I’m back and I brought cookies!
Vegan peanut butter cookies, to be precise. But not just any peanut butter cookies. Because Ryan is a peanut fiend for whom nothing is ever peanut butter-y enough, this recipe slowly evolved from my original attempt – each new try in response to the comment: “needs more peanut butter” – until peanut butter effectively took over the ingredients list. Also important? Crunchy peanut butter transforms these into the nutty equivalent of double-chocolate cookies.
I haven’t posted in months because it’s been a hectic semester. My reading, studying, tutoring, teaching, research papers, presentations, syllabus design, and class topic proposals were punctuated by two terrible colds and a crippling bout of food poisoning (thank you, spinach recall, for being a day too late). But I’m back!
It took a long time to gather my ideas together again. With everything going on this spring, I avoided the kitchen more often than not. I survived on two recipes: Roast-Whatever-is-in-the-Fridge, and the ubiquitous lentil soup recipe (you know the one: it always requires a can of diced tomatoes, usually a can of coconut milk, and, on occasion, a vegetable).
Another reason I stayed away is because I spent a lot of time wrestling with the idea of ‘wellness’: what it means for me to live well. A lot of blogs and websites focus on wellness, highlighting ‘good’ foods and excluding ‘bad’ foods. I do this in my day-to-day life as I suppose many of us do, in our own way; I stay away from refined sugar, processed foods, etc. But it’s also easy to get caught up in someone else’s idea of wellness because they have the ‘right’ credentials, experience, or physical appearance that lends ethos (ha..) to their ideas. But the truth is that wellness is so individual. So I’ve stopped looking at what others do and gone back to what works for me. While I mostly sweeten with maple syrup, dates, and yes, honey, I do enjoy the occasional (and maybe not so occasional) sugar-laden treat. Enter these peanut butter cookies.
They’re close to what people are used to, which makes these a hit at potlucks and office parties. Ryan has been asking me to make these forever because nothing – and I do mean nothing – outside a jar of peanut butter is ever peanut buttery enough for him. Except for these.
So if you are a fan of nut butter, this is your recipe. I’ve taken these to work and everyone was surprised that they were vegan (success!). Give them a try and let me know what you think!
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, vigorously mix together peanut butter, sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Alternatively, if you do not feel like an arm workout, you can do this with a hand mixer.
- Add dry ingredients to the peanut butter and mix until incorporated.
- Drop tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets (I used two 13x9-inch stoneware sheets covered in parchment). This should yield about 32 cookies.
- Roll each cookie into a ball. Then flatten balls with the back of a fork twice, intersecting the tine-marks.
- Bake in oven 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on baking sheets 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.