PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Hey-O! Happy Sunday.
For our cooking show this past Friday, Collins & I made peanut butter cookies from Lisa Leak’s 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook. I used to reference this book a whole lot a few years ago when I was learning what healthy cooking can look like. Any recipe where flour is used, she uses whole-wheat flour, & she only uses unrefined sugars (pure maple syrup, honey, etc). I had always assumed you could interchange all-purpose & wheat flours, but it turns out I know very little about flour & shouldn’t assume things because you know what assuming does. Whole-wheat flour is more dense so it’s possible simply subbing it in for an all-purpose flour recipe would leave the result a bit dry. Listen to me chattering away like I’m a baker.
Anyway, I actually had plans to make a different recipe on Friday, but I forgot to buy a couple of necessary ingredients at the grocery store, including all-purpose flour (just make the freaking list next time, Jenna), so I had to tap into my flexibility game & find a recipe using ingredients I already had on hand.
Enter these peanut butter cookies. They only require eight ingredients (nine if you add in peanuts), & there’s a good chance you may already have them on hand. Because of the wheat flour, they have more of a cake like texture, so don’t make these if you’re looking for a thinner, crispy cookie. After taste-testing seven of them (because you really have to try several to wrap your mind around the truth), I think these would make a great on the go breakfast option. She doesn’t include nutrition facts in her recipes (which I actually like because I think ingredients are more important), but if you’re like me & don’t love your kids eating a ton of sugar for breakfast, these are a potential win (unless your kid needs seven cookies, like me, & then you’re on your own). Using pure maple syrup as the sweetener & peanut butter without added sugar, you’re getting about six grams of unrefined sugar per cookie (if your batch makes 27 cookies like mine did). And the peanut butter makes them pretty filling. Okay, that’s enough about that. You didn’t come here for a complex math lesson.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES by Lisa Leake, courtesy of 100 Days of Real Food
1 1/4 C whole-wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 C natural peanut butter (I combined pb & almond butter because I ran out of pb…make the list, Jenna!!)
3/4 C pure maple syrup
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened slightly & cut into small chunks (She doesn’t specify salted or unsalted….I think you typically use unsalted when baking, but salted was all I had so that’s what I used, & nobody died.)
1 t pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 C unsalted peanuts (I’d like to say I didn’t do this because I’m a protective parent, & these could be a choking hazard, but I didn’t even have the option because have I mentioned my snafu at the grocery store???)
1 Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees & line your baking sheet with parchment paper (less cleanup!). If you don’t have parchment paper, you can leave your cookie sheet ungreased, according to Lisa, although this always leaves me nervous. Also, I’m writing 325 degrees here because that’s what she says to do, but my cookies didn’t seem like they were ever going to brown at that temp, so I ended up bumping them to 350.
2 In a medium bow, whisk together flour, baking soda, & salt.
3 In a bowl of a standard mixer (or use your handheld electric beater), mix your peanut butter, maple syrup, butter, egg, & vanilla. It’s okay if the butter isn’t completely homogenous with the rest of the ingredients, but mix until pretty smooth.
4 Turn the mixer down to low & slowly pour in your flour mix. Turn mixer off & stir in peanuts by hand, if you’re using them.
5 Drop your cookies onto your cookie sheet (I used a rounded tablespoon amount of dough for mine), & bake for about 15 minutes.
Note: if you want your cookies to be aesthetically pleasing, you’ll want to shape them a bit before putting them in the oven. I didn’t do this, & they leave a little something to be desired. But hers look like fluffy little peanut butter clouds, so I do believe they hold potential for greatness.
After our taste test, I let them completely cool & then put them all in a gallon-freezer bag & popped them in the freezer.
Also, for reference, when Blake came home, this was our dialogue:
Me: So I think I’ll save these & use them for an easy breakfast option for the kids.
Blake: Oh, good. They liked them?
Me: I mean, about as much as anything I make. They’d rather have a pop-tart.
So, listen, I’m not calling these miracle cookies. They’re simple. They’re healthy for a cookie. They’re tasty (I’d definitely recommend pairing with milk or coffee—-I didn’t have the patience to make this happen for the taste test, & it is a regret I’ll carry for the rest of my life.)
Enjoy! And we hope to see you next week at our live cooking show on Instagram! Every Friday at 2:30!