“Dairy” I Try Gluten-Free Baking?

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dairy-free gluten-free peanut butter cookies

Last month, I invited a friend to dinner at a local Indian place, only to cancel on him two hours before the meal. My stomach had contracted an oh-so-lovely 24-hour bug, which left my lying pitifully on the couch all night, the remote dangling from one hand and a glass of Sprite in the other.


As an apology, I wanted to bake him some sort of tasty treat. At our rain-checked dinner three days later, I finally dragged it out of him: he’s a sucker for a good peanut butter cookie. Perfect! Easy as pie cookies, right?


Not so fast… Turns out he’s allergic to both dairy and gluten. I checked around my kitchen: white, whole wheat, and cake flour sat in the pantry, while butter and milk chilled in the fridge. Oops.  


dairy-free gluten-free peanut butter cookies


Thank goodness the store is only a quarter mile away! I hunted around and found Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten free baking flour, and during my walk home, I crossed my fingers that an oil-for-butter substitution would still taste normal. With those minor modifications, I transformed one of my favorite recipes into a cookie safe for my dairy- and gluten-intolerant friend to enjoy.


Not bad for my first second gluten-free dessert!


dairy-free gluten-free peanut butter cookies


Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

modified from The Best Light Recipe

If you don’t have gluten intolerance, feel free to substitute all-purpose flour instead. Serve with a cold glass of milk for dunking!

1¼ c. Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose baking flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 c. packed dark brown sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the peanut butter and sugar, smearing any lumps against the side of the bowl. Stir in the flour mixture. (If a little dry, add a teaspoon or two of water.) If the dough is too sticky to handle, chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 min.
  3. Shape one tablespoon of dough into a ball, place on the prepared sheet, and flatten into a circle using your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake at 350° for 11-13 min or until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for 5 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


dairy-free gluten-free peanut butter cookies


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  1. Emily says on November 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    What is the texture like? I’m a big texture person and the texture is make or break with me.

    • foods for the soul says on November 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      The cookies are generally soft if dropped onto the cookie sheet as a rounded ball, although they’ll firm up flattened more with a fork or glass. Hope that helps!

  2. ErikaFlorence says on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Those look really delicious. I wish one of my friends would surprise me with some gluten-free cookies!

    • foods for the soul says on November 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thank you! I’ve found that baking really brightens people’s days, and since I enjoy it too, it’s a win-win situation!

  3. Kay says on December 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    …..and why was this filed under the vegan section on FoodGawker?

    • foods for the soul says on December 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Because I actually used Ener-G instead of an egg when baking the cookies! I just forgot to mention that in the recipe; I’m so sorry for the confusion!

  4. tsiporahblog says on December 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you so much for posting these, I’ve been trying so hard to avoid wheat and dairy, so this is a recipe that I would definitely try!

    • foods for the soul says on December 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

      My pleasure! I hope you enjoy them. I have another gluten and dairy-free cookie recipe I’ll be posting next week too, so stay tuned! :]

      • tsiporahblog says on December 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

        Ohh good, I’m excited to see it!

        • foods for the soul says on December 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

          Hopefully later this week! (They’re my mom’s birthday present, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Shh! :])

          • tsiporahblog says on December 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

            Your secret is safe with me! 😉

  5. Shannon says on February 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    We made these tonight and they were fabulous (used regular AP flour as we don’t have gluten issues). Perfect texture & level of sweetness. Thank you!

    • Amy says on February 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      You’re welcome Shannon, and I’m so happy you liked the cookies! Peanut butter was always a favorite flavor in my family growing up, so it’s wonderful to replicate those sweet treats in a slightly healthier way. :)

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