Week 1: Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy New Year! For 2023, I have made a modestly triumphant return with a new challenge for the year: 52 weeks of vegan and/or gluten-free recipes. When I did my 52 weeks of cookies in 2021, the most popular cookie was The Healthiest Breakfast Cookie, and I wondered if you can make tasty desserts that were either vegan and/or gluten free, so that’s my challenge for the year.

My goal for this year is to try out recipes that are vegan and/or gluten-free. There are a lot of vegan recipes out there, but you’re not sure which ones are worth trying. This is where I come in: to try things out so you don’t have to.

That always seems to the problem with vegan or gluten-free cookies: they remind you that you’re missing something, and my goal is to make it feel like you can still enjoy good stuff while cutting out gluten, dairy, and/or eggs.

For this first recipe, I decided to go with something simple: peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but in vegan form!

First, let’s prepare all of our ingredients.

There we go!

First, we’re going to combine the peanut butter and maple syrup.

Aw yeah, that’s the good stuff!
Mix it all together!

Once the peanut butter and maple syrup was well mixed, put that bowl aside.

Grab another bowl to mix all the dry ingredients together (oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt). Put that aside.

Whisk it up!

Now, back to the peanut butter and maple syrup. Before we put in the dry ingredients, mix in the chocolate chips. I use the Enjoy Life chocolate chips since they’re vegan.

Go with these if you want vegan chocolate chips in your peanut butter cookie.

Make sure you combine the chocolate chips with the peanut butter/maple syrup mix because if you put the chocolate chips in later, they won’t bind well.

This step is crucial to making this cookie stay together.
Like so.

Now go ahead and pour in the dry ingredients you mixed in earlier.

It’s okay, they won’t bite…
This dough mixes together better if you put the chocolate chips in before the dry ingredients.

Alright, so now our dough is made, let’s go ahead and preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a couple of aluminum cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using your trusty 1.5Tbsp cookie scoop, place 10 cookies on the cookie sheet and flatten them with a spoon or fork.

They taste better than they look. Trust me.
You’ll want to flatten them because they will retain whatever shape they go into the oven with.

Place each cookie sheet in the oven for about 14 minutes.

Almost ready to eat!

Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes before eating.

This could almost be a breakfast cookie honestly.

Overall, this is a very good, yet simple, cookie to make that doesn’t require too much effort. Despite it being vegan, it doesn’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything when it comes to these cookies.


  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup organic pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips


  1. Mix peanut butter and maple syrup in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the rolled oats, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In the large bowl with the mixed peanut butter and maple syrup, add the chocolate chips. Mix well.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  6. Line two aluminum cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Using your 1.5Tbsp scoop, place 10 cookies on a cookie sheet at a time, and flatten with a spoon or fork.
  8. Bake for 14 minutes.
  9. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before you enjoy them!


Dessert: Peanut Butter Brownies

Original Recipe: https://preppykitchen.com/peanut-butter-brownies/

It has been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. I have been baking, but not too much due to the heat wave we recently had out here in California, and I had to tend to my sister’s animals as well, but Toby is always worth it.

This time, I was in the mood for my favorite dessert combination: chocolate and peanut butter, and what better way to enjoy it than a peanut butter brownie recipe?

For this recipe, I put my camera on a tripod to keep the angle consistent, so the pictures will look a little different this time.

Alright, let’s start off by getting your brownie pan. Spray it with baking spray and line with parchment paper.

I think it’s supposed to be either one or the other, not both. This seems like a bit much honestly.

Alright, now that your brownie pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (you can probably get away with one or the other), prepare a bowl with about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

That’s about half of 175 grams.

Next, drop two sticks of room-temperature unsalted butter into your bowl.

Paula Deen approves of the butter to chocolate ratio.

Melt the butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time until the chocolate and butter are melted together.

This honestly reminds me of the chocolate that you dip your bread into for breakfast in France.

Alright, so put this aside for now, and get your flour and cocoa powder ready. Weigh your flour on a scale.

I love having the exact measurements for each ingredient.

Next, tare your scale and add about 50g of cocoa powder.

I accidentally tared it after adding the cocoa powder, but it was 50 grams!

Whisk them together with a teaspoon of salt.

Alright, it’s ready!

Now, take that bowl aside and prepare another bowl. First, add the sugar and brown sugar into the bowl.

Make sure you whisk the sugars together first! Very important!

Combine the sugars with the melted chocolate first in a larger bowl.

Hold off on taste testing…

Next, add your three eggs and…1 tablespoon of vanilla?!

That’s a lot of vanilla!

Mix it all together.

Don’t taste test yet!

Once this is all mixed up, add the flour-cocoa powder mixture to the bowl, and mix it all up.

Not yet…
Oh man, this is looking good!

Next, toss in the remaining 1/2 cup of semi-sweet morsels, and mix it all up.

Pour the brownie mix into your prepared pan.

Now you can taste test the batter!

Once you have it spread evenly, preheat the oven to 350F. While the oven is heating up, grab your peanut butter and drop spoonfuls of it on top.

You probably don’t need to add this much, but that’s okay, I won’t judge.

Use a knife to mix it on top of the brownie batter. You can have fun with it if you feel like it.

I was trying to go for a “starry night” vibe, but that didn’t work very well.

Once the oven has heated up, bake these for 35 minutes to give it a fudgy texture. It’s worth it.

I ended up going with a giant swirl of peanut butter on top.

Once it has cooled off, remove it from the baking pan and cut it into 16 brownies.

Something like that.

Once you’ve cut them up, enjoy them!

They’re so fudgy!

All and all, this is a very easy recipe, and you don’t really need any special ingredients, unless you count peanut butter. It’s very tasty, and cooking them a little less than normal brownies gives it a nice chewy texture that I really like. Plus, they’re great to make on impulse, so try them out!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (227g)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips divided (175g) (or however much you want)
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour (150g)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (50g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (220g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (doesn’t matter really)


  1. Spray your 8″x8″ square baking pan with baking spray, or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, melt two sticks of butter with approximately 87 grams of semi-sweet morsels. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure your 150g of flour and 50g of cocoa powder. Add your 1 teaspoon of salt and whisk together. Set this bowl aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix your 200g of granulated sugar and 220g of brown sugar together. This is to ensure you get the right consistency.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl with the whisked sugars. Add your three eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour-cocoa powder mix to the melted chocolate and sugars.
  7. Add semi-sweet morsels to the dough.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  9. Pour the brownie batter into your sprayed (or lined) pan. Make sure it’s even.
  10. Drop spoonfuls of peanut butter and mix it around with a knife.
  11. When the oven is heated up, bake the brownies for 35 minutes if you want them to be fudgy, and 40-45 minutes if you want a more traditional texture for your brownies.
  12. After they cool off, cut them into whatever size squares you want.
  13. Enjoy!


Dessert: Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites

Source: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-salty-peanut-butter-bites/

I opted to try something different for this recipe, so I made these! They’re very easy to make and require very little effort and prep time.

I apologize in advance, I had to use my DSLR camera for these pictures instead of my phone, so the pictures might look a bit off.

The first think you’ll need to do is freeze 1/2 cup of semi-sweet morsels and 4 peanut butter cups.

The freezing will help when it comes to cutting the peanut butter cups into…pieces. As for the morsels, not really sure.

Set those two ingredients in the freezer and get the other ingredients ready. You’ll need the following:

  • creamy peanut butter
  • granulated sugar
  • light corn syrup
  • salt
  • crisped rice cereal
  • emotionally broken pretzels
If you’re wondering, yes, that is 4 cups of crisped rice cereal.

In a saucepan, combine the peanut butter, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and salt.

You’ll see why later I would not recommend using this style of pot.

You’ll need a bit of time to stir this up. This felt like it took about 15 minutes, but I didn’t properly time it.

Finally, it’s ready.

After the mixture is easy to stir, remove it from heat, and add the crisped rice cereal and the emotionally broken pretzels.

This is why I regretted using this pot.

Somehow, you have to mix all this up, which was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. You’d need something much larger to make this recipe.

One sore arm and nearly broken mixing spoon later…

While this is setting, pull the peanut butter cups out of the freezer and chop them up.

Resist the urge to eat any of the pieces.

Once all chopped up, add it to the pot along with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Not sure if the mixing spoon can handle another round…

Mix all this stuff up again, but I’d recommend something that isn’t plastic for the mixing.

I’m honestly surprised my plastic mixing spoon lived another day after this.

Next, we’re going to line some cookie sheets with wax paper. Instead of making small bites, we’re going to make large bites, using our trusty 1.5tbsp cookie scoop.

I love this thing!

Using your cookie scoop, scoop large balls and put them on your cookie sheets.

For reference, these things are the size of golf balls.
…and look worse than golf balls.

Overall, this is a pretty fun recipe that can be made on impulse with little prep time required. The only things you might need to get are the peanut butter cups, pretzels for breaking, and the light corn syrup, along with the crisped rice cereal.

If I was to do anything differently, I’d use a larger pot so it was easier to mix everything up. Also, I’d definitely use the 1tbsp cookie scoop next time, as these were way too big to be considered a “bite”.


  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 peanut butter cups (3/4 ounce each), chopped
  • 1-1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1 cup broken pretzels


  1. Place your bowl of semi-sweet morsels in the freezer, along with the peanut butter cups. Leave them in there for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare a saucepan with the peanut butter, sugar, light corn syrup, and salt. Cook everything on low heat until everything is combined. This might take some time.
  3. After everything is combined, remove the pot from heat.
  4. Cut up the peanut butter cups and add to the pot with the semi-sweet morsels. Combine everything together.
  5. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
  6. Using your scoop, place the balls on the cookie sheets, and let them sit for about 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!


Cookies: Monster Cookies

Original Source: https://cookieandkate.com/monster-cookies-recipe/

So it has been a while unfortunately. I caught COVID-19, and I don’t recommend it honestly. It put me out for a while, and I’m now getting back into the swing of things.

I was in the mood to make some cookies again, and I wanted something related to summer, so I found this recipe for Monster Cookies. I’m not sure why they’re called Monster Cookies honestly; maybe it’s because it’s a monstrosity of ingredients, or maybe it’s just because they’re huge. Either way, let’s get right to it!

Have to resist…

So this is a pretty easy recipe that doesn’t require any planning of ingredients. As long as you have all the ingredients, you can make these on the fly.

For this recipe, we’re going to make the standard batch and use the ingredients to make it taste good.

First things first: prepare a minimum of two aluminum cookie sheets, and line them with parchment paper. Also, preheat the oven to 350F.

Let’s start off the recipe with our peanut butter. You can use either creamy or crunchy peanut butter for this recipe. I’m going to use creamy since I keep it on hand in case of emergency. You never know when someone is going to want some Buckeye Brownie Cookies.


Next, add in the brown sugar, because we want these cookies to actually taste good.

Trust me, there’s peanut butter under there.

Next, melt your 5 tablespoons of butter. It doesn’t need to be at room temperature beforehand, so you can cut 5/8ths of a stick of butter and just melt it in the microwave.

That’s a lot of saturated fat…

Mix this on low in your stand mixer for about a minute.

Even creamier peanut buttery goodness…

After your minute, throw in your eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.

This just makes it better.

Mix that on medium-low for about a minute or two.

This looks even creamier than before…

Alright, so now we start to add some of your dry ingredients. This is where you would add in the oatmeal. I just used regular old-fashioned oats.

Yeah just throw it all in there.

Next you, add your, ahem…candy-coated chocoate pieces into the mix, along with your pieces of bittersweet chocolate. Not sure why the recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but you can probably get away with using regular semisweet morsels.

They look like M&M’s, but they’re not M&M’s due to copyright infringement law!

Mix it all up in your stand mixer for a couple of minutes.

The dough binds together very well, and it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl as much as you would think.

When it’s done, get your 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the dough.

You could spray this with cooking spray if you feed like it. I didn’t really need to.

Scoop your 1/4 cup portions onto the parchment-paper lined aluminum cookie sheets. I put 6 of them on a cookie sheet since they will expand quite a bit.

They’re called Monster Cookies, not Perfect Cookies, lol

With the aluminum cookie sheets, bake these for 14 minutes in your oven. You’ll see some browning on the tops.


Let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Overall, these cookies are really easy to make, and can be made on impulse, as long as you have all the ingredients on hand. No flour is needed, and if you use gluten-free oats, you can essentially make a gluten-free cookie if you so desire. They’re very tasty and don’t take up a lot of your time.



  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup candy-coated chocolates (like M&M’s) or additional chocolate chips


  1. Prepare two aluminum cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix on medium-low for about a minute.
  4. Add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla, and mix on medium-low again for about a minute.
  5. Add oatmeal, candy-coated chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate to the box and mix on medium-low for about 2 minutes.
  6. Using your 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough onto cookie sheet. Place six of them on a cookie sheet at a time.
  7. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes.
  8. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.


Week 31: Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Alright, let’s do something simple that requires no excessive refrigeration (or freezing).

This week I decided to do a recipe I actually hadn’t done before, and that is a peanut butter cookie. Also, something unusual happened that I was not expecting when I put in the last batch of cookies for baking, which I will get to later.

The only random ingredient required for this recipe is shortening, which they call “vegetable shortening” when you get them from the grocery store. I guess it’s so people wouldn’t confuse it with the non-existent “meat shortening”.

One thing to make sure of is that anytime the recipe calls for brown and white sugar, make sure you whisk them together in a separate bowl before you combine it with butter (or shortening and peanut butter, in this recipe).

The utter magnificence that is the combination of white and brown sugar.

Once all the ingredients are combined, the dough is scooped into balls onto aluminum sheets lined with parchment paper. I use parchment paper for all my recipes since it makes cleanup much easier.

The recipe calls for “1-1/2-in balls”, but if you want to make it easier on yourself, I use the Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop. I don’t get any sort of commission if you use that link, it’s mostly for reference. The diameter of the scoop is indeed 1.5″ across, so it makes perfectly-sized balls for this recipe. Below shows how they look on the cookie sheet.

I like my cookie scoop, lol.

Once the balls are scooped and plopped on the cookie sheet, you need to squish them down with a fork or a meat mallet (lol, that’s a funny name). I don’t have a meat mallet (lol), so I just used a fork.


Once they are done baking, they spread a little bit, and this is the final result:

Peanut butter cookies!

This recipe made more cookies than I thought it would, so I put the last few cookies on a cookie sheet and threw them in the oven. Unfortunately(?), I forgot to squish them down with a fork, and this was the result:


I find it odd that they actually looked pretty good without the squishing down. Plus, I feel like they look more presentable, like small flat bread rolls.

This is a perfect recipe to make with some planning ahead, as you need three eggs to be at room temperature. The only things you really need to be sure of is shortening and peanut butter.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the white and brown sugar. Set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  5. Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork or meat mallet if desired. Bake 10-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.