Cookies are so simple to make. Once the dough is made, you can bake all of your cookies at once or pop the raw dough in a bowl and cover it with cling film to make a few every now and then over the week. It feels like a particularly good time of year to have cookie dough in the fridge, with this capricious weather we’re having, I haven’t known whether to sport some summer sandals or wrap up in a winter coat. With all this change, it’s comforting to have the predictability of a quick sweet treat waiting for you in the fridge when you get home. They take less than a quarter of an hour to bake, so you can be curled up on the sofa with warm cookies and a glass of cold milk in no time.
Sweet and salty make perfect partners - just think salted caramel or bacon with pancakes and maple syrup – which is why peanut butter and chocolate together is such a winning combination. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups first hit US shelves in 1928 and our transatlantic friends haven’t looked back since. It’s taken us a little longer on this side of the pond to catch on, but now that we have, peanut butter and chocolate has become a firm UK favourite too.
Chocolate chip cookies are a personal favourite of mine, especially with a good sprinkling of sea salt. There is something so deeply satisfying about a soft, buttery crumb with a slightly chewy centre. This time I thought I’d up the saltiness by adding a generous couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter. And, as ever, I refuse to allow gluten dodging to affect the enjoyment of any food, so I have used rice flour and xanthan gum in these. If you prefer to use wheat flour, simply swap the rice flour for self-raising and leave out the xanthan gum and baking powder.
Gluten-free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 20
200g soft butter
50g smooth peanut butter
75g light brown sugar
75g caster sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
250g rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp. salt
175g dark chocolate chips
Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until just combined. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla. Sift over the rice flour, xanthan gum, salt and bicarbonate of soda and then mix in. Fold in the chocolate chips. Although you can bake them straight away, the cookies taste better if you chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours first.
Roll the cookie dough with your hands into golf ball sized rounds and space them well apart on the prepared baking trays. Slightly flatten each ball with a palette knife.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until slightly golden. Transfer them on to a wire rack to cool.