297. Flourless Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies [Gluten Free, Vegan, No Sugar Added]

Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies |Flourless, GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

You could have guessed that this was going to happen. I love ice cream, and I love cookies…It doesn’t take a brain surgeon…(pun intended). I haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream in years. But when Mom brought it home one day when I was still a teenager I was like, Umm…this is SO good. At that point I didn’t even really like bananas, so maybe it was the name that caught my fancy.

In any case, I didn’t feel like using only half a banana so I threw a whole (small) very ripe banana in and increased the ground flax seed. I got 8 cookies out of this batch – still small, but gauge the size of your toaster oven and plan accordingly. I tried this with both sun butter and regular peanut butter. Both are delicious, but you should be aware (and I apologize for not telling you this during Sun Butter Week) that sun butter often bakes up green due to the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds. I Googled it, and as you know, the internet does not lie. The green colored baked goods are safe to eat but I thought they might be rather off-putting in the pictures, so I tried a peanut butter version. Success!! If, however, you want to use sun butter you could try squeezing some lemon juice in there.

The fuzzy monkey you see in the background in the picture above was a gift to me in the hospital from my dear friends (college roomates) who drove up from California to visit me. See (look over Karine’s right shoulder)?


Sadly, I was still asleep, otherwise we would have had a grand old time. 2 seconds after I took the title photo, this happened:


Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies (GF, Vegan, NSA)

Makes around 8 cookies
Preheat oven to 350

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 small ripe banana (or half of a large banana)
  • 2 Tb ground flax
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful DF chocolate chips
  • handful walnuts

Mix the peanut butter and banana first – I used a fork to mash the banana into the PB. Mix everything else in. Drop by the large spoonful or ice cream scoop onto your greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Store in the freezer. If you don’t devour them immediately, enjoy them straight from freezer, barely defrosted, or reheated in the toaster oven.

for other Emergency Cookie variations: click here.

Target Launch Tues Dec 10| Ann Ning Learning How

Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.

279. Timmy’s Monster Cookie [Single Serving, GF, Flourless, Egg-Free, No Sugar Added)

Monster Cookie | Single Serving, GF, Egg Free, No Added Sugar | Ann Ning Learning How

I love how easy this cookie recipe is.  My posts have been a little heavier this week, so I wanted to send you of to enjoy your weekend with something light and fun.  Boo Boo asked last week if the Emergency Cookies worked with peanut butter.  (Timmy likes PB.)  Based on the success of this recipe, I’m going with “YES.”

Flourless Emergency Cookies | GF, Vegan, NSA| Ann Ning Learning HowLast weekend Ruthie asked me if I called them “Emergency Cookies” bc I was having last-minute company and I wanted to make something for my guests.  No-no, I assured her.  The fact that I wanted a cookie and had nothing suitable on hand constituted an emergency for me.  All 3 times.  Glad we cleared that up.

But I wanted to try a peanut butter cookie recipe for Timmy (side note: no one else calls him “Timmy” apart from our family.  Ai Ai says I started it a long time ago, but I have no recollection of this – which isn’t to say that it’s not true), and this is also a good cookie option for MMN/Mrs. T – I can’t wait to tell her about it.  Peanut Butter lovers UNITE!

PS.  I tried this twice.  The first time I used more applesauce, and the cookie was a little soft – still delicious – but soft.  This might have been influenced by my inability to wait for the cookie to cool before consuming it, though.  Tip:  if you are like me, and can’t wait to eat the cookie, use a fork and be happy.  On the second round (the recipe I’m going with below) I used less applesauce, plus I let it cool and the texture was suitable for hand-eating.

Timmy’s Monster Cookie [GF, Flourless, Egg-Free, NSA]

Single Serving
Preheat toaster oven to 350 

  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp GF rolled oats, or sub coconut
  • ½ Tbsp ground flax
  • ½ Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • a few M&M’s (as many as you feel comfortable with)

Mix well.  Form a cookie on a piece of parchment paper on a small tray.  I also tried a silicon muffin thing – that’s why the cookie in my picture is small (it’s tall).  Depending on your method, the cookie could be plenty big.  If there are two of you, double the recipe.  Dot the top with M&M’s if you like.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

239. Flourless PB Bread and PBJ Bars [Grain Free, Dairy Free]

Flourless PB Bread | Grain & Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

130.  Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

130. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

This is actually an update of the popular “Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins” I posted a long time ago.  It was one of the first recipes I shared and it was clear from how I was throwing things in the blender that cooking/baking with me is not an exact science.  I’ve heard that you should be more precise when baking, but I’m sorry, I can’t.  However, I did manage to make the muffins more replicable by simplifying the recipe.  I took out the chestnuts, agave, and Greek yogurt!  Plus, this time you just need a bowl and a spoon, and I’ve updated the old post accordingly.

My compliments to The Detoxinista – I tried baking with just nut butter after looking at her recipe for PBCC blondies.  She used natural/thinner/oily peanut butter for her blondies, but I used “regular” (like Skippy or JIF) for all of my baking.  I think this resulted in a fluffier (not fudgey) result.  So go for the regular PB.

I baked flourless peanut butter things quite a few times this summer.  Here are two instances:

Flourless Peanut Butter Bread
(pictured at the top of this post)
Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

I made these for Mrs. T, who is trying to avoid flour and sugar for health reasons.  After some coffee-break recon one Sunday I learned that she’s partial to peanut butter.  I did a “practice” batch for our family, and those among us who quite enjoy sugar liked these sugarless squares.  Personally, I liked them with some jam smeared on top, like in the picture.  I used a fruit-sweetened strawberry spread.

  • 1 c peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla

Combine everything in a bowl.  Pour into your square.  Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes.  I’m sorry, I honestly can’t remember how long I baked them – just start checking at 20, and let them go a few minutes longer if they don’t look done.

Flourless PBJ Bars |Grain Free, Dairy Free | Ann Ning Learning How

Flourless PBJ Bars
Grain Free, Dairy Free | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

229.  Flourless "Nutella" Bars

229. Flourless “Nutella” Bars

These were the treats I made originally to take to The Gym.  I had a batch in the oven before breakfast that morning.  I found out later, though, that peanuts are on the allergen list, so I switched gears and tried the Flourless “Nutella” Bars.  Thankfully my parents arrived that day so Baker Smurf could advise me when my test batch turned out too soft.  Basically, these are similar to the bread, but this is a thicker, double batch, and the jam is swirled on top so it’s baked into the bar.  Yay!!  Fun times.  My swirl would have been prettier, but Mommy hadn’t arrived yet.  Also, I sweetened these bars so they are more in the “PB Cookie” category than the “bread” category.

  • 1 c smooth peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 c chunky peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 2 eggs…I think I used flax eggs
  • pinch off salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ c honey or agave
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 Tb jam of choice (for the top)

Combine everything except the jam.  Of course you can use all smooth or all chunky PB if you like.  Pour into your square.  Gently warm the jam (I put mine in a small dish) in the microwave.  Dot the top of your batter with the jam.  I made 9 globs.  Drag a toothpick or butter knife through the jam and batter to achieve a feathered effect.  Bake at 350 for around 25-30 minutes.

206. Peanut Butter (PB2) Moose Cups [Dairy Free, No Sugar Added]

PB(2) Moose Cups [Dairy Free, No Sugar Added] | Ann Ning Learning How


Let me tell you something up front:  this dessert has banana in it.  Only half a banana, but in case you abhor bananas I give you permission to go read something else now.  Like this:  How to make simple Cashew Cream.  (Learn something.)

In my defense, bananas are a fantastic natural sweetener and my half a banana was a great companion to the peanut butter flavor and lent itself to the smooth, creamy texture I was going for.  This recipe makes 2 small cups – perfect for you and a friend.  And I’m calling it “Moose” in loose reference to the Moose Tracks ice cream (vanilla with PB cups and fudge).  It would probably be good in the freezer if you want it to harden, but it was so easy to just scoop out with a spoon since I put it in the fridge and they are individual cups.


Peanut Butter Moose Cups
dairy free, no  sugar added
makes 2 small servings

Inspired by CCK’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

For the crust:  pulse (I used a Magic Bullet) and then divide between your two cups, pressing it into the bottom.

  • handful of pretzels (I used gluten free)
  • ½ tsp coconut oil

For the moose:  blend and divide between the two cups, pouring it over the crust.  Next time I’ll try regular peanut butter – crunchy would be great!  I just won’t add the coconut oil.

  • ½ banana
  • 1/3 c PB2
  • 1/3 c non-dairy milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • ½ tsp coconut oil

For the chocolate swirl: mix this up and dot the surface of your peanut butter moose.  You won’t need a lot – you might have leftovers in which case I advise you to eat them with a spoon.  Drag a toothpick through the surface of the moose and chocolate so you get a swirly design.  Place in fridge until serving time.

  • 1 tbl cocoa powder
  • 1 tbl coconut oil
  • splash of vanilla
  • squirt of agave (optional)

Another judicious use of pretzel crust:

Boston Cream Puddings || Ann Ning Learning How






196. So Simple: PB Zucchini Brownies [Grain Free, Vegan]

So Simple:  PB Zucchini Brownies [Grain Free, Vegan] from fastpaleo.com || Ann Ning Learning How

These brownies are originally from fastpaleo.com, shared by a user named michelerock. Thanks, Michele! I simplified the recipe for my “kitchen cruiser” (I often “cruise” like a baby using the furniture when I’m in the kitchen) convenience, and made them vegan for kicks. Except for the chocolate chips – I don’t know what’s in mine. If you’re a real vegan you probably already know what kind of chocolate chips to use. It’s time to break ’em out – this recipe is a winner.

VINDICATION. It happened yesterday at around 7pm. Someone Googled “Kate & Leopold, JJ offers Kate bean.” I love the fact that the search did not concern the film’s cultural commentary subtext but focused on the “Edamame?” incident that completely grossed me out. In case you missed reading this post, it’s worth it for the edamame reference, but even if you have no recollection of a movie called Kate & Leopold I like this post because the obscure pop culture reference morphs into some devotional thoughts on being out of options. Ever been there? Between a rock and a hard place?

Okay, enough gloating over my search engine referrals. On to today’s offering – grain free peanut butter zucchini brownies! I made them vegan by making flax eggs. Do you know how to make a flax egg? Here’s a helpful tutorial: How to make a flax egg (the RIGHT way). I confess I do not grind my own flax seeds so I’m already throwing caution to the wind and doing it the WRONG way. But I’m trying to use up some ground flax seed in my fridge and figured this was a good way to do it, plus I’m trying to experiment with flax eggs for the (semi) vegans in my life, and the best part is that when you bake vegan style you can taste the batter with reckless abandon having bypassed the raw egg dilemma. Win-win, really.

The only other changes I made included replacing the 1/3 cup of raw honey with a squirt of agave. (I don’t think strict vegans eat honey, anyway.) I only used a dash of cinnamon in place of the spices, and perhaps most significantly, I did not grate my zucchinis – I just chunked 2 8-9 inch zucchinis and threw everything into my trusty Vitamix. There was some concern that my method would be too watery and wouldn’t bake well, but grating things scared me in my old life, too, so I figured I’d take my chances. Some reviewers said they had to bake their brownies for an hour, but mine were done in 25 minutes. They were moist and fudgy, and since I love peanut butter, I was thrilled with the flavor. I couldn’t tell there was any zucchini in there, and the lack of flour of any kind was a bonus.

So these were super easy for me – since I just pulverized everything in my blender. I highly recommend that you go make them now: Zucchini Brownies from FastPaleo.com

…okay, I think I changed the recipe enough to show the recipe here.

Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies [Grain Free and Vegan]

Based on fastpaleo’s recipe by michelerock

Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9×9 or similar sized pan

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 8-9 inch zucchini, cut into chunks
  • squirt of agave (or a spoonful, depending on the container)
  • 1 flax egg
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegan-friendly chocolate chips

Blend everything in your blender, except the chocolate chips – fold these in at the end. Pour into your greased baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.

Fun fact: If you’re British you might prefer the term “courgette” to “zucchini”


194. Peanut Butter Banana Cake [Grain Free, No Sugar Added, Vegan]

Peanut Butter Banana Cake || Grain Free, NSA, Vegan || Ann Ning Learning How

Do you remember that we had some languishing bananas in our house last week?  This is what became of them.  I only used the blender for the frosting.  And sorry, I forgot to measure that pan again.  So let’s call it 11×7.  Yeah.  Let’s go with that.  My cake was super thin, so I was able to triple stack it with frosting for the picture, but if you prefer thicker cake, use a smaller pan.  The only reason this cake is vegan is because when I opened the fridge the eggs were under a couple of things and I was uninterested in freeing them for my use.  Plus, eliminating them entirely took care of the issue of letting the eggs come to room temperature.  I’m too impatient for that, and lack the forethought to bring them out ahead of time, and since I used coconut oil I knew cold eggs would make it seize up and I didn’t want that.    Thankfully, the cake turned out anyway – so if you’re not into eggs, this would be a good cake for you.  Later in the week you will see my first forays into flax eggs!

Peanut Butter Banana Cake [Grain Free, No Sugar Added & Vegan]

Preheat oven to 350, Grease a small pan

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ c chunky peanut butter
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • splash vanilla
  • ¼ c almond flour
  • ¼ c coconut flour

Combine everything and bake at 350 for 30 minutes

For the (PB!!) Frosting:

  • 1 cup thick cashew cream (The thickness will depend on your preference.  Mine was plenty thick, but it got thicker after I put it in the fridge for a while.)
  • 4 dates
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 tbsp PB2

Use your blender to combine everything.

Or if you want a quicker, individual sized fix:


171. PB2 Mug Cake [Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added]

PB2 Mug Cake || Grain & Dairy Free, NSA || Ann Ning Learning How

(You can make a regular peanut butter mug cake, too –  this is only 4 ingredients  and takes 99 seconds to make!)

Why 99 seconds?  So I don’t have to pick up my finger and press the zero.  Thanks for the tip, Baker Smurf!

A friend recently asked me what I’m sure many of you are wondering = what is PB2?  PB2 is a powdered peanut butter with 85% of the fat and calories removed.  You just add water and presto – I like it on sandwiches, but more people welcome it in a recipe or a smoothie.  I get mine (like so many other things) on Amazon.  There are other/generic varieties, but I started ordering the PB2 and it’s just the easiest thing for me to buy now.  The stats:  serving size = 2 TB.  45 cal, 1.5g fat, 0% Saturated, 1g Sugar, 5g Protein.    Ingredients = Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt, and I have no idea how they remove all that fat (BellPlantation.com)

As you know, I have a thing for grain free baking, and no sugar added living in general.  I am also intrigued by all these mug cakes people are making.  So I decided to give this a try because we had a couple of old and sad bananas hanging around.  I made mine for breakfast, (SO easy!) for two days straight, using both the coconut and almond flour methods.  And I considered it my duty to try it with regular peanut butter, too, in case you don’t want to use PB2.  I know, I know,  it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.  So I just mixed up a real PB version (I did not use a real measuring spoon.  I just used a table spoon.) with almond flour and a little cocoa and a few chocolate chips to make it extra yummy.  It’s going to be dessert.  So this is an anytime cake – enjoy!

PB2 Mug Cake

Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added

4 Ingredients, 99 seconds

 1)    1/3 large ripe banana or ½ small ripe banana

2)    2 TB almond flour or 2 TB desiccated coconut (the unsweetened flaked version you get in the bulk section at Whole Foods)

3)    2 TB PB2 or 1 TB regular Peanut Butter

4)    splash of almond milk (or other milk) for mixing

  • Optional mix ins:  cocoa, chocolate chips, nuts….

Instructions:  put the banana in the mug and melt it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  This is to facilitate mixing.  Add everything else in and mix until smooth.  Microwave for 99 seconds.  Your microwave might be different, so keep an eye on it and adjust as necessary.  Let it cool a bit – it’s hot!  Enjoy.

The picture above is the almond flour version – it was cakey enough to come out of the mug with no fuss.

The picture below is the  coconut version.  It’s a bit wetter so I didn’t try to take it out of my teacup.  It still has a nice texture, though, see?

PB2 Mug Cake || w coconut, grain free, NSA || Ann Ning Learning How

This last picture is the regular peanut butter mug cake version.  I added cocoa and cc’s.  YEE HAW!

PB Chocolate Mug Cake

PB Chocolate Mug Cake

This recipe is reminiscent of another favorite of mine – Quoatmeal!  If you want quinoa and oats, make the quoatmeal, otherwise, this PB2 mug cake is a fast and easy alternative that doesn’t require much forethought – just a banana you’re trying to use up.