It’s day four of 12 Days of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies. I hope you’ve been enjoying it so far. Were you waiting anxiously to find out exactly what my cookie was? It’s a peanut butter peck cookie, of course! A peck cookie? Huh? Well, traditionally, this would be a kiss cookie. But, sadly, Hershey’s kisses, even the dark chocolate ones, contain dairy. So, no more kisses for me. But, a peck is almost a kiss, right?
I did two variations of this cookie. The first is the “fool the gluten eaters” version. It’s full of sugar and makes liberal use of grains. Mostly whole grain, but grain, none-the-less. That’s okay, I make allowances for holidays and special events. But you know what? I don’t really want to eat those kinds of things on a regular basis. So, I decided to make a grain-free, refined sugar-free batch, too. Just for me. I gave the other ones away. Which version will you make?
Peanut Butter Peck Cookies (gluten-free, vegan version)
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
1 cup natural, fresh ground peanut butter (I tried using natural from a jar for this kind and it didn’t work as well)
2/3 cup palm sugar
1 T. ground flax seed mixed with 3 T. hot water
1 t. vanilla
3 T. almond milk (other non-dairy milk should work, too)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 cups (156 g/5.35 oz) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (29g/1 oz) arrowroot starch
1 t. xanthan gum
1/4-1/3 cup cane sugar
Vegan chocolate non-pariels (I found a local brand, but you can find them online as well.)
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the palm sugar, flax egg, vanilla, and milk.
In a small bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, sorghum and arrowroot. Whisk well.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Shape dough into 1.5 inch balls. Roll the balls in sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Do not over-bake! Remove from oven and immediately gently press a chocolate nonpareil onto the top of each cookie. The cookies will crack. That’s normal. Don’t press too hard or you’ll end up with crumblier cookies.
Peanut Butter Peck Cookies (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar free)
1/4 cup (56 g) coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (this doesn’t have to be fresh ground – I only did this one with store bought)
1/3 cup palm sugar
3 T. flax seed mixed with 3 T. hot water
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup palm sugar
Homemade chocolate discs (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, blend the coconut oil, peanut butter, palm sugar, flax egg, and vanilla. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients, whisking well. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Shape the dough into 1.5 inch balls. Roll the balls in palm sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes. Do not over-bake! Remove from the oven and immediately top each one with a homemade chocolate disc, pressing down gently.
Homemade Chocolate Discs
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup palm sugar
Pinch of powdered stevia
In the top of a double-boiler, melt the palm sugar and unsweetened chocolate. When fully melted, stir in the powdered stevia. Taste and add more stevia until it is as sweet as you like. (I left mine barely sweetened.) On a piece of parchment, spoon small circles of chocolate to make chocolate discs, or use commercial candy molds. (I made discs, molded Christmas trees, and molded rounds.) This batch makes enough for about 2 batches of peck cookies.
Don’t forget to check out days 1-3 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies:
And for more Holiday favorites, check out Gluten-Free Holidays at the W.H.O.L.E. Gang.