Sincerely Carolina

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Hippity Hoppity Peanut Butter and Chocolate Treats

by caroline

If these babies are any indication of my weekend, then you can imagine just how darn good it was. :D

As I mentioned in my last post, Dan and I spent the holiday weekend in Pittsburgh with my family which was absolutely — faaa-bulous! It is always so nice to hang out with the people you love, right?

Yesterday’s Easter Sunday morning was spent at my grandma’s house where we had an opportunity to visit with extended family members, including cute babies!!! Why is it that babies have such kissable cheeks? Ah … gotta love ’em. It was so nice to see everyone, and catch up on the latest news (my cousin and his wife are expecting!) and life happenings.

Our visit also meant on my end that, naturally, I had a chance to bring a yummy gluten-free dessert. (YAY!) It’s always nice to have an option when you’re in the midst of other delicious choices, like homemade brownies, pear coffee cake and apple pie!

While I was deciding what to make, I realized I was still a little hung up on the thumbprints I made the other day (gosh, they were good!), but I wanted to make something chocolate. I kept on a-thinkin’ about my particular cravings while also considering desserts that everyone seems to love.

I know I have expressed my love for all things peanut butter and chocolate before, but I’ve realized that it also seems to be a popular combo amongst most people.

So, my baking brain was working: Thumbprints obsession + chocolate and peanut butter craving = ???

Chocolate and peanut butter thumbprints!

Leaning on my thumbprints recipe from the other day, I made a few adjustments and came up with this:

Gluten-free, Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies (makes 28 cookies)

(Print me!)


  • 1/2 cup safflower (or canola) oil
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-natural, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts


  • 3/4 cup vegan confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/8 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

NOTES: I used Whole Foods brand vegan sugar, Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour, potato starch, almond meal/flour, oat flour and xanthan gum for this recipe. You can also make your own brown rice flour if you have the supplies.



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, “cream” oil, sugar, applesauce and potato starch with a hand mixer on low speed until fluffy (about 1 minute). Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together brown rice flour, almond meal, oat flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until well combined. Refrigerate dough for one hour.

After dough has chilled, roll 1″ balls of dough in the chopped peanuts until completely coated. Place on prepared cookie sheets, and then press down the center of each cookie with your thumb, creating a “well” for the icing. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the bake time. Cool for 10 minutes on the tray and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare frosting: In a medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter and vanilla with a hand mixer on low speed until smooth. Scoop the icing into each of the cookies’ thumbprints (about 1 teaspoon each). Refrigerate cookies for 30 minutes – 1 hour and allow icing to set.

These cookies were a HIT! I wasn’t really sure how they were going to turn out and I kind of just winged it, so I was really excited when I saw gluten-free and non-gluten-free eaters alike scooping them up and going back for seconds.



Note: This recipe is gluten-free and vegan. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)


I don’t know about y’all, but my day is going to be spent catching up on some of the things that fell by the wayside throughout the weekend. It’s always wonderful to take a break, and just enjoy time being spent with family and friends, but that also means that Monday must come with a goal — get stuff done!

How was your holiday weekend? Any special gluten-free or vegan dishes you were able to share with family and friends?