Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

>> Monday, April 29, 2013

Ada has reached the age where she's interested in all the food on OUR plates versus her own. As if  you all didn't know it already, I have a cookie habit. "What's that?" she asks me, ignoring her peas. "Cookie," I say -- hoping to distract her with a book or puzzle.

"Cookie. Cookie. CoooooooooOOOOOOOOOkie!" she cries.

And that's how Ada's cookie habit began. But what she doesn't know is what I give her is actually pretty tame on the sweets spectrum. So, young or old -- this one's sure to please. The chocolate topping is optional (those ones are mama's cookies!)

makes just over a dozen

What you'll need . . .
  • 4 tablespoons honey or maple syurp
  • 1/2 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter (homemade to really control sugar + salt content)
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons hot water 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
* I imagine a gluten-free substitute or other flours -- spelt, buckwheat -- would work well, too, since it's such a small amount.

Method . . . 

  1. Preheat your oven to  375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter, Earth Balance, and honey/maple syrup.
  3. In a separate, small bowl, combine the flax meal with the hot water and let sit for a couple minutes. Then add the mixture + vanilla extract to the bowl and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined. Then scoop heaping tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake between 9 and 11 minutes, depending on the sweetener you used (honey tends to brown sooner). Let cool before serving.

I make these cookies naked for Ada and she easily polishes off half of one at a sitting. I, on the other hand, could eat quite a few.

To make it a mommy (or daddy) cookie, just melt 1/4 to 1/3 cup dark chocolate or bittersweet chips with 1/2 teaspoon Earth Balance on the stove, stirring constantly. Then use a spatula to haphazardly drip chocolate on top. Or artfully, whatever you think it is.

YUP. I'll probably be one of those moms who brings chocolate-tofu pie to snack time at preschool. I'm owning it. Honestly, I'll do anything to get my kid to eat, even if it means crafting low sugar or seemingly strange concoctions. But they taste great, so who cares what's in them?

Happy Monday!

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