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Flourless (Gluten-free) Peanut Butter Cookie/ Brownie Bars

Dietary restrictions can be difficult to accommodate and if you’re a baker, it can be challenging to find recipes that your friends can eat. There are eggless recipes, gluten-free recipes and vegan recipes that are available from the websites of many talented bloggers, but the recipes are still different from the traditional ones.

Gluten-free flours and baking blends have their own challenges and I’ve never used gluten-free flours myself, however I’ve experimented with flourless cooking. I like being able to make things for my gluten-free friend, knowing that they are able to eat something that I make as I love sharing my creations with other people. img_5343

Christmas was coming up and this was the challenge faced again. How to make a gluten-free recipe with the things I had on hand rather than buying another bag of flour that I had no space for?

I experimented with a few different ones and finally came up with something I liked. Peanut butter and nutella together combined to make some yummy cookie bars.

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It ended up being New Years by the time I managed to actually hand her Christmas present, but my experimenting paid off as these were devoured within 30 minutes of the first bite being taken.

Inspired by flourless Nutella cookies and brownies that I’ve seen, I created this. It’s versatile and can be made into a cookie like bar with some chewy fudgy parts or if baked for less time, transform itself into a fudgy peanut butter brownie bar, topped with Nutella that crumbles and infuses sweet hazelnut goodness into every bite.

Adjusting the amount of milk added can make the bars more fudgy or cake-like depending on what you want.

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Wow, I may just have to make these again soon, I’m starting to miss them. Although I have to finish of the rest of the stuff that I made for my birthday. Yes, I turned 21 yesterday and may have gone slightly overboard with the baking and now I’m up to my ears in cookies, cheesecake and carrot cake muffins.

Completely unrelated to the recipe, but here’s a terrible photo of the food that I ended up making. Recipes for these will make their way onto the blog in the following weeks but I need to tweak a few things with some of them first to get them just right and healthy enough to have for breakfast ;).

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Anyway back to the point, people ended up liking these which I was happy about and I ended up having a relaxed New Years with friends. I love those sorts of gatherings because it doesn’t always have to be a crazy party for you to have fun.

And delicious peanut butter bars always make things so much better.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Bars

Inspired by: Ambitious Kitchen 5 Ingredient Fudgy Nutella Cookies with Sea Salt

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Yield: 16 cookie bars

Ingredients

  • 200g
    Peanut butter
  • 80g
    Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup
    Sucralose sweetener or stevia (add more or less according to desired sweetness)
  • 1
    egg
  • 60ml / 4 tbsp
    Semi skimmed milk
  • 1/2 tsp
    Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp
    Salt
  • 60g / 1/4 cup
    Hazelnut chocolate spread/ Nutella

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C and lightly grease a 20cm square baking tray and set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, sweetener, egg, milk, baking soda and salt until the sugar has mixed together and the mixture is not grainy. It may take more time if whisking by hand, but you can melt down the peanut butter slightly in the microwave to make it easier to work with if you want.
  3. Once mixed, spread the mixture into the baking tray and then melt the nutella in a small microwave bowl slightly and then spread over the top of the cookie bars.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 10-14 minutes depending on how goeey you want them. Remove them when a toothpick inserted comes out dirty with very moist crumbs for very gooey bars. I removed them when a toothpick came out clean after about 13 minutes and they were firm, but still quite goeey.
  5. Allow to cool completely before slicing into 16 bars and serving.
  6. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Information

Makes 16 bars
Serving size: 1 bar

Calories: 122
Fat: 7.7g
Saturated fat: 9.2g
Carbs: 9.2g
Fibre: 1g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 3.8g

Recipe Notes

To make these more fudgy and brownie-like, reduce the baking time further and decrease the baking soda by half or add another 15-30 ml/ 1-2 tbsp of milk.

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