If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that the other day I may or may not have just spent a fortune on gluten-free vegan candy bars, chocolates, and well, candy online. I take my job seriously and if that means that I have to find you the best candy out there that is without certain allergens well then I guess I must. That is when I came across these mini Peanot Butter Cups (no, that is not a spelling error, they are really called Peanot because they actually do not contain peanuts in their filling). I’m not allergic to peanuts, in fact I have a huge obsession with them, but since I was spending a fine penny on vegan chocolate I thought I would add it to the mix. Why the Halloween not? (P.S. There are other options out there for peanut butter cups if you don’t want to purchase these. Justin’s makes a fine cup, and last I heard, the official PB cup in dark chocolate form is also nondairy).
I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them (mind you, I ordered these candies while I was vacationing in Hawaii and found myself obsessing about what recipes I would make with them). I’m a freak. I knew that I wanted to chop them up, shove them into a fine peanut butter cookie recipe, add more chocolate chips and create the best-tasting vegan Peanut Butter Cup cookie.
- 1 c. Cara's gluten free flour blend
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ c. non-hydrogenated shortening
- ⅓ c. peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
- ½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. warm water (set for 5 minutes until thick)
- 2 Tbsp. nondairy milk
- ½ c. mini nondairy chocolate chips
- 5 mini nondairy peanut butter cups, chopped up
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix the shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined. Add the flaxseed "egg" and mix.
- Pour all of the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix with the electric mixer until just barely combined. Mix in the nondairy milk. Your dough shouldn't be sticky or crumbly. If sticky, add a tablespoon of gluten-free flour at a time. If your dough is crumbly, it needs a little more liquid. Try adding a teaspoon of nondairy milk at a time. It should be easy to roll into balls at this point.
- Fold in the chopped up peanut butter cups and chocolate chips.
- Take approx. 1 Tbsp. of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on the baking sheet and with the back of a fork, gently create a criss-cross pattern on top, slightly flattening it. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown and allow to set on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
I can’t make a claim like that unless it has been taken into a controlled testing group and so on Sunday, a small gathering over in my front yard occurred with neighbors and I knew it was the perfect moment to test it out. I handed out cookies like it was my life (okay, so it is my life) and everyone commented on how super good they were. One person even said how they don’t like peanut butter cookies all that much but that these cookies were particularly tasty. And that my friends, is where I landed my ninja-kick into the air and told them that they were gluten-free and vegan. A-ha! I felt so proud as if I kept a super secret from them and just surprise-attacked them with great news; like I just revealed that they were on Hidden Camera or something. Mission accomplished.
My suggestion? Buy a crap-ton of these chocolates, all in the name of Halloween of course, but turn your lights off when the big event arrives so no one dares to Trick-Or-Treat at your door. That way, after you have popped your fair share of Peanut Butter Cups into mouth you will have plenty leftover to chop up into small bits and bake them into cookies. That’s what leftover Halloween candy is for anyway, right? I knew you’d agree…