers added their own spins to mine.

Like: I learned about Lemon Posset on Food52 (now that should be a genius recipe!) and poured it into a tart shell I first learned about in Alice Medrich’s cookbooks. That combination became Lemon Posset Tart. The sum belonged to me, even if the parts didn’t.

That’s what cooking is, really. Tweaking and playing around with ingredients in a way that may or may not have been done before. Maybe you’ll hit on a perfect method, maybe you’ll craft a perfect flop. Maybe you’ll simply find another way to do something you’ve done before. I learned when we wrote the book that you can’t copyright a recipe. It’s a formula. What you can put your stamp on is the language and tone and interpretation, giving a voice to a recipe.

You’ve probably seen these flourless peanut butter cookies before. I was re-inspired to make them – and to add sunflower seeds – by this post on xo breakfast. Thanks, world wide web. Gluten Free Girl makes them too: she leaves the cookies as simple as can be, just peanut butter, sugar, egg, and baking powder. Joy the Baker tops each with a big chocolate chunk, which melts in the oven.

And in fact, in a little-known moment in BGSK history, we posted about this very recipe after Sarah made these cookies for a long-ago Mag Club. But it was smushed down at the bottom of a long post, not in the spotlight where it belongs.

For the full assortment of Peanut Butter Cookies on Big Girls, Small Kitchen, don’t miss Peanut Butter Meringues or regular old (but delicious) Peanut Butter Cookies.



Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

This recipe has so few ingredients. That’s part of what makes varying the nut butter and add-ins so much fun. Try almond, cashew, or sunflower butter instead of the peanut butter. Throw in any nut you like – or raisins, or chocolate chips. I also think a dash of cinnamon mixed in with the peanut butter would be lovely.

1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, preferably not huge ones
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter together with the sugars. You can use an electric mixer but you don’t have to – I just beat them together hard with a rubber spatula. The peanut butter should thicken and get a little fluffy. Beat in the egg, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.

Add the chocolate chips, almonds, and sunflower seeds and mix to incorporate. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them at least 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes, until the tops have firmed up. Remove the pans from the oven and slide the parchment onto racks to let the cookies cool.

Posted in: Baking For Others
  • Stefanie

    These look simple and so delicious. I love the addition of sunflower seeds. Most of all I love your message; may we give each recipe our own voice. Beautiful bit of kitchen inspiration. Thanks Cara.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      You’re welcome, Stefanie! Thanks for your sweet comment.

  • Katerina

    I have never try to make cookies. So, some day I have to and this could be my recipe :) Thanks for sharing! Really stunning!

  • Enoch

    Add the maple syrup….? It’s not in the ingredients. Cheers

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Whoops! My mistake, no maple syrup in these guys, though it might be a fun variation.

  • http://twitter.com/wvanillasugar Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm what an easy, yummy looking cookie!

  • venkat

    oh it is really
    good post to me.Thank you for sharing this post.

  • Casey

    I’m going to make these delights when I get up this afternoon. They look scrumptious!

  • http://cookieandkate.com/ Cookie and Kate

    Hear, hear. I struggle sometimes trying to find the balance between original and damn tasty. There’s a reason why some recipes are stellar from the get-go and it’s fun to add my own spin to them. Haven’t been able to get enough chocolate today and these cookies are calling my name.

  • Peggy

    I made this yesterday with almond butter and substituted raisins for nuts. My newly gluten free husband loved them. Thank you.

  • Cyndy Eng-Dinsel

    Hi there – I am making them right now. I am finding the dough to be super dry and crumbly. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      You might try just squeezing them into balls – the dough should stick then.

Need more desserts? A Baker's Dairy-Free Dozen.

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