Monday, March 23, 2015

Recipe: "I Can't Believe It's Not Peanut Butter" Cookies

I love peanut butter cookies.

Needless to say, with a peanut-allergy kid I don't get them very much these days. But they are delicious aren't they? And I have missed them.

I don't anymore.

About a year or so ago, we discovered Sunbutter: a buttery spread made of sunflower seeds that tastes about as close to peanut butter as you can get without it actually being peanut butter. It's cheaper than almond butter (Will is not allergic to almonds) and my family all enjoys eating it. We've tried a couple of different brands, but Sunbutter brand is definitely our preferred brand.

Recently I decided that I wanted to see how the Sunbutter held up in a batch of peanut butter cookies. I checked out a couple of recipes and put some of the things I liked about them together to come up with the one that I am sharing with you here. As I was pulling it together, I was uncertain about how they would turn out and decided that the gauge would be Steve. He's always honest with me about a recipe that I'm working on and as such I rely on him to help me develop things.

His response? "These are the best 'nut butter' type cookies you've ever made."

Ok then.

I made them a second time with a few tweaks and here is the final recipe. This is a great recipe for anyone who has peanut/treenut or egg allergies and can be adjusted for folks with milk allergies. It's also great to make with the little ones because there are no raw eggs to worry about when they those desires to stick their hands in the dough to sample it. So - go ahead, make some. Enjoy!

- 1/2 cup butter (for milk allergies, use 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan baking sticks
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

- I recognize that my next step is probably going to make some bakers cringe, but it's seriously how I make all my cookies these days. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and let it run until the dough sort of comes together in a ball. You may need to stop it occasionally and scrape the sides/bottom to make sure you get everything in the mix. Why a food processor? Well for me I find it saves a TRUCKLOAD of time when making cookies. Also, for the purposes of these cookies it pulverizes the oatmeal which kind of makes a faux-crunchy-sunbutter feel to the cookies - great for those who like their nut-butter cookies with nuts in them. 

- Scoop the dough out using a spoon and then using your clean hands form it into little dough-patties about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. The dough is going to seem crumbly: that's OK, just squish the dough together into the little round patties. The dough doesn't spread much while baking, so I can usually fit about 18 patties on a cookie sheet and get about 3 dozen total cookies.

- Bake the cookies in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. They should still be soft to the touch when you pull them out; I find that for our tastes, we cook them for 10-11 minutes in our oven. 

- Let them cool ON THE COOKIE SHEET for 8-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish. If you take them off of the cookie sheet too soon - they WILL fall apart (remember what I said about the dough being crumbly); leaving them on the cookie sheet for a bit allows them to cohere a bit better. 

The cookies are usually ready to eat after about 15-20 minutes out of the oven. These cookies are deceptive; to handle the dough and look at the finished product, you might think that these cookies would be a bit dry all the way through. This, however, is not the case. The cookies are dry-ish on the outside and pretty moist on the inside (I know, moist-haters, but I can't think of a better word). 

Most importantly - they are delicious. 

And addictive. 

Don't say I didn't warn you.

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