My Grain-free Modification of a Classic Cookie

Justin's pb temptations on cooling rack

I recently learned that rice and white potatoes are not the best foods for me, and a few others in my family are having negative issues with them as well. In my continuing interest in exploring new ways to modify my traditional holiday cookie recipes, I decided to try and change up my recipe for Peanut Butter Temptations, a delicious cookie comprised of a peanut butter cup encircled in a soft peanut butter cookie. Since many “all purpose gluten-free flours” often contain rice flour and/or potato starch, I decided to try and create a grain-free version so they could still be enjoyed by those that are having issues (including me!).

Back in the day, over 25 years ago, I followed a traditional recipe using Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and regular white flour, no modifications were needed. Those were the days! Now many in our family have a variety of dietary sensitivities and I try to do my best to accommodate them. These are a favorite of many, so my goal was to keep them as close to the originals as possible!

When those in our family stopped eating gluten, I switched to using gluten-free flour and continued using Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and that worked fine for those who were able to eat dairy and the dairy-free folks just had to enjoy other kinds of cookies, oh well!

A few years ago I happened to pick up a bag of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and noticed that dairy was not listed in their ingredient list. I decided to give them a try and began making some of the cookies using Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups for the dairy-free folks, and some with Reese’s for those that can have milk chocolate. That has worked fine for the last few years. Please note: Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are not certified “dairy-free”, there is no dairy listed in their ingredients list, so those in my family can eat them, since for them there’s a sensitivity to dairy, not an allergy. For those with an allergy to dairy, to be safe, I would not recommend eating them since they’re not labeled “dairy-free”. As an alternative, these cookies could be stuffed with and Enjoy Life brand Mega Chocolate Morsels or another brand of allergen-free chocolate.

Justin's pb temptations unwrapped pb cups

Since learning about my sensitivity to rice and potatoes, I’ve been inspired to experiment with new grain-free flours since traditional gluten-free flour is usually a combination of potato starch and white rice flour. It’s been kind of fun to try different exotic flours like tiger nut, or use other flours like cassava it’s arrowroot flour in new and different ways.

For this year’s potato & rice-free version of Peanut Butter Temptations I thought it would be fun to try and make them completely grain free! Since they’re made in silicon cups or mini muffin cups, the dough would be contained so I didn’t have to worry about it spreading out on the cookie sheets.

I’ve made other grain-free baked goods using just nut butter, eggs and sugar and they’ve had a nice, chewy consistency. I decided for these cookies natural peanut butter, eggs and confectioner’s sugar would be a good combination, since confectioner’s sugar has a more flour-like consistency to absorb the moisture of the peanut butter and eggs.

I mixed the peanut butter and eggs until they were nice and fluffy. I slowly added the confectioner’s sugar until it made a nice smooth dough, a good consistency for rolling.

justin's pb temptations dough uncooked

Once the dough was mixed and ready, I followed the steps of the original recipe; rolling the dough in balls, placing in silicon cups, baking and when out of the oven, pressing the Justin’s peanut butter cup in the center. This grain free version is a little more fragile that the counterpart made with flour, so after letting the cookies cool for a few minutes in the silicon or mini muffin tins, I put them in the freezer to get completely firm before popping them out of their molds.

Justin's pb temptations out of the oven

It’s gratifying for me to be able to make some small tweaks to a recipe to allow people that wouldn’t be able to eat something be able to continue enjoying something that had been a favorite!

Justin's pb temptations on cooling rack

Grain-free Peanut Butter Temptations

This is my grain-free version of the classic, flour-filled peanut butter cup cookie I make for the holidays. Perfect for those that need to follow a grain-free diet!

Although my recipes typically use alternatives to processed white sugars, I live by the 90/10% rule, where 90% of the time I eat what best serves my body and 10% of the time I may choose to enjoy something that I know may not be the “healthiest thing for me”…….during the holidays I like to treat myself to something special! Confectioner’s sugar made with coconut palm sugar, following the recipe the “Sugar Substitutions” page on my website, may be substituted for traditional confectioner’s sugar for a version made with a less “processed sugar”.


45-48 cookies


2 cups of natural peanut butter (no sugar added)

2 eggs

2 cups confectioners sugar

45-48 mini peanut butter cups


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Add confectioners sugar and mix until it forms a smooth dough.

Roll dough into 1/2”-3/4” balls and place in silicon molds, which have been placed on a rimmed baking sheet, or in mini muffin tins. Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking after 8 minutes. Cookies should look firm and slightly baked but still soft. While cookies are baking, unwrap peanut buttercups, if wrapped.

Remove cookies and immediately place a peanut butter cup in the center of each cookie and gently press into the dough, allowing the dough to come up around the peanut butter cup. Keep cookies in molds, allow to cool on a wire rack until sheets are cool enough to handle and then place in the freezer to get really firm before removing from molds.

Makes 45-48 cookies.


This recipe is gluten-free & grain-free


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