Friends keep asking me to share stories about crazy pregnancy cravings. I hate to disappoint—I haven’t experienced any middle of the night I-need-to-eat-a-pickle-right-this-moment cravings. But since month one, I have had this strong desire to eat childhood favorites. One of those has been good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Of course, nobody needs a recipe for PB&J. So, instead, I’ve put a healthy and decadent twist on this classic lunchbox staple. This recipe combines my renewed love affair with PB&J with my always-present appreciation for homemade cookies.
“Healthy and decadent.” It might sound contradictory, but these cookies are truly just that. Thanks to the coconut oil and peanut butter, they are satisfyingly rich and flaky, and on the healthy spectrum, these PB&J Cookie Bites are free of refined sugars and high in protein. Another bonus—they’re also free of common allergens including gluten, dairy and eggs.
Unlike many gluten-free recipes that require three different kinds of flour, this recipe is super easy to master. Since only minimal ingredients are needed, you won’t be tempted to pick up a package of overly sweet store-bought cookies instead of baking your own.
Tip: Invest in a small ice cream scooper. It’s the easiest way to make perfect little round cookies that don’t fall apart the second you try to remove them from the pan.
Gluten-Free PB&J Cookie Bites
Yield: 30 small cookies
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (ingredients: ground peanuts, salt)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (fruit juice sweetened)
- small ice cream scoop
Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the oats, almond flour and sea salt in a large bowl.
Heat the peanut butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low flame and stir until melted. Add in the honey and vanilla extract and stir until evenly combined.
Remove from heat and pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir to evenly coat the oat mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries.
Chill batter in the fridge until just cool enough to hold form.
Use a small ice cream scoop to form perfect cookie balls and place evenly spaced on the cookie sheet. Keep batter chilled while you’re working since coconut oil turns to liquid above room temperature.
Bake in the center of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes then use a spatula to transfer to a plate. Cool completely before serving.
I would love to hear how they turned out for you in the comments below.
Elyse Kopecky is a social media and digital technology consultant based in Portland, OR. After 10 years working for NIKE and EA SPORTS in Portland, Amsterdam and Geneva she briefly left her desk job for the chance to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at freshabits.com and @freshabits.