The internet may not need another peanut butter cookie recipe, but that’s okay because I don’t profess to offer up what the internet needs. You, however, may need a classic peanut butter cookie recipe that’s been updated to cut down on the refined sugar.
When my kids were coming for Mother’s Day I was seized with a sudden urge to make cookies. That’s something I haven’t done much of in recent years, and one reason is that many cookies are just so sweet. I’m not trying to turn treats into health food, but I am using less refined sugar to dial down the post-cookie buzz.
I dug into my little yellow recipe box, which contains all the recipes I copied out before I got married a million years ago, and found the recipe card for peanut butter cookies in my careful, feeling-grown-up printing. I used to make these cookies often as a teenager and occasionally when my kids were, well, kids. I’ll be making this new version a lot more now.
In terms of changes, all I did was swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar, use granulated cane sugar in place of the usual white sugar, and plain ground peanut butter instead of the commercially jarred version I always used in the past. I also added salted peanuts, both for crunch and for extra seasoning to compensate for the difference between commercial and plain ground peanuts.
The result? A tender cookie with a lightly crisp exterior and a soft interior. The peanuts added a hit of texture which always ups the fun factor in cookie eating. And although the sweetness is far more subtle than the original recipe, these definitely fall firmly into the treat department.
My daughter who likes things made the traditional way spoke highly of these cookies, so that’s a significant endorsement of this recipe “revolution.”
A More Important Revolution: #FoodRevolutionDay
As you can see from the photo above, I had some enthusiastic help making these cookies. Little Miss E, who is three years old, is always eager to cook with Nana. Sometimes we make healthy food, like chia seed pudding with raspberries and blueberries, and other times we make treats like these cookies. Not only are we having fun together, but she’s learning about food and cooking, and gaining skills that will make her comfortable in the kitchen when she’s old enough to fix snacks and meals for herself.
Sharing knowledge and skills with the little ones in my family is one way that I support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, this year on Friday May 15. Another way I support the campaign is through promoting it on the blog (here), and last year also in a column in the London Free Press Neighbours supplement (unfortunately not available online). I’ll be doing another post on Friday with more information about the campaign and why it’s so important. Please check out the campaign and do what you can to support it, including signing this petition urging governments around the world to make practical food education compulsory.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Line one or two baking trays with parchment paper. Makes 30 cookies.
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (containing ground peanuts only)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter until the mixture is light and airy. Little Miss E and I used my handheld mixer for this, but you could use a stand mixer or good old-fashioned arm power. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended, scraping down the bowl partly through.
Slowly beat in the flour in two batches until just incorporated. Then, using a large spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the peanuts until distributed throughout the batter.
For a more rustic look, I made these as drop cookies, placing large dollops of the dough (about a tablespoon or a little more) about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet (they don’t spread a lot, but they do to some extent). Dip a fork in water and gently press the cookies down before baking.
My cookies were done in 12 minutes. At this point they were lightly browned on the bottom, slightly puffed up and still fairly pale on top. These are the results for my oven. Since yours may be different I suggest you check your cookies at 10 minutes and decide if they need to bake longer. Because the cookies are so tender, I leave them on the tray for about a minute before transferring to a cooling rack. During this time they will flatten more.
This recipe makes 30 cookies. The fam jam enjoyed them at our Mother’s Day gathering, and there were lots left over to send home and leave me with just a few. This is how I compensate for my notable lack of willpower in the face of cookies and other treats.