Peanut Butter Chai Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free Option)
I've had this recipe on the back-burner for a little over two months now! I developed it during the coldest and coziest of seasons. But seeing that Winter is clinging to this early Spring I figure now's as good a time as any to be baking up a storm. A cold March is just as worthy of a sweet treat as a frozen January. I started working on these cookies before the Christmas holidays, adjusting a recipe from Minimalist Baker to suit my peanut butter cravings. I'm the first to tell you peanut butter ain't all it's cracked up to be in the nutrition department (*cough* aflatoxin *cough*). But dammit peanut butter is delicious and I will NOT BE SWAYED. Sometimes I just need that nutty creamy goodness in my life and no substitute will do.
My impatience / laziness in the desserts department is my guiding star when it comes to treats. So as per usual these cookies are a no-brainer, and way easier than pie. They're made with spelt flour, but an all purpose gluten free flour will sub just fine in the recipe.
I'm a bit nuts over chai spices, cardamom and ginger in particular. It's no wonder that these cookies include plenty of both! I think these are the first cookies I've made with molasses in years, and they're so worth the $3 spend at Trader Joes (although what the hell else I'll be using molasses in over the next few years I'm not sure... good thing it last forever!).
Happy first week of Spring! Go make these cookies and then kick some of the snow off of your daffodils.
Peanut Butter Chai Cookies (Vegan)
Yield 12 cookies
- The texture of your peanut butter affects the overall texture of these cookies. I generally use freshly ground Organic peanut butter which imparts a subtle toothsome texture. A super smooth peanut butter will give you glossier cookies. Make sure your peanut butter is Organic and has no added oils, sweeteners etc. if possible.
- If using vegan butter avoid highly processed oils. Miyokos and Nutiva are my top picks.
- Pamelas Brand is my preferred brand of AP gluten free flour.
- I generally use sprouted spelt flour to amp up the nutrition factor (yay micro-nutrients!). I like this brand.
- Update 3/26/2018: After re-testing I'm reminded that this recipe doesn't use weighted measurements of flour, so your cookie dough might end up oilier/dryer depending on the actual weight of the 1&1/2 cups flour you end up using. You may need to add a few more tablespoons peanut butter or 2-3 tablespoons warm water to get a dough that rolls up into glossy balls before being smooshed.
- 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp spelt flour or All Purpose Gluten Free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soft room-temp virgin coconut oil OR vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Optional as needed: 1-3 tablespoons warm water
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl combine the ground flax seed and water. Set aside for 15 minutes to gel-ify.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients: coconut sugar, flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Add the flax egg. Stir to combine until you have a sticky dough -- it takes a bit of work to get it all saturated. If dough seems dry (like sticky sand) add 1-3 tablespoons warm water until it comes together.
- Scoop out golf-ball sized rounds of dough and form them into balls with your hands.
- Set the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Use the tines of a fork to press the balls flat and create a cross-hatch pattern.
- Bake for 12 minutes on the center rack. Cookies will be soft to the touch and golden on the bottoms. They firm up as they cool.
- Remove from the oven and cool to room temp before dunking them in a big ol’ glass of almond milk. Cookies can be stored at room temp for 5-7 days in a closed container like a cookie jar or large mason jar.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker (link).