Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter CookiesWhile searching through endless cookbooks around the holidays to put together my holiday gift guide, I was greatly intrigued by vegan baking. No butter, no eggs, no milk? How could anything good possibly come out of something lacking so much? And what about all those crazy ingredients like agave nectar and arrowroot? I’m on a budget here! But there was one book that caught my eye. One that didn’t call for a lot of extra ingredients I didn’t already have. One that seemed simple, yet delicious—Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I’ve finally gotten my hands on it long enough to try out some recipes, and it couldn’t come at a better time. After the stress of Petit Fours, I’m ready to go back to something simple. Something I know I can do, and do well. And something that won’t take 3 days to finish. I’m so ready for some cookies.

My first try out of the book was a batch of Peanut Butter Cookies. Along with Chocolate Chip, Sugar, and Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter ranks high in the classic cookie flavors. I’ve had my fair share of Peanut Butter cookies over the years, some great, some just so-so, and some rather bland. Where would the vegan version fall in the scale?

Tasting the unbaked dough, I was convinced they would end up in the bland category. There really wasn’t a whole lot of flavor going on—not a big peanut-y punch, or really even a slight shove. But they weren’t baked yet, so I couldn’t completely rule them out.

Peanut Butter CookiesBaking them, I failed to realize that, like most peanut butter cookies, they don’t spread much in the oven. Most of my cookies came out as little bite sized morsels. And a bit crumbly straight from the oven. I tried to pick one up to sample while they were still pretty warm and it totally fell apart on me. Strike 2?

Finally, I forced myself to have some patience and let them cool completely before trying them out. I’m really glad I did because once they’re cooled, they taste SO much better! Lots of peanut butter flavor, and the perfect amount of chewiness! They were quite soft and once they cooled, they held together nicely—no more falling apart! And honestly, if I didn’t know they were vegan cookies, I would have never known. They tasted just like their butter and egg filled cousins! I had to bring them into work to share, otherwise I would have sat there and eaten the entire batch by myself (much like I did with the Petit Fours. Not a good start with the resolutions..).

With my first full-on, non-stressful vegan baking success, I can't wait to try out other recipes from this book! Who knows, maybe I'll even end up with a whole vegan baking section here!

Peanut Butter CookiesPeanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
Makes about 30 small cookies or 24 medium sized cookies

½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup smooth peanut butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light molasses
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment or silicon liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together shortening, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla and molasses.
3. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, beating until just combined. The dough should be a bit dry and stick together when squeezed. If dough is too dry, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.
4. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and flatten slightly with your hands. Place flattened dough on prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. With the tines of a fork, create crisscross pattern on dough, one horizontal and one vertical.
5. Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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lostpastremembered said...

Perfect cookies... how did you do that??? They are splendid and great photo too.

sweetie said...

hiya busty baker, could you tell me the size cookie scoop you used on the sugar coated ginger cookies? is it a rull tablespoon or slightly larger? thanks!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Sweetie - I pretty much always use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop for my cookies, which is roughly a tablespoon. Hope that helps!

oneordinaryday said...

Glad they turned out for you, and I love that you did the criss-cross on top. Reminds me of my mom's pb cookies when we were kids. : )

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Very nice job on your vegan cookies! I've always wanted to try baking a vegan recipe. Somehow it always slips my mind when I'm looking through cookbooks for ideas!

Amanda said...

These are the most gorgeous, smooth peanut butter cookies I have ever seen! Lovely.

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