Peanut butter cookies are such a traditional favorite. I mean can you actually make a peanut butter cookie without the iconic criss crossed marks from your fork. Really, I don’t think they would be as delicious without it! LOL!
I’ve always loved peanut butter cookies for their crunchy, yet chewy texture. Plus, I’m a peanut butter-aholic, so there’s that. We go through at least a jar of peanut butter a week in our house...mostly because I have one VERY picky eater, and it’s the only protein I can get her to eat regularly! I know I know. I should probably work on that with her, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry, so for now, we will go with it.
So, one of the things I absolutely love about this recipe is that it is gluten free! I try to limit my gluten consumption, because I just feel better that way, but I’m not always great at it! This allows me to enjoy a sweet treat without the gluten!
Last week on my Instagram, I decided to do a meal prep week. I am all about meal planning and prepping to save time, and my final post was a reminder to also prep your sweet treats ahead of time. We rarely are without something sweet in our house, whether there is ice cream in the freezer, cake scraps bagged up, extra cupcakes….somehow, we make sure there is something if a sweet craving hits!
If your family is like ours, and you always like to have something sweet on hand, these peanut butter cookies would be the perfect addition to your arsenal. You can either freeze the unbaked dough balls or even bake them and take a few out at a time. Plus, the cream cheese frosting freezes beautifully too!
So, what do we need to make these sweet treats extra delish?
Peanut butter - of course! Be sure you are using the all natural peanut butter. Using pre-sweetened peanut butter will throw off the amount of sugar you need. Just like I only use unsalted butter, so I can control the amount of salt in a dish or dessert, unsweetened peanut butter allows you to control the amount of sugar you add to something.
BOTH granulated and brown sugar - I like to use both for the flavor and texture. Brown sugar adds just a hint of caramel flavor to the cookies, so it makes them extra rich.
Gluten free All-purpose flour - for this you want to make sure you are using the kind that states it is a 1-1 ratio compared to regular AP flour. Otherwise your mixture will likely end up too wet.
Coarse Kosher salt - I prefer to use coarse Kosher salt in all of my baking, because I am a HUGE fan of the salty sweet combo….hello I named a whole company around this idea!
Dark Chocolate - I love dark chocolate. In fact, I rarely eat white or milk chocolate. The dark chocolate makes this cream cheese frosting extra rich and yummy, and it goes so so well with the peanut butter cookies. Ok...I gotta stop typing, because my mouth is going to water all over my keyboard.
How does this recipe come together?
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cream your butters. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add both sugars, and cream together until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, and add egg and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together flour, arrowroot, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the peanut butter mixture, and turn on mixer to low speed. Cream together until just combined, scraping down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
Scoop the dough. Using a 1 ½ TBSP sized scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Using the tines of a fork, gently press the cookies down in a criss cross pattern.
Bake. Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, spinning halfway through. Remove cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before sandwiching with the icing.
Make your icing. To make the icing, place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream together butter and cream cheese until well combined, and no cream cheese lumps are present. Scrape down the bowl and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Turning the mixer on low, combine the ingredients until the powdered sugar is mixed in. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed, and cream together until light and fluffy.
Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl, and place in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together, and if needed, microwave for 20 seconds at a time, until the chocolate is melted. Add the chocolate to the cream cheese mixture, and mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Make your sandwiches. Once cookies are baked and cooled, place the cream cheese frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small piping tip. (NOTE: You can use any shape desired.) Pipe about 1-1 ½ TBSP of frosting onto one cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to all the icing to harden slightly. ENJOY!
What you need to know to make this recipe super yummy.
Press the cookies flat. Be sure to press the cookies pretty flat. They will puff up quite a bit, and if they puff up too much, they won’t be nearly as easy to bite.
Do NOT use sweetened peanut butter. I’ve said this already, but this is such an important tip, that I’m mentioning it twice!
Use DARK chocolate in the frosting! If you don’t care for dark chocolate, then I would use only ¼ cup of chocolate or leave it out altogether.
ENJOY! And as usual, let me know what you think in the comments below and over on Instagram @sugarandsalt_co!