Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other cookie flavors? While you might assume that chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, or dozens of other varieties might be safe for those with peanut allergies, in fact peanuts can find their way into a surprising variety of foods.
Not only are they found in small quantities in recipes that you might not automatically think of as 'peanut butter cookies,' but there is also the possibility of cross-contamination. Whether baked in a large commercial kitchen or in the home of a friend or family member, there is the chance that the surfaces and utensils used to make the cookies are also used to make any recipe containing peanut ingredients. Even this residue is enough to cause an allergic reaction in some people. For this reason, many of those with severe peanut allergies stay away from any pre-packaged cookies, such as those found in the grocery store or at a bake sale, since there is often no way to know whether the cookie has been contaminated with peanut residue.
To be truly peanut-free, cookies must be made in a dedicated facility that does not handle peanut ingredients, even just for other recipes baked there. There are peanut-free bakeries in many major cities, as well as those offering an online store. This can be a good way to find peanut-free baked goods such as cookies that are baked in a dedicated peanut-free facility.
Another option, of course, is to bake cookies at home. If you go this route, make sure that each ingredient used, from flour to chocolate chips, is peanut-free. This can be a fun and affordable way to ensure that your treats have not come into contact with peanuts.