I have never been particularly interested in recipes — or, if we’re being completely tactlessly honest, people — defined by what they are not, which is probably why you don’t see a lot of recipes with flour/dairy/gluten/meat/sugar-free, no-bake, one-bowl, hand-whisked or the like in recipe titles here, although we have plenty of all of the above. My favorite foods in this category are accidentally what they are; it’s a perk, but not the purpose. I’d rather talk about what a recipe does have, like flavor, or texture or an appeal that makes it almost painful not to make it in the minutes after you read about it.
But I am not immune to the charms of ingredient absences. Many years ago, I assembled some easy after-school snack recipes for a magazine — something I couldn’t have been less of an expert on then, pre-kids, or, frankly, now (an apple and a cookie, maybe?) — and it gave me a chance to audition a three-ingredient peanut butter cookie a friend had told me about that was curiously absent in flour, butter, baking powder or baking soda and even salt. The results were, I mean, okay. It was peanut butter and sugar, it couldn’t possibly not be delicious. But they weren’t exceptional; they merely fit the bill.