Small-batch Peanut Mocha Cookies (gluten-free)


Despite the fact that not once in my sixteen-year career as a food blogger have I ever had a large group of dependents to regularly feed, I still tend to bake as though many hands will be reaching for the finished product. What can I say, I like filling the tins, I like abundance, I like knowing that the sweetmeat I’ve eaten won’t be my last, that it has brothers rising up and multiplying behind it like the brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (actually that’s not a great analogy because that part terrified me as a kid, but it demonstrates the vibe nonetheless.) What care I for the small-batch cookie? Not much, initially. But my head can reliably be turned by novelty value, and so here we find ourselves with these Small-Batch Peanut Mocha Cookies, the yield of which can be easily summarised by Dee Dee Ramone counting off a song.


There’s something about a recipe for only four cookies that feels like you’ve discovered a way to step outside of time itself, like these are cookies no god can see, taking a spoonful of this ingredient and a dash of that and barely unsettling the plimsoll line. That being said, there’s also something a little too cavalier for me about firing up the oven for single-digit results; I recommend throwing these in before or after you plan to use the oven for another dish to ease your conscience and/or valid concerns about the power bill.


I found today’s recipe at the reassuringly-named Mini Batch Maker site and my only change was to add a little coffee, the smoky savouriness of which sits well alongside the strong peanut butter profile. You see, these are gluten-free cookies and therefore the peanut butter makes up about 40% of the dough. Through the alchemy of baking soda a handful of ingredients turn into crisp, chewy, vastly-spreading cookies dotted with forthright chunks of chocolate. Peanut and chocolate are old friends, and so are chocolate and coffee, and when overlapped in these cookies — like a delicious Venn diagram — they enhance and embolden each other. The contrast between lacy-edged, Florentine-chewy outer and crisp, snappy middle is beguiling and the chocolate chunks make the journey more exciting. I admit gluten-free baking and cooking has not been particularly represented on my blog — I have a hyper-tolerance to gluten and am no expert in removing it from food — but these are impressively cookie-ish cookies, without any stretch of the imagination (or flour) involved. They are stoutly peanutty with a lapping caffeinated resonance, in a quantity that won’t overwhelm you — but also, so easy to make that if you hoon through them too quickly another batch needn’t be far away.

Come to think of it I don’t have a ton of peanut butter-related recipes either, but if your preference is for larger batches of cookies you could try my Marble Heart Cookies, the Pecan Sandies, or my Pistachio Toffee Cookies.


Small-batch Peanut Mocha Cookies

A small quantity of ingredients gets you a small quantity of cookies — and sometimes that’s all you need. These are chewy, a little crispy, and very delicious. These are also gluten-free cookies (and vegan). Recipe adapted slightly from these cookies at Mini Batch Maker.

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon mashed banana
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 squares of dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1: Set your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray/cookie sheet with baking paper.

2: Place the 1/4 cup each of brown sugar and peanut butter (easier to measure in this order given the peanut butter’s viscosity) in a small mixing bowl along with the tablespoon of mashed banana, and mix them together thoroughly. Sprinkle over the 3/4 teaspoon of instant coffee powder and the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda — you may want to sieve them to prevent baking soda lumps — and fold them into the dough.

3: Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place each ball of dough on the paper-lined cookie sheet. Leave them as rolled-up balls (that is, don’t flatten them) and allow about four inches of space between each cookie, as these really do spread out while they cook. Roughly chop the four squares of chocolate and push the chopped pieces gently into the balls of cookie dough, using a roughly equal amount of chocolate for each. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, at which point they should be significantly spread out and golden brown. Sprinkle the cookies with the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and allow them to cool down for about ten minutes on the tray before eating — or better yet, leave them to cool completely at which point they’ll be especially chewy. Either way don’t move them immediately, because they’re too fragile while fresh from the oven.

Makes 4 cookies.


  • I appreciate that 3/4 teaspoon generally doesn’t exist as a measurement; either use a 1/4 teaspoon three times or one teaspoon with the tide out.
  • The banana doesn’t make itself known, flavour-wise, and seems to be important so I don’t advise leaving it out. However, you could replace the peanut butter with a different nut butter.
  • The coffee powder is specifically referring to the instant kind that you mix with hot water in a mug; espresso or plunger coffee powder won’t work here, but the cookies will still taste great without the coffee.


music lately:

River Deep, Mountain High by Tina Turner. This song makes me SO emotional — her stalactite-studded cave of a voice billowing on “my oh my” the orchestrations barging at you like a freight train, the reckless hopefulness, all of it. May she rest in peace, what a loss.

Funtime by Iggy Pop. As someone who resists organised activities I appreciate the sinister, unsettling persistence embedded in that “all aboard for funtime” chorus.

Backwater, by the Meat Puppets. I’m just so fond of them!

Rez, by Underworld, if the word “magic” synthesised itself into music form it would be this, it is what glow worms play to get amped up for the night ahead, the softly powerful energy from this song could honestly light up Paris or something.

PS: If you like my writing and wish to support me directly, there’s no better way than by stepping behind the claret velvet VIP curtain of my Patreon. Recipes, reviews, poetry, updates, secrets, stories, all yours every month. There’s no better time than right now — your support helps me to make all these blog posts!

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