Baking & Dessert

By Aine Carlin | July 14, 2011

Photo: Aine Carlin

So, whilst I like to be healthy most of the time, there is always room for a little sugar in my life. In my opinion, if you regularly deny yourself something (in this case sugar) you’ll end up craving it even more than you would normally. Therefore, I follow the mantra of ‘a little now and again’ and that seems to keep any major sugar cravings at bay.

Photo: Aine Carlin

In the past I’ve tried to cut sugar out of my diet entirely. Of course I still had sugar in the form of fruit and syrups but cane sugar was off the menu. I can’t say I felt a massive difference physically but I knew it was doing me good and now I try to limit it as much as I can. This is not only good for my health but my thighs are pretty happy about it too.

Photo: Aine Carlin

These chocolate peanut butter cookies are the ultimate treat for me because it combines two of my favorite things – peanut butter and chocolate! I mean, has there ever been a better combo? Okay, maybe pb&j. Or pb and banana. Peanut butter, chocolate, jelly and banana. Now I’m just listing food I love….

Photo: Aine Carlin

Anyhoo, back to the thumbprints. Easy – check. Tasty – check. Gluten free – check. Vegan – check. Yep, all the requirements you need for a reasonably healthy cookie that is small enough to allow you more than one.

Photo: Aine Carlin

I must say that up until recently I was a crunchy gal all the way – I just didn’t have time for smooth pb at all. I’m not exactly sure what has happened over the pasts few months but I’m now rocking the smooth variety on everything. Curious. Very curious indeed. I didn’t see this one coming at all. Just as well really because these thumbprints require smooth – don’t be attempting to use that crunchy stuff, ya hear!

Photo: Aine Carlin

I’m pacing out my cookie consumption today – one after lunch and another mid afternoon with a cup of licorice tea. Sheer bliss.

Photo: Aine Carlin

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Handful of vegan chocolate chips


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit/190 celsius. Line a baking tray.

2. In a large bowl combine the peanut butter and sugar with a spatula until fully incorporated and completely smooth.

3. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix until a thick dough is formed - I use my hands at this stage to knead the dough in the bowl.

4. Take a small amount and roll between your hands and place on the lined tray. When all the dough has been used press each cookie gently with your thumb and place a chocolate chip in the centre.

5. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before transferring them to a cooling rack.

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