Nourishing Flourishing

1-2-3 Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Doughballs + Cookies

7 Apr

Thank you so much for all your amazing e-mails, comments, and tweets yesterday! I can’t wait for the next post in the series : )  xoxo

You know about 1-2-3 cookies right? Basically, you just throw fun (3 ingredients) in a bowl, believe in magic, and a batch of miraculous delicious happiness jumps out of your oven with double rainbows! Crazy, I know.


Only a slight exaggeration. Usually recipes for this type of cookie contain refined sugar, an egg, and hydrogenated peanut butter (ew). This is a healthified, gluten-free-ified, vegan (and even flourless!) version for the rest of us ; ) It’s easy, simple, and fast to boot (or eat, as the case may be). You could whip these up and take them out of the oven in about 15 minutes. Bam.

The delightful Mama Pea set the blogosphere on fire with doughball feevah, and when I got a hankerin’ for fantastical, easy 1-2-3 peanut butter cookies this weekend, I was eager to test out my own doughballin’ dreams… After playing around in the kitchen a little, and making my friends eat the less-than-stellar attempts (thanks for being good sports, Amy, Noel, and Michael), it happened. Stars, unicorns, little bunnies — the whole glorious thing flew out of my oven in all its wonder.

There are two recipes below — one is for a more banana-y flavor (like a mild mini banana bread?), and it had the best texture. The other uses a flax egg, and it is delicious; it’s also a tad more crumbly. BFF Manfriend gave the banana ones his “BOMB” rating (that’s the highest rating, if you were wondering).

UPDATE: I received two notices that this recipe did not turn out as it should (i.e., the balls weren’t balls at all, but came out flat). Please proceed at your own risk until I retest this again to work out the apparent kinks. It may be an issue with different brands/textures/oil content in various different peanut butters, so I would like to experiment more with that. Shouldn’t be too long, but I don’t want anyone else to encounter issues. Sorry, and thanks for understanding! xoxo

Peanut Butter Banana Doughballs (AKA PB Banana Bread Bombs)
1/4 C peanut butter
1/4 C mashed/pureed banana
2 Tb agave (or honey)

1) Mix everything together very well.
2) Using a small spoon (I used an overfilled 1/2 Tb measure), scoop balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
3) Pop ‘em in a 325* oven for about 10-15 minutes — until they’re browned on the bottom and lightly tanned on the top.
4) Let cool for 30 minutes to set up.

Peanut Butter Flax Doughballs
1/4 C peanut butter
1/2 Tb ground flax seed
1 1/2 Tb water
1 Tb agave (or honey)

1) Mix flax and water together to make a flax/vegan egg.
2) Mix peanut butter and agave together. Add flax egg.
3) Using a small spoon (I used an overfilled 1/2 Tb measure), scoop balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
4) Pop ‘em in a 325* oven for about 10-15 minutes — until they’re browned on the bottom and lightly tanned on the top.
5) Let cool for 30 minutes to set up.

Printer-Friendly Version (for both)

Quick Notes:
- You can indeed make these cookies. Just make them silver dollar size for best results.
- The flax doughballs and cookies will brown more quickly than the banana, and they hold together less when warm. Be sure to allow them to cool (I know, I learned the hard way too…)
- While I normally heart chunky peanut butter, the creamy worked best for these (both are good though).
- Feel free to add a drop of vanilla — I just wanted to keep it to 3 ingredients : )
- This recipe can easily be multiplied and reduced; I halved the above amounts and ’twas perfect.

Watch out for unicorns and rainbow beams when you open your oven door!

What’s the most magical thing to happen in your kitchen lately?

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Unfried Refried Beans: The Best
Vegan Chocolate Frozen Mousse (Or Ice Cream)
Cinnamon Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Vegan)

41 Responses to “1-2-3 Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Doughballs + Cookies”

  1. Freya April 7, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    They look delightful!! Definitely on my Things to Bake list :)
    Hmm…not much magical has gone on in my kitchen recently :/ I’m sure there was something – but I’m in a post-workout yet-to-eat fuzz right now and can’t think :p

  2. Caitlyn (The Spoonful of Life) April 7, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Yum! Those look good. I made a similar recipe a few months ago with nuts added it! So delish.

  3. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 7, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Nice skills ;)

  4. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 7, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Gah, as healthy as these are I’ve given up all added sugar for Lent – including honey and agave! I just might have to make these Easter morning. =)

  5. Holly @ The Runny Egg April 7, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    I am definitely going to make the PB Banana Bombs tonight!

  6. Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa April 7, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Great ideas! I love quick, easy recipes like this!

    My latest unicorn moment in the kitchen…I made vegan mac n cheese for myself one night and loved it. The husband ate it for breakfast the next morning and was floored by how good it was!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      I have been wanting to make vegan mac and cheese for probably 4 weeks now! Perhaps you’ve just motivated me to get myself in order and finally just do it :)

  7. kate@ahealthypassion April 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    these seriously could not get any easier or healthier I LOVE it!

  8. Michelle {the lively kitchen} April 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Wow – considering I could live on bananas and peanut butter (although I’d miss watermelon), I am making the Bomb version soon. As in, if my kids will nap soon, today.

  9. Katie (quick cook rice) April 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    What do I have to do to get that unicorn to come out of my oven?

    (I swear that isn’t supposed to sound dirty.)

    These cookie bombs look like, well, the bomb.

  10. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) April 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    I’ll have to try these with almond butter!

  11. Andrew April 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    These sound yummy! I command you to make them for me! (Actually I politely request you make them for me, but that’s not as dramatic.)

  12. Imwaytoobusy April 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I just stumbled across your blog and can’t believe I didn’t find it sooner! I love all of your dough ball recipes! I’ve been bookmarking like made on here ;)

  13. Gina April 22, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Do you remember how many PB banana doughballs this recipe made?! :)

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Gina! I’m not totally sure, but it was more than a dozen :) Sorry! I’ll make them this week once I get back to CO and let you know. <3

      • hannah July 1, 2011 at 10:18 am #

        i just made these and tried them out. the flavor is great, and i love that they’re so simple and healthy!

        my batter, though, was VERY creamy after adding the agave, so i added a bit of extra peanut butter. maybe i should have added even MORE peanut butter because it still didn’t get “doughy” or thick. the cookies taste good, but they were pretty small and flat… nothing CLOSE to the doughballs in your pictures. :(

        should it actually be 2 TEAspoons of agave instead of TABLEspoons? what kind of peanut butter did you use? (i used skippy 100% natural peanut butter – creamy) i’ll try these again and maybe use less agave. maybe it’s just the type/brand of agave i have? i dunno.

        (oh, and i had to really scrape the bowl just to get a dozen!)

        • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

          Hannah, thank you so, so much for coming back and letting me know about these issues! I am going to make a note that people should proceed with this recipe at their own risk until I sort it out. I’ll try to make a few batches this weekend to see if I made a typo, or if it simply needs to be revised. It may have been the peanut butter brands — some add more oil than others… But even so, I want to test this with a couple brands and figure it out for certain! I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And again, I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know it didn’t turn out right. Much love! – Katie

          • hannah July 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

            oops! it was Smucker’s Natural Creamy peanut butter – not Skippy. the only ingredients are peanuts and salt – no oils whatsoever. and then i used trader joe’s organic blue agave. agaves are pretty standard as far as consistency, aren’t they? i haven’t tried many to know for myself.

            thanks so much for responding so quickly! i’m really loving your blog and all of the pics & recipes. <3

          • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 2, 2011 at 8:39 am #

            Thanks Hannah! Yes, I find that agave textures are pretty standard. Some peanut butters tend to be runnier/thicker than others… but I am more inclined to think that I made a typo or something. I’ll let you know soon *fingers crossed* :)

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