Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

          All I wanted was to make a batch of cookies. Nice and simple, right? Well, maybe under normal circumstances, but I learned an important lesson this evening: Do not attempt to bake after a two-hour, incredibly disheartening chemistry exam.
          I came home exhausted from said exam, feeling riddled with the shame and frustration that comes from not having studied nearly as hard as I should and could have. But I had my heart set on baking tonight.
          As I've already said, this blog is, in part, my inspiration for getting my butt back in the kitchen. And this whole blog carnival thing, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, seemed like a great way to get into the swing of it. Even if, on this particular Tuesday, it meant breaking down when the first tray came out of the ovenscorched on the bottom and crumbling to dust on topbursting into tears, and crying out, "I can't do anything right!" (I wish it wasn't true, but alas...)
The platter of charred, crumbly, burnt-tasting cookies that made me cry.

          You see, before going gluten-free, baking was like therapy for me. And since changing my diet to suit my sensitivities, I've struggled to embrace this former favorite pastime of mine. It just seemed so much simpler when I only had to use one inexpensive, glutinous flour (wheat) to make just about anything I wanted. Now, with the wheat a known culprit in my dietary difficulties, I've had to expand my grain-based horizons, and my baking budget. While I am slowly growing to appreciate the plethora of grains and flours to which my new gluten- and wheat-free ways are introducing me, I'm still not too keen on the expense of purchasing five different flours just to make one cookie.
          So how delighted do you think I was when I was perusing the gluten-free baking aisle the other day and saw a mere six-ingredient, single-flour recipe on the back of a bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Teff Flour? Yep, that's rightjust teff flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, peanut butter, and a pinch of salt. Oh yeah, I was super excited. So, with the relatively small package of Teff in hand, I happily made my way to the checkout, along with a jar of creamy organic peanut butter. I smiled as I pictured myself stirring this one, single flour into a bowl with a mere five other, very simple items. Call me lazy, but that's my kind of baking.
          Of course, I can't take full credit, or even half credit; this recipe is directly adapted from the Bob's one. I just decided to use agave nectar in place of maple syrup, and I added a sprinkling of organic cane sugar over the top of each cookie. Plus, I changed the name to more accurately reflect the taste of the product, in my opinion.
          So, here you go: super simple, slightly indulgent...

Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

You will need:
1 1/2 cups Teff flour
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (preferably organic, no sugar added)
1/2 cup canola (or other vegetable) oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
*Preheat oven to 350º 
*Blend the peanut butter, agave nectar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. 
*Stir in the Teff flour and pinch of salt. 
*Place teaspoon-sized balls of dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a fork to make the traditional peanut butter cookie markers.
*Sprinkle with organic cane sugar on top.
*Bake 8-10 minutes.
     Please be warned: In honor of the Slightly Indulgent theme, these treats are not very sweet. They are, however, delicious. I suggest enjoying with a hot cup of tea. 
     This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


  1. Before I read the post, I was looking at the pic of the "disaster" cookies thinking they look good! Maybe if you crush them, freeze them and use them some other tuesday as a cheesecake base?

  2. Oooh, I like Dukka girl's idea! Sorry about the exam...I know exactly how you feel! I'm still waiting to find out my grade from A & P and I'm terrified! I could show you so many horrible gluten-free failures I've made though. Like the time I tried to make a sweet potato bread. It was sad. Just very very sad. That's why so many of my recipes are also adaptations.

  3. Thanks, Dukka! I like that idea, too... good thing the plate of burnt pieces is still sitting on the kitchen counter. They literally held together for the pic and then collapsed, ha. I didn't have the heart to throw them away.

    Gluten-free baking is so tricky sometimes; I think that's part of why I've shied away from it so much. Good to know I'm not alone in my failures! Thanks, Iris, and I hope we both did well on our horrible pre-nutrition exams ;-)

  4. I like the idea of teff in these cookies! :-) I think peanut butter cookies burn more easily than any others. I use my flourless peanut butter cookie recipe a lot (so quick for gifts of cookies), but I have to take them out of the oven before I think they're ready to come out. Then my recipe requires you to leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. That works well for perfectly baked PB cookies. I agree with the others on saving the misfits. Although I also have to admit that I do rather like burned PB cookies ... something about that combination. If they were just burned and not crumbly, I'd actually consider spreading something you enjoy on the underside of one and pressing the underside of another one to iit for a great little sandwich cookie. I just sent off PB Nutella sandwich cookies as a thank you gift. I know they are not on your diet (or mine), but the concept is good! :-)


  5. Hey Shirley! Not a bad idea about the PB sandwich cookies... Yum! And I've been seeing more and more of these flourless cookie recipes. I'm actually planning on trying one for this month's Adopt a GF Blogger carnival. So we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Baking (and cooking) are the best ways to cheer yourself up after a rough day!!! Those PB cookies look great. I heard that teff flour is the best for gluten free baking - would you agree?

    I love that these cookies are not that sweet... possibly contenders for an easy quick breakfast when you are on the go!!! Thanks for sharing, girlfriend. Hope you have a great week. :)

  7. Oh, I agree. I'm so happy to slowly but surely be rediscovering the therapeutic side of baking... As far as teff goes, I'm liking what I see so far, but these cookies are all I've made with it! It does seem very easy to work with, though. And what I really truly love about teff is that it's not only flavorful, but also fiber-rich and a good source of protein and iron. Anyway, thanks, Farty!

  8. this recipe? quarter it. put it in a mug. nuke for 1.30 minutes on med-hi. CAKE. just did it.

  9. ooops... y'gotta add some milk (dairy or non) to get a batter first... haha.

  10. hmm... microwaveable peanut butter mug cake? interesting ;-)



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