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For those who are baking cookies that are gluten-free, as well as dairy-free and grain-free, this version of the classic peanut butter cookie offers a protein rich solution. You can also make the dough ahead of time, freeze it into a tube shape and cut 1/4 inch slices when you are ready to bake.
1 cup all-natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 cup raw sugar*, such as turbinado or demerara
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
Optional: 1/2 cup each of chocolate, nuts, and/or dried fruit**
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Beat the egg in a medium size bowl. Mix in the sugar and baking powder until fully coated in the egg. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix well. Fold in any additional ingredients, such as chocolate, nuts, and/or fruit, if desired (see below).
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or a silicone mat. Use a tablespoon measuring tool to scoop out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough for each cookie. Space the cookies 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Using a fork, press each cookie to flatten to 1/4 inch thickness; press the cookies two times each in a crosshatch pattern.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or until they become firm. Transfer the cookies using a spatula to a metal baking rack so they can cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*You can substitute white sugar, but raw sugar has a higher molasses content for a richer flavored cookie.
**You can add any combination of these gluten-free ingredients to dress up this peanut butter cookie:
1/2 cup dark, white or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, diced walnuts or slivered almonds
1/2 cup diced, dried fruits including apples, cherries or bananas