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Eat Well : Awesome peanut cookies

Here’s a little confession. Now that we try to eat clean, I spend a lot of time thinking about food. I’m usually dreaming about vegan cupcakes, flourless desserts, spelt cookies, and wondering what would happen if I swap this out with that, or add a little bit of this to that. Most times, I end up with a yummy, healthy variation. Other times, I create Frankensnacks which go straight into the bin. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wind up with awesome. Like many, many weekends ago.

I was sitting in the car when it suddenly occurred to me that anything covered in ground peanuts with coconut sugar would taste absolutely divine. Which got me thinking about peanut cookies. And the next thing I knew, I was in the kitchen attempting a batch.

These little babies are crumbly and melt in your mouth. The peanut butter and ground peanuts come together perfectly – pop one of these into your mouth, and it’s an explosion of peanut sweetness.  The texture is just like a Chinese New Year peanut cookie.  You know, the type that your grandma or some Chinese auntie makes? Except, and this is a big except, instead of having to grind peanuts, all you need is peanut butter which is completely fuss-free.  And don’t we all almost always have peanut butter in our fridge?

Now, let me go try to dream up something else just as awesome.

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You will need (yields about two and a half dozen cookies): 

  • 11/4 cups spelt flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted organic butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grounded peanut for coating (you basically use a food processor to blitz peanuts and coconut sugar until you get the texture you want)
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl
  2. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes), then beat in peanut butter and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until a crumbly dough forms.
  4. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, and press into a disk.  Chill dough until firm (at least 1 hour)
  5. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350F.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Prepare your grounded peanut in a bowl, and set aside.
  7. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll balls one at a time in grounded peanut to coat and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake until cookies are puffed and starting to crack (12-15 minutes). Cool on sheets for 10 minutes (cookies are fragile when hot), and then transfer to cool completely.

(Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com)

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