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August 3, 2008

Operation Baking GALS: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies and Trail Mix Too!


So as I mentioned the other day when Susan of She's Becoming Doughmesstic asked me to help out with Operation Baking GALS and send a care package to her cousin stationed overseas I said yes at once and I knew exactly what I wanted to send...Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies, that trust me if I didn't tell you they didn't have flour in them you'd never know! I knew they would ship well and while I was at it I also decided to whip up a big batch of Trail Mix! I put together the trail mix the next day and baked up the cookies on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning Alexis and I made our way to the post office and off the package went with a little note to Susan's cousin as to who I was and why I was sending him stuff and now I'm going to share both recipes with you!

Let's start first with the peanut butter cookies...

As I've mentioned before we recently discovered Jamison can not have gluten and that has been a big adjustment and many time gluten free baked goods leave a lot to be desired and I mean A LOT! The other day I wanted to make Jamison some peanut butter cookies and a friend of mine told me a simple recipe that was gluten free and mentioned that you would never know that there wasn't any gluten present...

In all honesty my first reaction was "Yeah right!" quickly followed after I saw the recipe by "There is no way that is going to work and make cookies!"

I dubiously mixed up the "dough" and was extremely surprised that it actually looked like cookie dough. I was equally as surprised that it came together at all, but hey it did! So I scooped out balls of "dough", placed them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven and low and behold cookies did come out! And when I let them cool for a minute and actually tasted one I was shocked. I mean taste wise I expected them to be OK...The ingredients weren't all that out there and were good in and of themselves, but I was most shocked by the texture...You would never know there wasn't flour in these cookies! They were amazing! The version I made for Jamison was a bit different than the one I made to send...I'll talk more about that in the notes below, but for now let's get started!

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

What You'll Need:
3 cups of organic sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chopped peanuts
3 tablespoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs and peanut butters until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts to incorporate and then add vanilla and stir to mix. (Note: These cookies don't "spread" out when they bake so you can put them rather close together as seen above. Be sure to leave a little room for the next step.) Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Once cookies are baked take the back of a fork and gently press down to flatten slightly. Let cook and then store in an air tight container.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Variation for Jamison:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using the same instructions as above mix 2 cups of creamy peanut butter, 2 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 1 package of milk chocolate chips and bake the same way. Once baked take the back of spatula and flatten the cookies slightly. Let cookies cool and store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Note: I didn't send the variation with chocolate chips because I was afraid it would be too hot for the chocolate chips to survive the journey and they would just melt into a big old mess. According to Susan I don't think it mattered as they enjoyed the regular peanut butter version just fine. :o)

Now let's talk a little trail mix!

Trail Mix

Trail mix is basically just a mix of dried fruits and nuts as you well know. You can add anything you like. This is my version, though I did add in one ingredient that many like that I'm not a fan of as you'll see below.

What You'll need for the Trail Mix:
1/2 a pound of roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 a pound of raisins
1/2 a pound of sultanas
1/2 a pound of dried cranberries (Note: If this had been for me I would have omitted the cranberries...I'm not a fan. Though it you can always pick around what you don't like too! ;oP)
1/2 a pound of roasted peanuts
1/2 a pound of roasted cashews
1/2 a pound of sliced almonds
1/2 a pound of Brazil nuts
1 cup of cocoa nibs
1 - 2.5 ounce container of Just Cherries (Note: These are just dried cherries. If you can't find the brand then any dried cherry will work.)
1 2.5 ounce container of Just Bananas (Note: Again any dried banana chip will work.)

Mix together ingredients in a large bowl until incorporated. Store in an airtight container.

Trail Mix

How easy is that? And the trail mix is gluten free too!

So there you have my additions to this round of Operation Baking GALS! Until next time.

Posted by Dianne at August 3, 2008 12:18 PM

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oooh those cookies look great! I love anything with peanut butter. I am constantly craving my dad's chocolate covered peanut butter balls that he makes at christmas. I don't suppose you have a good recipe for these? :)

I always hated the idea of cooking with paraffin...and I remember his recipe calls for that. Just doesn't seem right to eat ...

Posted by: London Southern Belle at August 3, 2008 1:44 PM

I've never made them, but in theory you could mix peanut butter with powdered sugar until it is rollable and then dip the balls into a chocolate ganache and let them harden like you would when you make peanut butter cups. I love chocolate covered peanut butter balls...I may just have to play around with that! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at August 3, 2008 4:34 PM

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