Salted “Peanut Butter” Cookies (peanut free)
I had a baking session with my good friend Aaron Ribant from Seriously Ripped Abs. (Really, though, you have to check out his abs.) We were making a healthier, starch-free version of peanut butter cookies. He’s also a photographer, so I was excited to get some gorgeous photos, and I wanted to perfect the recipe for a dinner party. Then I got the email from a attendee: “Just to let you know, I have a serious peanut allergy. Like, peanuts = death.”Oh no! My dessert plans were foiled. But not to fear, for sunflower seed butter came to my rescue.
When you have a loved one who’s allergic to peanut butter, (whether it’s a sensitivity or eminent death), it’s challenging to find an alternative. Almond butter is good in its own way, but it really doesn’t satisfy a peanut butter craving.
These peanut butter cookies are also gluten free, vegan, paleo friendly, and delicious. Let me know if you come up with any fun variations! And check out the normal recipe with peanut butter on Aaron’s blog.
½ cup almond flour*
½ cup cashew meal*
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup creamy sunbutter (or peanut butter, if you’re not worried about allergies).
¼ cup honey/agave nectar/maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegan shortening**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Cashew Meal/Flour has recently become available, and I find that gluten free cookies come out creamier and sweeter when used. But, if you don’t have any available to you, you can just use almond flour instead. Trader Joe’s seems to be the cheapest place to find these ingredients, but you can also order them in bulk on Amazon.
**If using peanut butter, increase to 2 tbsp.
In a food processor or a bowl, place all ingredients. If using a food processor, blend until smooth. In a bowl, use a hand blender or a whisk until ingredients are completely mixed. (If mixing by hand, make sure that there aren’t any clumps or “pockets” of certain ingredients sticking together).
Take spoonfuls of dough (about 1 Tbsp) and scoop the onto a well-greased or parchment-lined pan. Use a fork to flatten in a criss-cross pattern, similar to a peanut butter cookie.
Bake at 350° for 5-9minutes until golden around the edges
While the cookies are still warm, sprinkle the coarse salt over the top of each cookie. You won’t need much.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TOUCH COOKIES UNTIL COOL. Once they’ve cooled off, the cookies hold together nicely. But when they’re fresh out of the oven, they will fall into a pile of crumples if you attempt to remove them from the pan too soon. To expedite the process, I will place the pan on a pot-holder in the fridge for 5 minutes.
Once they’re cool enough to be solid, carefully remove from the pan and enjoy!