Friday, April 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Perfected! (grain-free : gluten-free : GAPS version)

I am really, really excited about this cookie recipe, as the taste and texture is like the cookies I remember from the days before we were eating grain-free. Straight out of the oven, these cookies are wonderfully crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  After a day or two on the counter (or in the fridge), they are nicely soft and chewy.  These cookies don't have a strong coconut flavor, and have also been enjoyed by people that are not eating a grain-free diet.

The GAPS diet does allow cocoa to be eaten occasionally once digestive symptoms have subsided.  The challenge to making these cookies GAPS-legal is finding chocolate chips that are sweetened with honey, as other sweeteners are not allowed on GAPS.  I used dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips, but they still aren't GAPS-legal because of evaporated cane juice as a sweetener. You could easily omit the chocolate chips, or even replace a little of the coconut flour with cocoa if you prefer.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  1. Set your oven racks so that none are in the bottom third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, coconut flour, and almond flour.  Whisk well to combine and break up any lumps of coconut flour.
  3. Beat the softened butter for a couple minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the honey and continue to beat for a few more minutes until the honey is incorporated very well.  If you are using a stand-mixer, make sure you scrape the sides and bottom a couple times to get everything incorporated well.
  5. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well, scraping the bowl as needed.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time while the mixer is running.  The easiest way to do this is to break all of the eggs into a bowl or cup and then just pour them in one-at-a-time.  Let each egg get incorporated before adding another one.
  7. While the mixer is running, add the dry ingredients a little at a time.  Since coconut flour does not contain gluten, there is no worry of over-mixing it!
  8. Stir in the optional chocolate chips and pecans. 
  9. Scoop the cookies onto greased cookie sheets (or line the cookie sheets with silpats, which are wonderful since the cookies never stick and are less likely to burn).  I like to use a 1-Tb scoop for consistently pretty cookies, but you could just use a spoon.
  10. Press down the cookies slightly with a spoon or fork. Skip this step for subsequent batches baked on already-warm cookie sheets, as those cookies will spread more on their own.
  11. Bake the cookies at 325 F for about 16-20 minutes (or a few minutes longer if you are cooking them on stoneware). They are done when they are golden brown on top and a little darker brown on the edges.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Then use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack.
  13. Once cool, store these cookies in an airtight container.  They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer if you won't be eating them all in the next few days.  They are nice and chewy straight from the fridge, and even soft enough to eat straight out of the freezer!  Storing them in the freezer will also remove the pressure of having to eat them all in a week or so, as they will last for months in the freezer.

*I used dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips, but they are still not GAPS-legal. To make this recipe GAPS-legal, you may have to omit the chocolate chips or try to make your own using honey as a sweetener.  Or, you could replace a little of the coconut flour with cocoa and have the whole cookie be chocolate flavored.
**I love using my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer for making cookies as it makes it very easy to add the ingredients while the mixer is running.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Pennywise Platter, Fat Tuesday and Fight Back Friday!


Katie said...

These look amazing, I'm going to have to try this recipe next week - I love the idea of peanut butter in them!

Tara said...

FIrst, I have to tell you that I really love your recipes. Thank you for all of the work you do to send this wonderful blog out into the world! :)

I made these delicious cookies this evening. They're really, really good. My cookies did turn out too soft though. They are more like little cakes. Is it necessary to include so many eggs in order to bind the coconut flour in the cookie? I'm thinking that there may just be too many eggs in there. I like my cookies a little bit crispier. Mine are falling-apart-soft.

Thanks, Sarah!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Tara,
I'm not sure why they would have been too soft. Mine are not falling apart at all. One thing I have noticed with these is that they do need to cook a little longer than you would think to get nice and crispy on the edges. That is why the recipe says to let them cook until they are a bit dark brown on the edges (instead of light golden brown like most cookies). There must be some other variable in either the way you put them together or your kitchen that changes things; if I could I'd come over and watch to see if we could figure out what the difference is :) I think that reducing the eggs would make them fall apart more. Maybe try a little less coconut flour next time, and make sure to cook them extra long? Even if they ended up too crispy initially, you might prefer them that way, and I do find that these soften up considerably by the next day. Oh, and they also may be less crispy if you are cooking on stoneware instead of metal.

It might help your remaining cookies stay together to put them in the fridge or freezer. Sorry they fell apart on you!

Unknown said...

Sarah, I LOVE cookies and these look really good! I like that you use egg yolks instead of the whole egg. My boys would love them. Do you think I could lower the honey amount?

Sarah Smith said...

You could try it with a bit less honey, but them you might also want to reduce the coconut flour a little bit so the cookies won't be too dry. Let me know what you try and if it works!

Bonny said...

I normally don't like coconut flour, but these are delicious!!! Thanks so much for the recipe.

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Anonymous said...

I really want to try these...I have coconut flour and just not sure what to make with it. This will be a definite try!!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Tara,
When you made the cookies, was your honey and/or your peanut butter runny? My is usually crystallized; today I made the cookies with fresh runny honey and some much-more-liquidy homemade pecan cashew butter in place of the peanut butter, and the cookies are much more crumbly. With a bit more coconut flour, they are much more like before. Perhaps you could try adding a touch more coconut flour if your honey or peanut butter is runny (maybe an extra Tb or two or three)...

Debbie said...

Hi Sarah, I just made these tonight for the first time and while I changed things a bit (didn't have a whole cup of honey so modified a few other things to make it work) they turned out soooo great. I can't believe how much like a "real cookie" they taste. We eat a primal blueprint diet and so these are absolutely perfect for us. I will definitely be making them again. Thanks so much for all your work. It helps so many people. xx

Sarah Smith said...

Great Debbie! I was also amazed at how much these just taste like normal cookies! I'm glad you liked them.

ErinReese said...

Could I use coconut oil instead of the butter?

Sarah Smith said...

I'm not sure, ErinReese. I don't know if the coconut oil would whip up the same way as the butter, but it is probably worth a shot. If you try it, let me know how they turn out.

ErinReese said...

Okay thank you! I may try it out. :) These look so delicious!

Suzanne said...

Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I've made these cookies so many times, I just keep coming back to them they're so great. Easy to make variations as well. Thanks!

Sarah Smith said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Suzanne! I'm glad you like the recipe!