Algerina Perna, The Baltimore Sun
November 28, 2012
Cortney Barry of Laurel started experimenting with gluten-free baking to adapt some of her sister's favorite foods in a way that she could still enjoy them. These cookies definitely defy the gluten-free stereotype there wasn't even a hint of the graininess that can come with ingredient substitutions. If we hadn't told the testers at the outset that the cookies were gluten-free (which happened when we gave the recipe's name), they likely wouldn't have guessed.
Makes: 2 dozen
1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure (gluten-free) vanilla extract
1 cup Skippy All-Natural Brand crunchy peanut butter (such as Skippy All-Natural crunchy peanut butter; see note)
1 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oat Flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (see note)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
24 unwrapped Hershey Kisses
2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the butter and sugars in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla and peanut butter.
In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk the flours, xanthan gum and baking soda to remove any large lumps. Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar until a smooth dough is formed. Drop 12 equal amounts of dough onto each prepared baking sheet. Make sure that the cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking. You can cook the two sheets separately, or if you want to cook them in the oven at the same time, make sure to rotate them halfway through the cooking time. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and quite flat.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, place one Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie while they are still hot. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies should be soft and chewy.
Note: Xanthan gum is a corn-based, fermented product used in gluten-free baking to bind, thicken and emulsify the gluten-free ingredients. It can be found at grocery stores with extensive gluten-free selections, such as Harris Teeter, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market.
Tip: Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray so that the peanut butter comes out easily.