Happy Sweet-Tooth Friday everybody! This is Christine, and things sure have changed around the NMA house since I last checked in with you. Of course you know by now that I am a proud aunt, ready to spoil the crap out of my new nephew with healthy treats. That is, as soon as he’s ready to chew…
Cookies fit for 3,000,000 of your closest friends
In the meantime, these sunflower butter cookies will satisfy the rest of our palates. In fact, everybody can enjoy these, even the 3 million people in this country with peanut-allergies. Yep, there are no nuts here, and no gluten, eggs, soy, or dairy either.
Since receiving the Allergy-Free Desserts cookbook, I’ve had my eye on these so-called “Pretend Peanut Butter Cookies.” Obviously I am not allergic to peanuts— peanut butter made its debut in my first Sweet-Tooth Friday recipe for chocolate avocado mousse, and has popped up in everything from my vegan chocolates to rice krispie treats to chickpea granola bars.
So with a love of peanut butter this strong, what would tempt me to make pretend peanut butter cookies?
The secret is sunflower seeds
I had never tried sunflower seed butter or any seed butter except for tahini before seeing this recipe. On its own, sunflower seed butter is a delicate and creamy spread that tastes very similar to actual sunflower seeds. But in the oven, the taste magically transforms to something very similar to good ol’ peanut butter. Plus, sunflower seeds are loaded with protein and vitamin E.
As for the gluten, eggs, and dairy, you’ll never miss them here either. Again, I’m not allergic to gluten, but I enjoy a dessert more knowing that I am eating mainly ground chickpeas instead of just white flour. If you’re curious about gluten-free baking, check out my interview with author Elizabeth Gordon as well as my post on Allergy-Free Pineapple Upside Down cake.
Here is the recipe from Elizabeth Gordon’s Allergy-Free Desserts (Wiley), reprinted with permission.
Pretend Peanut Butter Cookies
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
- 1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup organic palm fruit oil shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a cup or small bowl, combine the water and flaxseed meal and allow to thicken for 3 to 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the shortening, sugars, and sunflower seed butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the flaxseed mixture and the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared sheets. Press the cookies down with the tines of a fork (dipped in sugar) in the criss-cross pattern characteristic of peanut butter cookies.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the tops no longer look wet. Transfer the baking sheets from the oven to cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly onto the racks to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 20 small cookies.
These cookies are really great, and will give any traditional peanut butter cookie a run for its money! You’ll immediately reap the benefits of baking these goodies, especially if you happen to live with a breastfeeding mother with an insatiable craving for cookies…yep, you’ll get an extra 5 minutes of snuggling with the baby while everyone else chows down!
See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday!