Quick, easy sugar-free peanut butter cookies
- 2 T. flour (I used white whole wheat)
- 1/16 tsp baking soda
- generous pinch of salt
- 1.5 T. peanut butter
- 1.5 T. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional: add some chocolate chips if you wish!
I had set up a few cookies in my high tech studio (aka, a bench from the kitchen table, pulled up close to the sliding glass door so as to catch some indirect sunlight). I stepped away to get something from the office, but when I came back something wasn’t quite right.
Here’s the before:
And here’s the after:
Hmm… One cookie seems to be missing. Now, who could the culprit be?
Oh, I just can’t get mad at that adorable face!
This recipe has been in my favorites file for decades. Back when I made bunches of Christmas cookies every year, this was in the mix year after year, and it was a big hit at our recent birthday party. It makes a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread with a subtle almond flavor.
Don’t be alarmed if you sneak a taste of the dough and it seems a little bland. The shortbread itself is not very sweet, but that is purposely so, to balance out the sweetness of the glaze. If you want to try making these without the glaze, you’ll probably want to double the sugar, at least.
1/2 c. + 2 T. real butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
almond glaze (see below)
Take 1/2 c. of butter and soften it slightly; just enough to make it mashable. Mash it with a fork, then sprinkle the almond extract over and mash some more to work the extract through the butter. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and poppy seeds. With a pastry blender, cut in the almond-butter until mixture resembles large crumbs.
Try forming the dough into a ball; if it will not all stick together, cut in another tablespoon of soften butter. Test it again, and keep adding butter a little at a time until all the dough sticks together when pressed into a ball.
Once you have it worked into one large ball, place the dough on a cookie sheet. Because this dough is so buttery, you don’t need to grease the pan or use parchment.
Begin patting the dough out and flatten it. It may crumble apart in places. Just pat them back together.
After it’s patted out, use a rolling pin to smooth the surface more.
As the edges crumble apart, periodically gather and pat them back into the circle.
Use the rolling pin to make the top smooth, and your hands to pat things back together, alternating between the two as needed. Work the dough gently until it’s a circle approximately 8″ in diameter, and 1/2″ thick.
For cutting the pieces, you can just eyeball it, or, if you want very uniform pieces, use a ruler to measure and a toothpick to mark spacing in the dough.
Then use the ruler as a straightedge guide, and a pizza cutter to make the slices. I cut this batch into 16 squares, but you could also cut them into bars or diamonds. You don’t need to separate the squares before baking.
Bake in 325 F oven 25 to 35 minutes, until edges just start to brown.
Remove from oven and slice through again with the pizza cutter, in the same place as your first cuts.
An offset spatula works great for moving these delicate little square cookies.
Let cookies cool completely. Drizzle with almond glaze. (Recipe below.) To avoid the globby drizzles seen on the left here, don’t start your drizzle on top of a cookie. Start the drizzle just a bit off to the side, then when it becomes a thinner, uniform stream, move over the cookie and wave the spoon gently but quickly back and forth as you move along over the cookies.
Ain’t they purty?!
Makes 16 cookies (plus a few scraps!) if cut into 1.5″ squares.
1.5 T. milk
1/4 t. almond extract
1 c. sifted powdered sugar
Combine milk and almond extract. Add to powdered sugar and mix thorough. Add a little more milk if necessary to make of glazing consistency.
This makes enough glaze to cover two batches of dough.
Today, we wrap up our Super Bowl recipes round-up.
Yesterday, we were so healthy, goin’ all low carb! Today’s list is a bit naughtier: it’s all about the sweet stuff!
Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips, via Relish. Still sorta healthy, what with all that fruit. Unlike our next contestant…
No-Bake Cheesecakes — This page includes a link to the original from My Baking Addiction, as well as three variations from me. These are especially cute served in little Mason jars. Plus so portable!
Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries from The Sweets Life. Strawberries are low-glycemic and loaded with potassium, so if you make this with a sweetener other than refined sugar, these are actually pretty healthy. So you can feel all virtuous as you pig out on them!
If you’ve just gotta have something themey, here you go: Football Filbert Cookies from Food.com
I’ve been scouting the interwebs for some special cookie recipes. We’re hosting a birthday party for my mom-in-law in a couple weeks, and I thought that a table of cookies would be more fun than just a cake. Here are seven that stood out to me. They’d be great for other occasions and uses, too: baby or wedding shower, bake sale, goodies in a gift basket.
Those that don’t involve cream cheese would probably travel well, and be a most welcome surprise to a college student or soldier.
Paula Deen’s Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies. One stick of butter, one package of cream cheese, one box of cake mix and one egg. Yep, sounds gooey alright!
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. These look yummy and sound as if they could be healthy. Let’s all pretend, shall we?
I’m all for healthy choices on a daily basis. But I also believe that when there is truly a special occasion, it’s okay to break out the sugar and splurge a little. A little. And just for that day. Not the whole dang week!
Oreo Truffles, from Chef in Training. Speaking of splurging! Oreos are combined with cream cheese and then dipped in white chocolate. One reader’s tip: use corn-on-the-cob holders for the dipping process.
Walnut Snowball Cookies (aka, Wedding Cookies). Who doesn’t like these? They’re simple, and delicious, and classic!
Walnuts are healthy. Yeah, health food, baby!
Gramma’s Date Bars. I know this is not a decadent-sounding recipe, but I think it’s nice to have at least one low-sugar option on the table. And this type of cookie was very popular in the 1930’s (I remember my grandma making these), so I think it’s a nostalgic favorite for lots of people.
Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread. I make an almond version. I could whip up a batch now — they take no time at all to make — but since I don’t have time to photograph them today, you’ll have to be content with this picture of Lemon Poppyseed Cookies from Martha Stewart.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. I found this recipe because one commenter’s quote caught my eye: “Out of this world!!!! These are INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Becky Bakes says, “These may just be the tastiest thing I’ve had… ever.” They certainly are elegant enough to earn a spot on a birthday party table.
Ina Garten’s Carrot and Pineapple Cake. Okay, so it’s not a cookie, but if it were made as a sheet cake and cut into little squares or bars it could pass, right? And here’s a lighter carrot cake option. (The photo is of the lighter version.)
What cookies do you make for special occasions?