Happy happy Monday! We had some absolutely gorgeous weather this weekend and I haven’t yet brought myself to terms with the fact that the hot, humid weather will be back any minute. One thing that makes the August heat a bit more bearable is cold, refreshing ice cream. And what could be better than ice cream? The easiest flourless peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwiches!
With no flour or grains of any kind, these cookies are naturally gluten free. But, don’t let that scare you away, gluten lovers! These are now my go-to peanut butter cookies for gluten free and gluten loving friends alike – no one can tell that they are flourless! Even my mom, who has no problem with gluten and does not like anything peanut butter flavored, proclaimed these as her favorite peanut butter cookies. All hail the flourless peanut butter cookies!
These are the easiest cookies to throw together. With only 5 ingredients and no mixer required, I can throw these together in just a few minutes, which leaves more time for enjoying all of the summer activities. They are perfect for last minute get-togethers or backyard summer cookouts and are total crowd-pleasers! Every time I offer these, someone asks for the recipe. They are too simple not to share with everyone!
You can make these cookies on their own, or take it up a notch and turn them into ice cream sandwiches. Chocolate ice cream pairs perfectly with the smooth sweet and salty peanut butter cookies, but vanilla would work well too. You can make these a plated dessert by topping one cookie with a scoop of ice cream. If you’re feeling really fancy after putting minimal effort into such a delicious dessert, add some chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles. People will oh and ah, but only you will know how little time it took to throw together. That’s the goal of summer dessert, right? Minimal effort, maximum effect. Check, check.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Barely adapted from the Ovenly cookbook
Makes 26 to 28 cookies (using a 1 ½ tablespoon scoop), or 13 to 14 ice cream sandwiches
1 ¾ cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups peanut butter*
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate (optional and not pictured here, but so so good when included)
Sea salt, for garnish
For ice cream sandwiches:
1 pint of ice cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, then the peanut butter and salt until smooth and completely incorporated. You should not be able to see any ribbons of peanut butter.
You can scoop and bake the cookies immediately after mixing them, though I found that they keep their shape better if you chill them in the freezer for 15 minutes before scooping. Scoop or spoon the dough into balls (I use a 1 ½ tablespoons or a medium (#40) cookie scoop) and place a few inches apart on prepared pan. They won’t spread much so you may need to gently press them down with the palm of your hand if you want flatter cookies. I like them tall for the maximum soft center :)
Lightly sprinkle the dough balls with sea salt just before baking. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes for smaller cookies and 10-15 minutes for slightly larger cookies. If you make very large cookies you may need to increase the cooking time even more. The cookies should be golden around the edges when they are done. Let them rest on the baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. Let the cookies cool completely before eating.
You can make the dough in advance and either refrigerate it for a couple days or freeze it longer. If you want to freeze the dough, scoop it into balls and place them in one layer on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap in the freezer. After about 30 minutes you can put the frozen balls into a gallon zippered plastic bag. You can bake them straight from the freezer.
To make them into ice cream sandwiches:
Scoop ½ scoop of ice cream onto half of the cookies and sandwich the rest of the cookies on top of the ice cream, gently pressing down. You can serve immediately or freeze the sandwiches for a few hours to make sure they are frozen together and don’t slide apart when you are eating them.
*To save you some measuring, the 16.3-ounce jar of peanut butter is estimated to contain 1¾ cups. I tried this with natural peanut butter and it worked just as well. The natural peanut butter makes the dough a bit softer, so in order for them to keep their shape you should not skip the chilling step if you use this variation. I have always used creamy peanut butter, but you can use crunchy to give them some texture.