This is a first. The recipe I’m about to show you is something I came up with, inspired by a dozen other recipes and bakers, drawing upon my successes in trying their recipes and what I’ve learned from reading their (far superior) blogs. I’m super excited to bring you this recipe, so let’s get to it!
No refined sugar, no nuts, no dairy or otherwise animal products, no gluten, no coconut…but, lots of flavor in all the right places. These are one of the most popular cookies I’ve made, being absolutely destroyed by my colleagues when brought to the table. They are routinely requested for repeat performance, and the second-most common response to them is: “These are vegan? No way!”, after the first-most being “MMMTHESEARESOGOOD!”
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3-dozen cookies
- 200g (3/4 cup) natural peanut butter (i.e.: just peanuts)
- 240g (3/4 cup) maple syrup (as dark a grade as you can get)
- 70g (1/3 cup) safflower oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 180g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 30g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and either line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Blend together the peanut butter, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly, about 1/4 cup at a time, blending until just-combined.
- Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of batter onto the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes; the outsides should just be turning dry and the cookies will still be soft to the touch.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on the trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- I’m a huge fan of baking by weight, especially with liquid ingredients that are messy to handle like peanut butter. Being able to go by weight means a lot less cleanup because you won’t need any measuring cups!
- If you’re not explicitly baking for an allergy/sensitivity crowd, throw in 200g (1 cup) of mini-sized Reese’s pieces, for a colorful alternative. Or 200g (1 cup) of mini-chocolate chips (which you can do vegan!). The dough is oily, so don’t go with full-size pieces or chips or they’ll just fall out.
- A quick way to put a bit of crunch into an otherwise super-soft cookie: use crunchy natural peanut butter instead of smooth!
- If you want to make these gluten-free, use a one-to-one gluten-free flour mixture. These cookies are resilient to slight adjustments in the quantities of ingredients, and they’re already really soft, so a gluten-free mix will work just fine.
Your wet ingredients should all blend together to a consistent texture. If you’re using natural peanut butter, you may have little flecks of peanuts in there like I do here.
You may find maple syrup pooling beneath the peanut butter; don’t worry about this, but do give the wet ingredients a quick stir before you start mixing in the dry.
Whisk your dry ingredients together until you have a consistent texture, without traces of flour in the bottom of the bowl.
After mixing dry into the wet, you’ll have an oily dough. Don’t worry about drying these out with more flour, this oiliness is mostly from the natural peanut butter and makes for a smoother texture of the final product.
These cookies won’t spread much on the tray, so you can crowd them on more densely than I did if you’re pressed for time.
Three won’t be enough. You’ll just keep eating them. My advice: only bake these when you’re around friends so that you can quickly distribute them and spare yourself eating three-dozen cookies as fast as they’re cool enough to consume!