What's Baking: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Our lake cottage is officially empty (and almost completely clean) and we just installed our kitchen appliances at our new home this past weekend. However, what with endless trips back and forth between our new and old homes, not much cooking took place this weekend. (Though I did make good use of my electric skillet with batches of Swedish pancakes on Saturday and French toast yesterday -- gotta carbo-load for all that moving!)

Before we completely moved out of our old house, I made one last batch of cookies in my curmudgeonly Hotpoint oven (which I will not miss one iota, given its penchant to drop or increase 25 degrees in temperature at random while I am baking things).

This particular batch of cookies is rather special, as they were made as part of OXO's Bake a Difference campaign. For this post about the campaign, OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. This non-profit organization is dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research. The organization was founded in 2008 by two OXO employees who were inspired by their son Liam's battle with cancer.

OXO has been involved with Cookies for Kids' Cancer since its inception and remains dedicated to the cause. To this end, keep your eyes peeled for OXO products with this label:

For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

When choosing what kind of cookies to bake, I found that I was limited in both ingredients and cooking utensils. To make things easy on myself, I opted to make a simple flourless (aka, gluten-free) peanut butter cookie. The simplicity of this recipe meant that I only needed one bowl and one spoon to put it together. These cookies are particularly tasty after a long day of schlepping boxes from one place to another, and I think they taste even better the day after they are made -- that is, if you can hang on to them that long without eating them all!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (printer-friendly version)
makes 12-16 cookies, depending on size

1 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
white sanding sugar (or turbinado sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter and sugars until creamy and smooth. Stir in the egg. Then stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. (An electric mixer would make this process much quicker; alas, my beloved KitchenAid mixer had already made its way to our new home when I baked these cookies; using your hand/arm power works just as well.)
3. Use a large spoon and/or your hands to roll the dough into walnut- or ping-pong-sized balls. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to press hatch marks (vertically then horizontally to create a tic-tac-toe-like pattern) onto each ball, slightly flattening the cookie. Sprinkle sanding or turbinado sugar over each cookie.
4. Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container if you manage to not eat them all in one sitting. :)

Note: I was not compensated to write this post. OXO provided me with a set of cookie baking tools and will be making a donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for this post.