Flour-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know the flurry of holiday baking is behind us and we’re looking to tighten our belts and say “no” to sweets. But sometimes you just need a sweet fix. Or perhaps you need a  little something to share with company or to bring to a gathering. How about five-ingredient flour-less cookies?! Not only are these quick to mix up, but they are awfully tasty as well. We are fans of peanut butter and chocolate around here, so one night when we “needed” an after dinner sweet treat, I made these. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I found this recipe in the October issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine. In keeping with how I approach dessert recipes, I cut back on the sugar by 1/3 of a cup. I thought the cookies were perfectly sweet that way, allowing the peanut butter and chocolate flavors to shine through. But, feel free to up the sugar if you like your sweets super sweet. Additionally, I’ve made these egg-free by making a flax gel to replace the egg (1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp hot water whisked together and set aside for a few minutes to gel). The texture was slightly different with the flax gel in place of the egg, but the flavor was just as good.

(from Every Day With Rachael Ray, Oct. 2011)
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1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Beat first 4 ingredients with a mixer. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop rounded Tablesoons of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan.

Makes 16 cookies.

My Kitchen View

This week I’m preparing for my mission trip to Kazakhstan! One of the things I’m looking forward to is enjoying the food. I would characterize myself as an adventurous eater – I will try nearly anything once. When we were in Kazakhstan bringing home our oldest sons, we spent a few meals just pointing to random things on the menu. We enjoyed it all! We also lived on meat pies for the last week we spent there. They were so good! I hope to have a chance to blog a bit about the food we eat.

As I may have mentioned, life has been a little crazy for my family lately and it made me think of some of the quick things I make and the kitchen shortcuts I take when we are so busy. A favorite quick dessert is espresso brownies – they start with a brownie mix and we love them!

(inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis)
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1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. plus 2 Tb. strong brewed coffee or espresso, divided
2 lg. eggs 
1 (19.8-oz) box brownie mix
3/4 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips (plus more for garnish)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tb. butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour brownie mix into a large bowl; add 1/3 cup of coffee, oil, and eggs in a large bowl and mix until combined. Stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 Tb. espresso, and butter and whisk until smooth (I add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it). Spread the glaze over the brownies. Garnish with more chocolate chips. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. Makes 24.