If there was a contest for bravest mom, I think mine would win. And while the list would include things like “left home and traveled halfway across the country to start a new life at 19,” and “battled cancer with resolve and beauty,” she gets huge points for the freedom she gave a VERY adventurous daughter in the kitchen. She let me experiment with things like making a cake out of bean & bacon soup. She never complained when wiping ingredients off the ceiling (I may not have been the most graceful thing). And she encouraged me to create.
I remember the afternoon I found the recipe for these incredibly yummy peanut butter cookies – I was nine and it was rainy and Mom was happy that there were only four ingredients (and none of them were flour). Since then, literally thousands of these cookies have been made and eaten and shared with others. The recipe’s even gone global and been taught to kids in Guatemala. The cookies have been dressed up for dinner parties with a drizzle of dark chocolate, had ice cream and marshmallow fluff sandwiched in between them at picnics, and worn colored sugar sprinkles for slumber parties. They’re on my permanent “comfort food” list along with homemade potato soup, pull-apart pot roast, and watermelon sprinkled with salt – if I’m missing my mom or just want the house to smell like childhood, I’ll bake a batch.
My friends and I have nicknamed these cookies Peanut Butter Miracles since they are so simple to make. Because they have no flour or dairy, they are perfect for gluten-free and lactose-free diets. Because they are made with four ingredients most of us have in our home all the time – peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla – a batch can be made on a whim. And best of all, this are a perfect recipe for VERY adventurous kids in the kitchen. There’s no exploding cake in the oven (another childhood experiment gone WAY wrong), and no ingredients to wipe off the ceiling.
Hmmm. I’m thinking it’s time for another batch. Now.
PEANUT BUTTER MIRACLES (makes about 2 dozen)
1 cup peanut butter (don’t even think about using low-fat)
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla (of course, Mexican vanilla is the best)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all four ingredients in a bowl. Be amazed when the ingredients transform into a dough. Form tablespoon-sized portions into balls and placed on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a fork into the sugar (if you desire) and create a criss-cross pattern on each cookie, pressing down slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm. NOTE: Because there is no traditional leavening agent in these cookies, they are not going to rise and spread as much. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack (if you can wait that long before eating them).
Want another amazing recipe for peanut butter cookies? My friend Susie has one that she’s sharing at Love:Food.