This week, Littlest and I have been spending the mornings alone together, while the Rower is at summer crew, and the two ten-year-olds are at sleep-away camp – what a strangely quiet house we have here! I must confess, while I wonder if our guys at camp are homesick, I suspect I may miss them even more than they miss us. They’ve not been away for more than a night since they came home. Back then, little two-year-old D, the Musician, used to wail until he made himself sick when I went out for a few hours. The Wrestler, on the other hand, has always been incredibly independent, focused and organized, even as a newly-arrived three year old, but this mama’s heart still worries. I know they are in good hands, and ultimately in much more capable hands than any here on this earth.
So, to keep Littlest busy and perhaps to busy my mind and hands as well, we’ve had to-do lists each day this week. Monday, we played games and baked. Tuesday, we played games and visited the library, and today, after shopping and swimming, we’ll be baking some more. Think maybe we like baking? Littlest is a fine helper, perched on a stool, and is most excited to crack eggs himself – something he is actually quite good at. Only one landed on the floor, an anomaly rather than a regular occurrence.
His request on Monday was our easy-peasy peanut butter cookie recipe, great for whipping up for unexpected guests or baking with small boys who have a hankering for something sweet. They have just four ingredients, no flour of any kind, and never, ever, fail. On the sweet side? Quite. Not health food, these, but so yummy. Cousin Laurie makes them every year for the annual Fourth of July celebrations in my hometown, and she uses a melon-baller to make nice round cookies, slightly flattened at the bottom. We scoop out tablespoonfuls and shape them in our hands – kind of like play dough therapy, but you get to eat the results (do be sure to have little ones wash well afterwards, though, when raw egg is involved, and no eating before you bake!). We double the recipe and use a whole 16 oz jar of unsweetened, natural peanut butter, but I will share the original recipe here. Perhaps you have a small one who wants to bake?
Easy, Peasy Gluten Free, Dairy Free Peanut Butter cookies
1 c. natural peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. gluten free vanilla
Optional: ½ c. gfdf chocolate chips
Combine first four ingredients in mixing bowl. If you’re using the chips, stir them in next (I realize I’ve pushed us over four ingredients, but still, you can do it!). Shape the cookies into rather rounded, tablespoon sized blobs, and arrange a few inches apart on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-13 minutes.
Resist the temptation to overbake. These are just lovely when the teensiest bit moist inside. These can also be flattened with a fork in a traditional, criss-cross pattern, and will have a crunchier texture baked that way.