What’s your style — crunchy or creamy? Salted or un-? Virginia or Valencia? Seems like there are just as many varieties of peanut butter as there are wines. (And we haven’t even gotten into blanching or skins…)
I think the #1 thing you can do with really top-notch organic 100% peanut butter is use it as a dip for 90% dark chocolate — it’s Reese’s magnified by 100! The second-best thing you can do is make extreme-style PB cookies…which I’ve done here. Using unrefined, straight-from-the-shell peanut oil adds even more flavor, and using honey in addition to sucanat gives the cookies more depth and keeps them soft and chewy. (Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it absorbs water from the air and therefore maintains a nice moist cookie.) Cinnamon rounds out the peanut-and-honey base with its warm tones.
These cookies are gluten-free. To make them with standard wheat flour, simply use wheat flour in place of the peanut, teff, and brown rice flours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup unrefined peanut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup 100% natural peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, salted or un-, Valencia or Virginia…it’s your call)
1/2 cup sucanat
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. sea salt (you might want to omit this if you’ve used salted butter and salted PB)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. baking powder
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup teff OR sorghum flour
1/2 cup crushed/chopped peanuts (optional)
In large bowl, mix butter, peanut oil, applesauce, and peanut butter. Add sucanat, honey, sea salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and thoroughly combine. Stir in eggs, then flour. (You can either use a blender or a wooden spoon to mix the batter — you’re not trying to aerate this the way you would a lighter cookie or cake.) Stir in crushed or chopped peanuts if you really want to go nuts.
Use a teaspoon to drop rounds of batter onto the cookie sheets. If you want them round and a bit pouffy, leave them as they are; if you want your cookies to be a bit flatter, you can press them down lightly with a greased fork (that will also give them an interesting ridged pattern on top).
Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool for another 10 minutes before removing the cookies with a spatula. Sprinkle additional cinnamon over them just before serving if desired. Store uneaten cookies in a tin, jar, or any other airtight container.
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