I was very happy with how well these cookies worked gluten free. They don’t spread out much as they bake, and helped by the peanut butter, chopped peanuts, and chopped chocolate, they hold together very well. Like sables, they have a sandy texture; like brownies, they’re a little chewy in the centers. I personally like them best fresh out of the oven, when the chocolate is gooey and the cookie soft, contrasting nicely with the crunchy peanuts.
Peanut Brownie Sables
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies
Yield: 36-40 cookies
For sable dough:
- 1 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut (peanuts-only) butter, smooth or crunchy
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel OR pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped OR salted peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
For brownie batter:
- 2/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel OR pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar OR 1/2 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make sable dough first: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and salt, and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add yolks one at a time, beating 1 minute after each one. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix in baking powder.
- Turn off mixer, add all the flour, and stir it in partway so it won’t fly everywhere.
- Beat in flour on low speed. (If you’re using all-purpose flour, beat only until flour is almost all incorporated.)
- Add peanuts and mix on low speed until dry ingredients all disappear and peanuts are evenly distributed.
- Scrape dough into another bowl and set aside. Don’t bother washing the mixer bowl.
- Make the brownie batter: Using a rubber spatula, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in mixer bowl or large bowl.
- Add brown sugar OR white sugar+dollop molasses. Pulse mixer to combine.
- Add butter bits and mix on low speed until ingredients are fully blended, about 2 minutes. The mixture looks a little like damp sand, and you might have some crumbs and clumps.
- Add beaten egg and mix on low speed until batter resembles fudge frosting.
- Add chopped chocolate and pulse to mix it in.
- Scrape sable dough back into the bowl with the brownie batter and mix on low speed until homogeneous.
- Drop dough in rounded tablespoonfuls on baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
- Use either your fingers or the bottom of a jar or glass (covered in plastic wrap) to press each cookie down gently, just enough to level the tops of the mounds.
- Bake cookies one sheet at a time, 12 minutes if gluten free, 10 minutes if not. They will be set at the edges and soft in the centers when prodded lightly with a fork. They will look uniformly dull.
- Cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a rack. They will firm as they cool.
- Repeat with second batch.
- Cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Packed airtight, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
It’s America’s favorite lunch in cookie form! These flourless cookies are very simple to make and have an intense peanut butter flavor. Top them with your favorite jam or jelly.
Flourless Peanut Butter Jelly Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes
Yield: 12-16 cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth, but I’m sure chunky works just as well)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- Jelly or jam, of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, and egg until smooth.
- Drop spoonfuls of dough, about 2 tablespoons each, onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Use the tines of a fork to press a crisscross pattern across the tops, flattening them to about 1/2 inch thick.
- Drop 1/2-1 teaspoon of your favorite jelly or jam in the middle of each cookie.
- Bake 6-8 minutes. Do not over-bake! The cookies will still be extremely soft and just barely brown on the bottoms. Leave them on the baking sheet, and they will harden as they cool.
One of my friends fell in love with some peanut-coated, black sesame paste mochi balls at a restaurant, so we decided to recreate them. For a more conventional recipe, you can use a red bean filling.
To make the mochi, I use a Tatung rice cooker in which you put water in both an outer pot and an inner pot. You can improvise this arrangement on the stove: Set a wire rack or an upside-down bowl in a large pot of water. Place whatever ingredients you’re steaming in another bowl and set it on top of the rack or the upside-down bowl to keep it out of the water. Cover pot with a lid and bring water to a boil.
Original recipe for black sesame paste
Mochi Balls with Sesame Filling and Crushed Peanuts
Adapted from the World Journal and Just One Cookbook
Yield: about 24 mochi balls
- 1 1/2 cups (2 rice cooker cups) sticky rice flour
- 3/4 cup (1 rice cooker cup) sugar
- 1 1/8 cup (1 1/2 rice cooker cups) water
- 1/2 cup roasted black sesame seeds
- 6-7 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts (optional)
- corn starch OR tapioca starch, for dusting work surface and outside of mochi balls (if not using peanuts)
- In either the inner pot of the rice cooker or a bowl that you will steam on the stove, stir together sticky rice flour and sugar.
- Add water and mix well. Make sure there are no small pockets of flour left.
- Steam mixture.
- If using the rice cooker, place inner pot into the rice cooker and add 1 rice cooker cup of water to the outer pot.
- If cooking on the stove, steam for about 30 minutes.
- While the mochi is cooking, grind sesame seeds using a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Grind them until they release their oil and become moist. They will smell very fragrant.
- Transfer ground sesame seeds to a small bowl and add honey. Stir together until they form a thick paste.
- Using the mortar and pestle, crush the peanuts into small bits and place them in another small bowl.
- Dust a work surface and your hands with corn OR tapioca starch. If you’re not using peanuts, place some corn OR tapioca starch in a small bowl.
- While the mochi mixture is still hot, begin to shape the mochi balls. Work quickly, because the mochi becomes harder to handle when it cools.
- Spoon out a small portion of mochi (about 2 tablespoons) and flatten it on the work surface. Dusting it lightly with corn OR tapioca starch makes it easier to handle, but too much will make it difficult to seal the edges later. (It’s not a very delicate recipe, so just experiment until you find an amount that works for you.)
- Place about 1 teaspoon of sesame paste in the center.
- Pinch the edges of the mochi together, pick up the ball, and roll it in the bowl of peanut bits OR corn OR tapioca starch so it’s no longer sticky. Don’t worry if the mochi ball sticks to the work surface and you have to scrape it off, or if the mochi stretches and breaks. Just pinch the edges back together.
- Roll the mochi ball gently between your palms to make it round and set it aside on a serving platter.
- Cover mochi balls until ready to serve, so they don’t dry out and harden.