It's not time for Christmas cookies yet or anything, but these classic gluten free peanut butter cup cookies have been on.my.mind. Maybe it's because all my children seem to want to talk about is Halloween, and the drug and grocery stores are packed with little mini candies. And anyway just look at them. A peanut butter lover's dream!
The cookie is soft and tender, and packed with peanut butter. Baking with peanut butter tends to make cookies crunchy, but using just a little bit of peanut butter in the dough was not an option. If we're gonna make peanut butter cookies, they'd better taste like peanut butter. It's okay. Rebalancing the other ingredients to keep the cookies soft makes it all better.
There are few tricks to these classic, gorgeous cookies: freeze the peanut butter cups before pressing them into the warm so they keep their cute little shape, grease the wells of the muffin tin very well, and allow the cookies to cool completely in the wells of the mini muffin tin before you remove them.
If your school isn't totally peanut-free, these make an ah-mazing lunchbox treat—and they're so small that it's not a major indulgence. Oh, and the cookies themselves also freeze so perfectly, and never really freeze solid which is a major bonus if you've got a stash in the freezer in case of emergencies and you just don't have time to defrost. Hey, it happens.
Classic Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
48 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (173 g) smooth, no-stir peanut butter
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg yolk at room temperature, beaten
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well the wells of two 24-cup miniature muffin tins, and set them aside. Place the miniature peanut butter cups on a baking sheet and place in the freezer while you make the dough and then bake the cookies.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, place the butter and peanut butter, and mix well until very smooth. Add the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla, and then the egg and egg yolk, mixing to combine after each addition. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix to combine. The dough will be thick but soft.
Divide the dough into balls, each about 2 teaspoonsful, rolled tightly into 1-inch balls. Place the balls in the center of the prepared wells of the miniature muffin tins. If the dough seems too difficult to handle, chill it in the refrigerator, covered, until it firms up and is easier to handle.
Place the muffin tins in the center of the preheated oven and bake until very lightly golden brown and just set in the center (the dough should no longer be shiny), about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press a frozen peanut butter cup into the center of the cookie in each well, and press down until the top of the peanut butter cup is flush with the top of the cookie/well. Allow the cookies to cool fully in the muffin tin before using a toothpick to pry each one gently from its well.
Adapted from allrecipes.
So glad you are still doing this work from your heart!!!
Followed you & had 1st 2 cookbooks a few years back. I had stomach issues for years (numerous docs/tests/etc. never an answer) Anyhow, finally tried a GF diet & never felt better. But then, since I am so smart, I went back to gluten as I was sure I was “cured” of whatever. WRONG. SO sick for the last 10 days. Symptoms are just like before……………live & learn. In the meantime I gave your cookbooks to GF friends. Just went on Amazon & ordered all 4. The last 2 are new to me. Can’t wait to get back on the band wagon & read you 2 new cookbooks!
Thank you Nicole! Your blog & cookbooks were a life saver before & will be again.
Stacey Shubitz says
These sound heavenly. I cannot wait to try these!
What does “no-stir” peanut butter mean?
“no-stir” peanut butter is the kind of peanut butter that does not separate in it’s jar. brands like SKIPPY’S or JIF. Since the oil does not separate from the butter there is no need to stir it, thus the term “no-stir”. the SMUCKERS brand is a stir-in peanut butter. stir in peanut butters are always runnier than the no-sir kind. that is probably why Nicole has us use the “no-stir” kind.
hope that helps you Stacey! :)
Jennifer S. says
Those freezer type of situations happen every day around here – who am I kidding! :) super yummy and something I think my daughter would love to make with me. hugs to the chef!
As my daughters attend a militantly anti-almost-everything-fun-that-could-go-into-a-lunchbox school (yes, it’s exhausting), do you think this recipe would work with Hershey’s kisses?
Elsabe Mouton says
Hi Nicole, this recipe looks divine! However, I have never seen peanutbutter cups being sold in South Africa! So what sort of mix can I use to make up a peanutbuttercup?
Nicole Hunn says
Hi, Elsabe, if you’re willing to be a bit patient, making homemade miniature peanut butter cups is super easy. They’re just little bits of peanut butter surrounded by chocolate. Mix smooth peanut butter with enough confectioners’ sugar that you can handle it and roll it into a loose ball, and make balls about 1/2-inch in diameter. Then melt your favorite type of chocolate with about 1 tablespoon shortening or virgin coconut oil per 6 ounces until melted and smooth. Line the cups of a miniature muffin tin, pour in about 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate, place a peanut butter ball on top, and then pour in more chocolate to fill. Allow them to set at room temperature, or even place in the freezer to set since you’ll need to freeze them for pressing into the cookies. Hope that helps!
Elsabe Mouton says
Thanks Nicole, I will definitely try that! My gluten-intolerant daughter just loves peanutbutter!!