I can't stop baking and eating these cookies.
For what it's worth, I tried and adored this recipe years ago, before I began avoiding gluten. The lack of flour just adds to the depth of the peanut butter flavor, in my opinion. If I was limited to one food for the rest of my life, peanut butter would be it. To say I have a daily love-affair with the stuff is an understatement.
Years ago, when I first tried this recipe, I used regular, processed peanut butter, which the recipe calls for. The authors note that 'natural' peanut butter can be used, but one should expect intense crumbling. That didn't sound like much fun, so I just never tried. Then, a few weeks ago, all I had was natural peanut butter and I figured it was worth a shot.
The results were even better than the Jiff.
So, from here on out, it's all natural for me. Even my husband and son love these cookies and agree they're better made with natural peanut butter.
Here's the recipe, adapted from The 150 Best American Recipes (Fran McCullough & Molly Stevens):
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker's Natural Creamy)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
dark chocolate broken into bits - optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of this together in a standing mixer. I don't even bother to mix the soda and sugar together before plunking it in the bowl. I just dump and mix.
Use a cookie dough scooper (or eyeball it) to scoop out balls and then press them together and roll them into balls.
Take a small piece of dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao) and press it into the center of each ball, kind of pressing them back into shape if they crack. I've done the cookies with and without the chocolate. I prefer the chocolate version (shocking), but my son loves them plain.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for another 2-5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
These cookies never feel heavy or too cloying. They're the perfect treat, not too sweet.
If you like peanut butter, enjoy!