Sunflower Butter Cookies

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm going to take this recipe down a peg from the very start because it sounds, at least to me, like something totally novel and groundbreaking. It's not. It's simply a modification of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe . . . using sunflower butter. I did change around the ingredients a bit to suit the roasted seed spread, which has a higher salt content than the natural peanut butter I typically use.

You can find sunflower butter (I used SunButter) in the natural foods section at your grocery store (that's where they stow it at Wegmans). But I found mine in an unlikely place: Target. I went to Target during lunch one day and found myself in the food section (definitely not the place to go if you're tying to eat whole foods, that's for sure!). It looked interesting, and now I'm hooked. But much like with my new favorite (the MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread), it's kind of pricey ($6 per jar).

What's cool about sunflower butter is that just one serving packs one-third less saturated fat than peanut butter. As well, you'll enjoy 27 percent of a day's recommended allowance of vitamin E. If not for that, it's at least worth buying once so you can make this awesome vegan recipe and enjoy the rest in some oatmeal (with strawberry jam and bananas!).

What you'll need . . .
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (or your favorite butter substitute)
  • 1 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a mix of white and wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup).
  2. Cream together the sunflower butter, Earth Balance, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
  3. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add this dry mixture to the wet with a spatula and mix until combined (but do not over mix).
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips. Plop heaping tablespoons of dough onto your cookie sheet -- spacing them about two inches apart. Then press the dough down with the back of a fork.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes -- until golden brown.
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