Monday, October 22, 2012

Better-for-you Peanut Butter Cookies

     I bought a jar of peanut butter a few days ago because I needed a tablespoon of it for something. I love peanut butter, but it has to be the right kind. It is easy to go wrong with peanut butter (too salty or too sweet) and this jar that I bought wasn't the kind that I would keep spooning into my mouth. I knew it would just sit in my pantry looking desolate, so I thought of making peanut butter cookies.

     Peanut butter cookies are not my favourite thing in the world. Actually I wouldn't even say that I like them very much; but maybe I've only had greasy, butter-laden artery-cloggers that were too chewy. I looked up recipes and was quite horrified and puzzled as to why people would use butter AND peanut butter in the same recipe. Peanut butter has a high fat content so surely that provides sufficient fat in baking recipes...? I don't know. I'm not a food scientist.

     I did find a recipe that used only four ingredients: peanut butter, sugar, egg and baking powder. However, even that didn't satisfy me so I played around with the proportions of the ingredients and ended up having to add an extra ingredient to it: flour. The result is a cookie that is lower in sugar because I halved the amount of sugar used. You can add an extra tablespoon or so of sugar if you want your cookies sweeter. This recipe will give you crispy cookies with slightly chewy middles. That's just the way I like it! The cookies can burn quickly so please watch the oven while the cookies are baking.


Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 24 small cookies or 8 large cookies

1 large egg
1/2 cup white sugar
120g peanut butter*
40g self-raising flour (approx 1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 2 large cookie sheets with lightly greased baking paper.
2. Put the flour and baking powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and sugar together for 1 minute.
4. Add the peanut butter to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
5. Lastly, tip the flour in and mix well.

The batter will have the consistency of thick honey

6. Drop the batter onto the cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls, depending on the size of cookies that you want.
 Be sure to leave space between each cookie to accommodate spreading! 
1-inch space around each cookie should be sufficient.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes (timing depends on your oven), until the edges of the cookies are medium-brown.
8. Remove from oven, leave to cool on the baking sheet for a 5 to 10 minutes, then lift the cookies onto a cooling rack.


These cookies can be stored for 3 days in an airtight container.
*To measure 120g of peanut butter, put the jar of peanut butter on a digital weighing scale, set the tare to 0g then spoon out 120g. Easy!

The large sized cookies make a great base for a dessert. This was my creation for a girls' night in dessert: Peanut butter cookie topped with Banana-only 'Ice Cream', with a smaller peanut putter cookie on top!

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