Hey there, candy corn. I see you. Hiding there behind the piles of bite-size Snickers, Reeses and Milky Ways, waiting for someone to take notice of you. I feel like candy corn and raisins must share a common bond, like the school rejects hanging out under the bleachers after football games. I like to imagine them after-hours at Safeway, having a smoke and talking about the unfairness of the world—and about how Milky Ways are like such sellouts anyways.
I happen to be one of the weirdos who actually likes candy corn (for reasons inexplicable), particularly when paired with roasted nuts. The saltiness of peanuts (or almonds, cashews or pecans) balances out the over-sweetness of the confection and lends a satisfying crunch to candy corn’s soft chew. I got the idea after reading Maya Angelou describe her affection for jelly beans and peanuts—another delightfully low-brow combination—so I’d like to think that Maya would track with me here.
It was this realization that led to another epiphany, which dawned upon me in the peanut butter aisle at the grocery store. Few things ever dawn upon anyone in the peanut butter aisle, probably, but this was just too good to let slip away. And so—half a jar of peanut butter, a small pile of candy corn and just an hour and a half later—I was whisking these cuties away to a dinner gathering. Soft peanut butter cookies, gluten-free, festively finished with an adorable candy corn topping.
Go on, give these treats a try! Candy corn strongly recommended. I hear that, in addition to peanuts, they also pair well with cat ears and/or zombie bride makeup.
Recipe: Gluten-free Peanut Butter & Candy Corn Cookies
128 g / about 1 cup GF flour blend (I make my own using the ratios from Minimalist Baker)
60 g / about 2/3 c almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or substitute muscovado or brown sugar)
3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20-24 pieces candy corn
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flours, baking soda + powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars until lightened in color. Add peanut butter and beat til combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and silky.
Gradually add flour in parts, folding to incorporate after each addition. Mix just until no dry spots or clumps are left.
Using a cookie disher or spoon, scoop dough out into 2 tbsp portions, rolling between your palms to form an even ball. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Using a large fork, gently press the tines down on each dough ball. Rotate the fork 90º and press again; this will slightly flatten the ball and form the criss-cross pattern. Gently press one piece of candy corn (or two, if you’re feeling generous) into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 10-11 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and allow to cool ~5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cookies will be soft and pale while still warm, but will firm up as they cool—so don’t over-bake!
Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. Unless you take them to your next Halloween party, in which case you needn’t worry about leftovers ;)