Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

IMG_2257So I gained some important new knowledge this week. I babysat for two of my favorites on Thursday (I’m home for the holidays!), and as I played chauffeur from school to dance practice the backseat conversation shifted to Santa Claus.

“An elf called us,” I was told. Moonbeam, I believe his name was, had some very important information to relay. “Santa is gluten-free this year. The elf told us this, and elves know everything about Santa…because they are tiny.”IMG_2259

I was fascinated to learn not only that Santa Claus is now gluten-free (although should I really be surprised, given the explosion of gluten-free in the western world?) but that elves are knowledgeable because of their size. Not because they are magical, not because they are mythical, not because they live in the North Pole or have pointy ears or are master toy makers…no. Elves know everything because they are tiny. Makes total sense…or at least, it probably would if I had the ability to experience logic as a five-year-old does. I kinda miss those days.IMG_2261

Regardless of how Moonbeam got his information, I think we had better pay heed. I bet there are lots and lots of gluten-free Santas out there this year who would be more than happy to receive a plate of cookies that he (or, um, she) can actually eat! Luckily, I have the perfect solution! These peanut butter blossoms are some of the easiest cookies I know how to make…and the recipe might possibly be sneakily listed in about four of my other blog posts, in slight variations. It goes like this: 1 cup of peanut butter. 1 cup of sugar. 1 egg. Stir. Scoop. Bake. I like to add a little baking powder and vanilla just because I can’t stand leaving a good recipe alone (and it adds a little lift and flavor), but you don’t necessarily have to if you want to go with the 1-2-3 easy approach. I’m willing to bet that Santa won’t care either way ;).IMG_2266

Of course, it never hurts to add chocolate to a peanut butter cookie! Am I right, or am I right? I turned these into peanut butter blossoms (one of the quintessential Christmas cookies!) simply by pressing a chocolate kiss into each cookie. The chocolate definitely takes them to the next level, and it makes them look pretty, too. If you know a gluten-free Santa (or are one yourself!) I would definitely share Moonbeam’s knowledge with the little bakers in your family. Even if you don’t think Santa will be stopping by your house next week, you should still make a batch of these peanut butter blossoms! They’re soft, chewy, full of peanut butter flavor…and are gluten-free! Elf-approved for sure. 🙂IMG_2268

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2 dozen chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, and vanilla. Scoop the dough into tablespoon-size balls and drop onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tops are set. Be careful not to over-bake, because the cookies will continue cooking as they cool on the sheets. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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