I’ve been really into peanut butter lately. I don’t know if it’s the nostalgic feeling of childhood or the fact that it’s just so yummy (very technical word choice!), but adding a little bit (or a lot) of peanut butter to my recipes just hits the spot.
For a long time I was peanut butter-phobic. Back in the “fat-free” days, foods like peanut butter and other nuts and nut butters had no place in meal plans I designed for my clients or myself. Fortunately I know better now and have plenty of scientific evidence to back me up. Nuts and nut butters absolutely have a place in a clean eating world. Their blend of carb, protein, healthy fats, and fiber make them a very well-balanced food. They are heart-healthy and can help you stay fuller for longer, which will help you achieve your weight management goals. Yes, the calorie count is pretty high, with 1 tbs. of nut butter clocking in at 90 calories, so make sure to measure it out and enjoy.
When choosing a nut butter, it’s always best to go with an all-natural style, rather than the big name brands (you know which ones I’m talking about). The only ingredients in your nut butter should be nuts and maybe salt. That’s it. Check out the ingredient list of the most popular brands of peanut butter and you’ll find a lot of stuff in there that has no place in peanut butter or your body. Definitely not clean eats. Most have partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Big No-nos.
That being said, when I want to indulge in peanut butter, I like Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. No hydrogenated oils, no HFCS. About 85 calories and 3.5 grams sugar per tablespoon. A treat I can handle. Peanut Butter & Co. actually has a whole line of flavored peanut butter and the one’s that I’ve tasted are damn good! I’ve rolled the chocolate and white chocolate flavored ones into balls, refrigerated them until hardened, and served them as truffles. High-protein and no mess!
This lead me to my recipe – flourless peanut butter cookies. I was watching Unique Sweets on the Cooking Channel the other night and the episode was all about peanut butter. They featured a flourless, vegan PB cookie and I thought, “I can do that!” Of course I made a few tweaks to their recipe. Instead of granulated sugar, I used date sugar (a new find that I am experimenting with – more recipes coming). I didn’t have plain peanut butter in the house, so I used the White Chocolate Wonderful from Peanut Butter & Co. After the first batch came out I thought, let’s jazz up the second batch with chocolate (what pairs better with PB than chocolate?). I found some delicious chocolate truffles in the pantry, sliced them up and placed a piece in the center of the cookie. Another delicious result. The final batch I decided to crack a hint of sea salt over the top for a little sweet-n-salty combination. Mmmmm. Here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy them.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup all-natural peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful by Peanut Butter & Co.)
- 3/4 c organic date sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- flax egg replacer (mix 1 tbs. ground flax seed with 3 tbs. water; stir and let sit overnight)
- sea salt
- Dark chocolate ( I used chocolate truffle, sliced)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (silicon baking mat).
- Place peanut butter, date sugar, flax, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt into the bowl of a stand mixer (You can also use a bowl, wooden spoon, and elbow grease!) with a paddle attachment. Start the machine on low and gradually increase the speed to incorporate all of the ingredients. Stop the mixer once, scrape down and sides and mix again for 60 seconds.
- Scoop out 1 tbs. of batter for each cookie and place on the baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Press a fork down onto the surface of each cookie to make the cross-hatch pattern.
- Optional: add a piece of dark chocolate to the center of each cookie; or just sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Place in the oven and bake for 9 minutes. Remove and let cool on sheet pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.