I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a soft spot for peanut butter. I don't think there's another spread I like more - growing up I'd regularly take a soup spoon to the jar of Skippy and (if no one was watching) swipe two huge scoops. No bread required! The slightly sweet, salty and creamy notes always melded better in my mouth than over-sweet Nutella. That said, when I discovered the beauty of chocolate and peanut butter (namely Nutella and peanut butter!), I was sold on the combination. Reese's became my new food fetish, brownies got plain old PB smeared on them in lieu of frosting, and I wasn't above making PB/Nutella sandwiches for breakfast.
We weren't allowed to bring peanut products to school growing up, but that didn't stop Mom and Grandma getting in the kitchen with me and making the infamous 3-ingredient (although always with brown sugar) and classic Chipits cookies for after school snacks. When I went to university, I sympathized with some of my classmates who never had the pleasure of eating a standard chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie from the cafeteria, since those things (along with 7/8ths of the menu) contained wheat or gluten.
I didn't have the knowledge, time or equipment to make them their own treats, but now as a bona fide foodie with a passion for baking and allergy needs I'm always on the lookout for an amazing recipe that doesn't feel like anything is missing. While leafing through Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking, though, I came across the Bronski's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. Since it used their Artisanal Gluten Free Flour Blend, which I had fantastic success with before, I knew I'd have to give these a whirl. But (like everything I do), I had to make it my own. I halved the recipe (since we didn't need a full batch of these babies kicking around), swapped some organic shortening for half the butter, cut the sugar a bit and used guar gum in place of the xanthan (which I don't have).
The biggest (and best, IMHO) change I made was to amp up the amount of "goodies", using some mini chocolate chips as well as the treat of my youth - the Reese's Cup. I was initially nervous about using the candy, as I wasn't sure about it's GF status, but after emailing Hershey's and perusing their Special Nutrition page, I found out they were in fact gluten free! I tell you, I have never been happier, since some of the cookies were destined for the gluten free chocolate-peanut butter fans at my hair salon! Hopefully those following Gluten Free Fridays will love them as much as they did!
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 packet vanilla flavoured stevia (optional, I used NOW)
1 1/3 cups Artisanal Gluten Free Flour Blend
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 ½ tsp guar gum
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz chopped peanut butter cups