Monday, June 15, 2009

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

After the third or fourth night in a row of having vivid Salvador Dali-esque dreams about baking cookies I knew something needed to be done. I ceded to my subconscious and scoured the internet for a cookie recipe, any cookie recipe I could eat. No flour, very little starch and no sugar puts most recipes out of the running. After looking through enough gluten free vegan blogs I found cookies I could make with what I had on hand without much trouble and gleefully went about doing so.

The great thing about these cookies is that since they are vegan and therefore egg less there is really no reason to cook them. You could very easily mix this up and eat it raw to satisfy a cookie dough craving. With my new found ice cream obsession I'm thinking of making this batter again and tossing it raw into vanilla custard. The decadence of such a thing is grin worthy and obviously something I will try very soon.

For the first time around however I resisted the urge to eat all the dough raw (though a couple spoonfuls were sacrificed before the oven got turned on) to see how these would turn out. Substituting in the agave nectar caused a strange reaction in the oven, browning the bottom of the cookies heavily without burning them. There was a bit of smoke in the kitchen and the cookies weren't very pretty but otherwise they were great little treats.

Believe the recipe when it says that super creamy more expensive peanut butter is best. I used the cheap natural peanut butter I had on hand and ended up with gritty cookies. If taste is more important to you than texture use whatever nut butter you have, your cookies will just look odd.

Also the original recipe involved sugar and corn starch so switching that out for agave nectar and arrowroot caused interesting problems. You may have to play with amounts of sweetness and starch to get a good consistency. I would suggest putting in too little agave and then adding the arrowroot bit by bit until you get the dough to firm up. I made the mistake of tossing in all the agave and then adding too much arrowroot to compensate. If you've never tasted raw arrowroot I wouldn't suggest it as it isn't pleasant. Almost like a gritty fermented yam or something along those lines. Not something you want your cookies to taste like. So use the arrowroot sparingly.

I've yet to find sugar free chocolate chips so I used a meat hammer to break up baking chocolate. This was extremely satisfying and worked out well. The uneven bits of bitter chocolate worked out well in my overly gritty cookies

Apparently these cookies did a good job imitating real cookies because I haven't had cookie lust dreams since making them.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed meal
3 tablespoons water

1 c. creamy peanut butter (the kind that does not separate into oil and nuts is best)
scant 3/4 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon arrow root
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a small bowl or ramekin, use a fork to whisk together the flax meal and water. Allow to sit 3-4 minutes or until it gels.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and agave nectar. When the flax seed egg replacer has gelled, add it to the mix. Add the arrowroot and mix well. The mixture should be pretty stiff. Add more arrowroot if the mixture is too soft to hold peaks when you lift the spoon out of it.

Stir in the chocolate chips as gently as you can.

Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15-30 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 degrees to preheat during this time.

Scoop the chilled cookie dough into small balls using a normal eating-sized spoon. Place the cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart from each other.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for around 15 minutes. You want to take them out once the tops are getting brown. The cookies may still seem soft at this point, but they will harden as they cool.

Original recipe from the Aprovechar healthy cooking blog.


splot said...

Hey! Have you found unsweetened peanut butter somewhere that does NOT separate?! I've never found such a thing in all the years i've looked. :/

Emily said...

There are some expensive ones in the organic section of Woodman's that claim not to separate but I haven't tried them. Otherwise sunflower seed butter is supposed to be a good creamy substitute.