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Nov 15, 2009 10:00 AM

Quick question about peanut-butter cookies

I'd like to make p'but cookies for the first time.
I see recipes without flour (only the nut butter & things), as well as recipes with flour.
Which is better? With or without flour? Can anyone "in the know" generalize?

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  1. bellywizard--I don't understand how a cookie could be made without flour--please post more information on the recipes you have!
    My favorite peanut butter cookie has crisscross marks from being flattened with a fork, it has no liquid but does have flour!

    1. I think the ones without flour are more like candy -- a cluster of nuts and sticky stuff like chips and peanut butter held together by rolling them into balls and then covering with something dry, like coconut or nut pieces.

      I think the sweets traditionally known as cookies will always contain some sort of flour or oatmeal or some combo of dry ingredients. I would personally always select a recipe with flour unless I couldn't have gluten.

      1. I've made both and the flourless version is more like peanut butter fudge, rather dense than the flour-full version. Not at all bad, just different.
        I found a recipe recently that uses applesauce, no flour, and I suspect they'd be less dense.
        I also like to add chopped peanuts (cut back on the overall salt if using salted peanuts) and, as blue room mentioned, do the fork tong marks to flatten the cookies; no one will recognize them as a peanut butter cookie without.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          I agree that flourless cookies are more fudge than cookie. Somewhere recently I saw a recpe that was powdered sugar and peanut butter - so there's cornstarch in the powdered sugar to help them hold together - I believe the Cook's Illustrated peanut butter cookie recipe was also on America's Test Kitchen, in which cae it will be free at the ATK website - or OP could get the free 2wk trial membership.

        2. I use a peanut butter cookie recipe without flour, and it's nothing like fudge, I assure you. They're also really good with almond butter, but for those, I drain off a bit of the oil and have a crisper cookie. I tend to do double batches of these, and do half white sugar, and half brown. I use natural butters that have added salt (Adams, TJ's, etc). They do need to cool a bit on the cookie sheet before transfer, but they're not otherwise weak-textured at all.

          These are gluten free and nobody at work ever questions their gluten-free-ness. They just eat them.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Vetter

            Vetter, how sweet are these cookies? I took a look at the recipe -- which I admit surprised me with its simplicity and lack of dry ingredients. Also, do you use regular store peanut butter, or the all-natural kind?

            1. re: visciole

              They are just right, to my taste, but I do eat them with coffee or tea, mostly. And now that I think about it, I use scant cups of sugar, so probably 2 tablespoons less than it calls for.

              I use the all natural kind of peanut butter. Or almond butter. I tend to think the almond butter is my favorite. I keep meaning to half-dip that variety in chocolate.

              I just beat the heck out of the mix in my kitchenaid and roll them up. I don't even fork-press them sometimes. I do find they're nicer using silpats.

              1. re: Vetter

                OK, you convinced me, I'm going to make them. All-natural peanut or almond butter is my favorite, and I guess cutting back the sugar a bit isn't a problem. Thanks!

            2. re: Vetter

              I too make this recipe all the time, using regular grocery store peanut butter (Jif or Skippy or whatever). You'd never know they didn't have flour in them. I agree, they're NOT like fudge.

              1. re: Vetter

                The gluten-free recipe I use for is made with cane syrup, which makes a decidedly more moist cookie (fudgy) than one made with cane sugar.
                It's not so much about the lack of flour in the recipe but the type of sweetener and the moisture in that sweetener that makes the cookie "more like peanut butter fudge, rather dense."
                So yes, they are more like peanut butter fudge.
                Different recipe, different result.

                1. re: Vetter

                  could you sub brown sugar for some of the white sugar in this recipe. I love the flavors of peanut butter and brown sugar together.

                  1. re: missmasala

                    Yes, but you need to watch it if you don't want the bottoms to get too dark.

                2. How funny, I am nibbling on a homemade peanut butter cookie right now! Addictive little things...

                  I use the wheatfree recipe. It's not quite fudge - I'd call it a moist, fudgy textured cookie. The best thing about it is that it truly melts in the mouth.

                  You can use natural or a peanut butter with vegetable oil in it, I've found the most important thing is to use peanut butter without salt or sugar already in it. Which describes most natural types of PB, but also a sugar-free PB I can get at my local store.

                  I also find that using a liquid sweetener (glucose, core syrup, fructose syrup) is better than sugar for getting a very creamy, light texture. Also not rolling the heck out of the dough. I tend to dollop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, and lightly smooth any rough edges with my fingers. That gives it a lighter texture.

                  I'm going to try this with pistachio butter and almond butter next. Yipee!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Gooseberry

                    I use Vetter's recipe plus 1 tsp. vanilla. Delicious morsels. I use Skippy All Natural Peanut Butter and for fun, plunk a chocolate chip or two into the center. I don't roll out the dough. Just put the batter into the fridge for 30 minutes, then use a cookie scoop or my hands to roll batter into balls. I criss cross mine, too. I like this recipe better than ones I've tried with flour. Really, really good!!

                    1. re: addicted2cake

                      Forgot to mention - I also use 1/2 white sugar, 1/2 brown sugar. They melt in your mouth and the taste is awesome. A great pb cookie! I bake mine for 9-10 minutes at 350 and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. These cookies are usually gone in a day or two. When my son's around, less than a day!

                    2. re: Gooseberry

                      Where do you get your pistachio butter? I always chicken out at the price, but one of these days...