Showing posts with label peanut butter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peanut butter. Show all posts

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache



Okay, so apparently I'm just going to hurl sweets at you until you give up and gain 400 pounds (I haven't even gotten to the Nutella filled chocolate chip cookies yet). Yeah, I don't know what my problem is either. My only suggestion is that you take it to a party in order to unload your (my) bad habits on your unsuspecting friends. If that doesn't work, I should tell you this freezes very well so you can try to hide it from yourself in the depths of your freezer. Until you really really need it of course. But by then your husband/kids may have pillaged it out of your freezer hiding spot, so you've got to watch your back with these things.

In all honesty, I've had a little bee in my bonnet for a good peanut butter cake for a long time. However, peanut butter can be tricky to bake with. For whatever reasons it will often dry a cake out faster than a sandy picnic. Yet when I saw the picture for this in a little cookbook called Eat Dessert First there was a picture and that picture sure didn't look dried out. Now those cookbook pictures can be a little deceiving (don't get me started) so I was still a little wary, but this cake was awesome. It was moist and dense--almost brownie like while still being cake. 

I was worried that the peanut butter cake and peanut butter frosting would be just too much peanut butter, so I added a drizzle of chocolate ganache, which I think was just the thing. You could even try a drizzle of strawberry glaze or jam for a PBJ effect, or you could try serving this with strawberry ice cream or whipped cream and strawberries or, well, yes you could go nuts with the whole PBJ theme. 

Now go forth and gaineth 12,000 pounds. Or go forth and causeth your friends to gaineth 12,000 pounds. Or hideth this from yourself so your husband gaineth 12,000 pounds. Or, really, just try to be a little moderate and enjoy the darn thing.



Peanut Butter Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache
adapted from Eat Dessert First
Makes one 10x15 inch pan (or a 9x13 inch and a few cupcakes)
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cost: $4.00
cake: sugar: .30, flour: .30, eggs: .20, sour cream: .60, peanut butter: .60,
icing: butter: .25, peanut butter: .60, milk: .05, confectioner's sugar: .50
ganache: chocolate chips: .50, milk: .05

For Cake:

2 C sugar
2 C flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 C sour cream
2/3 creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 C butter
1 C water

For Icing:
1/2 C butter
2/3 C creamy or crunchy peanut butter
6 Tbsp milk
2 1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For ganache:

1/2 C chocolate chips
several Tbsp milk

For cake: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl, combine sugar and flour.

In medium bowl mix eggs, baking soda, and sour cream. Set aside. In small saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter, and water. Bring to a boil. Add boiled mixture to flour mixture and mix. Stir in egg/sour cream mixture.

Pour into greased 15x10 inch sheet cake pan. (Note: I didn't have this size pan and I didn't want to put my math hat on and change the measurements, so I used a 9x13, poured a thin layer of cake and then set a couple cups of batter aside and made several cupcakes--about 6 with the leftover batter.)

Bake 20 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean (mine took a little longer than 20 minutes).

For icing:

Combine butter, peanut butter, and milk in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Stir until thicken and pour over cake while cake is warm. (Note: Mine was too thick to be exactly pourable, so I spread it--all was still right with the world.

Once it had cooled, I made a simple chocolate ganache by microwaving 1/2 C or so of chocolate chips with a couple Tbsp milk. I microwaved at 30 second intervals, stirring until it was combined and thick (if not thick add a few more chocolate chips), let it cool for a few minutes, and then drizzled this over top.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Monday, February 3, 2014

Peanut Butter (and Almond) Cookies--Raw and Vegan and Gluten-Free and Awesome




I could have called these sugar free as well. Because they use dates instead of sugar. But I'm tired of going to all those recipes that say "SUGAR FREE!!!" only to find that the recipe uses 1 1/2 C of maple syrup or something (I'm sorry, but I do not count maple syrup/honey/agave as sugar free; maybe refined-sugar free, but seriously people--maple syrup is not sugar free). So anyway, I thought I'd spare you the hype. Still, come on, a cup of dates is totally better than a cup of maple syrup or honey or agave or, yes, sugar.

These were delicious. They could be eaten for breakfast. But guess what? I didn't tell my kids that and I didn't make them for breakfast. I made them for dessert. And then fed them to my kids for dessert. And my kids ate them as a dessert. And never even questioned whether or not they were really dessert material (because they totally rocked). And if there's something in the food world that really makes me happy, it's a cookie that can pass for breakfast AND dessert.

These are raw, though if you use toasted nuts, they'll turn out fine too. They're gluten free. They're vegan, but I'm not vegan so I don't post a vegan recipe unless I find it pretty incredible. They're fabulously satisfying. They're not crispy on the edges or low-cal because you read the parts about them being raw and containing peanut butter right. So we won't fault them too much.

These are also easy to make. Although you do need a good food processor to make them--one capable of processing nuts and handling the sticky dates. (It's possible that a nice blender could also work, but I don't have one so I can't promise anything.)

Note for those who want their brains to twist in a knot with overmuch detail: I made these by combining everything but the dates and then adding the dates in and processing. However, the dates made it clump up in a motor-threatening sticky ball where the dates were still big and clumpy. So I ended up taking out half the dough and processing, then putting the other half in and processing. Then combining the two. If I did it again, I'd process the nut parts, then take them out and process the dates. Then add the nuttish-butter back in. I think this would work better for getting the dates all chop-mashed up and then incorporating the other ingredients into the smooth texture you want. However, below I'm going to give instructions for how I actually did it since I know it works, even if you do have to do things in batches.

Peanut Butter Cookies--Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free
adapted from A House in the Hills
makes 12-15 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cost: $2.65 (about $.22/cookie)
almonds: 1.00, peanut butter: .50, dates: .75, chocolate chips: .40

1 C raw almonds (I used regular non-raw almonds)
1/2 C peanut butter
1 C pitted dates (be sure there are NO pits)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 handful chocolate chips if you want to throw raw, veganism to the wind (preferably dark--yum)

Put almonds in food processor. Pulse and pulse and pulse until they're chopped enough to process. It's loud at first, so brace yourself. Eventually the nuts will be not quite a nut butter, but getting there--incredibly chopped and starting to stick together and release a few oils. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and pulse then process until it's combined and pretty smooth.

At this point, I added my dates and they just seemed to clog up the food processor (made a big sticky ball) without ever getting sufficiently chopped up. So I took out half the batter and then was able to process what I had until it was a smooth, dough-like concoction. I took that half out and did the other half of the dough. Then I combined the two. (Note: As stated above, I think that if you processed your nuts and dates separately, then combined them you wouldn't have this problem, but I haven't tried it yet, so I'm going with what I did do.)

Take dough out and add chocolate chips. Or skip them (because this is raw and vegan, right). You can add a sprinkle of sea salt on each cookie, which I think would be amazing, but I wasn't sure how well the minions would react, so I took the low road and added dark chocolate chips.

Roll into balls and press with a fork. Or just eat as clumps like some type of paleo monster.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie


I should warn you: This is rich and creamy and awesome. It's like a cross between a cheesecake or a mousse--a no cook sort of cheesecakeAfter I made it the first time, I craved it for weeks. I should warn you also that it is one of those desserts about which some people might say, "Oh, it is just too rich." Yeah, yeah--go back to your asparagus sticks already (not that there's anything wrong with asparagus). But it is rich. My kids couldn't finish the tiny slices I gave them. So just be warned.

The good news (besides it being completely awesome) is that it is also really easy. Or maybe that's more bad news considering how many calories it has. At any rate, it's only going to cost you about 10-20 minutes of effort. For awesome. I think that's a pretty good deal.

The other good news is that it freezes really really well. So you can have a little sliver and then just freeze the rest in a controlled and disciplined fashion. The bad news is that it might taste even better frozen than it does refrigerated. It does not freeze into a hard rock of a thing. It freezes into a cold, firm, super creamy thing that is even more pure awesomeness and that doesn't need thawing and that therefore inspires lots and lots of impulse spoonfuls when you think no one is looking (the reason that the above picture is of the whole pie and not a lovely little slice is that I froze the slices and then managed to eat all the edges off of them--I have an edges problem--so they're little crustless, uneven pieces of pie now).


Peanut Butter Pie
adapted from Betcha Can't Eat Just One
Serves 12 smallish slices
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (for crust)
Cool time: 4 hours
Cost: $4.70 (this is between $.50 and $.40/serving--not bad)
generic Oreos: 1.50, butter: .15, cream cheese: 1.00, peanut butter: .65, powdered sugar: .40, cream: 1.00

For Crust:

2 C Oreo crumbs (I used Great Value "Oreos" to good effect--this took just over a half package)
1/4 C melted butter

For Peanut Butter Mousse:

1 8-oz package cream cheese at room temperature (or slightly softened in the microwave)
2/3 C smooth peanut butter
2 C powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 tub Cool Whip (note: I don't like Cool Whip all that much, so I made real whipped cream--I used about 1 C cream and whipped it to stiff peaks)

For the Crust:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Oreo crumbs with melted butter. Press into pie pan. Note: I used a food processor to pulverize my crumbs. This worked out nicely because I could then later use the food processor to mix the first 4 ingredients of my peanut butter mousse part.

Bake 10-15 minutes. Cool.

For the Peanut butter mousse:

Combine cream cheese and peanut butter. (I wiped out my food processor and used it to do this, but you can use a mixer as well.) Then add the powdered sugar and then the milk.

Whip cream if using.

Fold whipped cream (or Cool Whip) into peanut butter mixture. Keep folding. It takes several minutes to get it all folded together, but it's worth it. Note: To fold it in, plop in a little whipped cream and sort of turn the mixture over, stir and turn, stir and turn. Then add more cream and continue.  Note: Folding is a hassle. It takes much longer than just mixing with mixers, but you should still do it with this recipe. The first time I made it I got sick of folding and just used the beaters, but my pie (while still delicious) had a slightly bumpy, weird texture. If you fold and fold and fold some more, you will have a lovely creamy perfect texture and you will be happy.

Add this to the crust (It's going to be a lot.)

Chill for at least three hours. (Or freeze it--you won't regret it.)

PRINTABLE RECIPE




Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars





This month for Secret Recipe Club, I got Betcha Can't Eat Just One. When I started looking on her blog to see what stuff she had, I realized that she was the source of this awesome peanut butter pie that I'd made just a week earlier and have been craving ever since. Incidentally, that peanut butter pie was the most popular post from last month's Secret Recipe Club, which was definitely well deserved. But it meant I couldn't make it again for Secret Recipe Club even though I desperately want to (and then make it again, and again). But I figured I could still go along with the whole chocolatey peanut butter unhealthy theme. Why fight it, right?

So I made these. And they were good. And less difficult than a lot of layered types of cookies. If you want to go even easier and have the same sort of effect, you could make these, which I was also sorely tempted by, but I didn't have Reese's cups and decided to exercise some cheapskate restraint and not send Kip out on a desperate errand to buy some. (Yeah, this post is all about restraint, right.)

And now in all it's unrestrained glory:

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
adapted from Betcha Can't Eat Just One
makes 9x13 inch pan
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Cool time: 2-3 hours
Cost: $4.40 (not as cheap as your run of the mill cookies, but still less than $.20/cookie which kicks Starbucks butt and even gives crappy boxed cookies a run for their money. And you do realize they have 2 layers of frosting, right?
butter: .25, sugar: .07, brown sugar: .13, egg: .10, flour: .05, chocolate chips: 1.00, peanut butter: 1.20, butter: .15, powdered sugar: .20, more chocolate chips: 1.00, cream: .25

Cookies bars:

1/2 C (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chocolate chips

Peanut butter layer:

Note: The original recipe called for 3/4 C PB and no butter. This made for a sort of candy layer that could be pressed on. I wanted something I could spread like a frosting and the following adjustment gave me that, though it was still a thick-ish frosting.

1 1/4-1 1/2 C smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp crushed graham crackers (could probably be skipped if you don't have them, but they do add something nice if you do)

Chocolate glaze:

Note: The original recipe called for 1 C chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp peanut butter, but I wanted a sharper contrast between chocolate and peanut butter layers, so I nixed the PB and just made a thick ganache.

1 C chocolate chips
4 Tbsp cream


For Cookies:

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, then vanilla. Add dry ingredients, then chocolate chips. Stir.

Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper (not necessary, but will make your life easier).

Cook at 325 for 20 minutes until edges are golden and center is just set. Note: I took mine out at 20 minutes and they were NOT done in the middle, but I had also made my cookie layer extra thick (by adding more cookie batter than the above recipe). Anyway, check them at 20 minutes, but be sure they're done before you take them out. I'm sorry to say that the best way to do this is to poke around in it and maybe pull out a tiny nub from the middle. The fact is if you stick a knife/cake tester in, it will probably come out clean even if it's not done (even if you stick a knife in cookie dough, it will often come out cleanish). Also, the top will be browned, which can be misleading too. So be a little invasive, pull out a little center chunk with a fork and make sure your cookie is done. You can always fill the scar with peanut butter stuff later. But if you frost it and then find out your middle is totally raw like I did, well, I hope you have raw cookie lovers about because there's no going back.

Cool this. Which takes a couple hours.

For Peanut butter layer:

Mix it all together. Then gently frost onto your cooled cookie bars.

For Chocolate glaze:

Melt in microwave at 20-30 second intervals, mixing in between until smooth and creamy. Then plop it on and gently spread it around.

Cool in refrigerator until chocolate layer has set up (or not--ours always stayed frosting-like).

Cut and eat.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Friday, May 31, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies--picture redo



Good thing I had so many lousy pictures in the earlier (okay, and sometimes even later) days of this blog, so that I have plenty of opportunity to remind you all about some of my favorite recipes.

This flourless peanut butter cookie wins on so many levels. It's delicious. It's easy. It's gluten-free. It's filled with good fat and protein. Yes, it has a lot of sugar, but evenso, I consider it a thoroughly acceptable weekday treat. Truth be told, I'd even eat it for breakfast in a pinch. (I haven't, mind you, but I honestly consider it a lot better than many of the breakfast foods out there.)

Now go put your kids to work and tell them to make you some cookies.




(And just for kicks, here's the old picture). And just in case you're wondering--yes, in real life they look pretty like the good pictures, not ugly like the bad.:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Peanut Butter Ice Milk



I almost served ice cream for dinner last week. But wait... It's not as bad as it sounds. It's actually ice milk--the main players are peanut butter and milk. That didn't seem too sinful to me. The sugar is fairly minimal and if you're brave you can jazz it up with some spices such as cinnamon or cayenne. If you're not brave you can jazz it up with, ahem, chocolate chips. In the end, the reason I did not serve it for dinner is that, even though I considered it fairly virtuous, I didn't want my kids to start to believe that muffins and ice cream are dinner foods (I may or may not have had muffins as part of dinner the night before). Instead we added chocolate chips and had it for dessert.

I felt kind of good about that--like we were eating a healthy-ish, dessert and nobody knew. But here's a confession (because I think it's a rule that every post have one): If I make it again and don't serve it for dinner, I'll probably add a bit of cream--probably 1 C cream and 2 C milk. Not because it wasn't creamy. The cornstarch gives it plenty of creaminess. But because I think cream has a more sweet, rich, complex flavor, and I missed that.

A Few Notes: The cornstarch keeps this from getting ice-crystally in the freezer. However, it also thickens it a bit. That can be hard on low-end ice cream makers. On mine, the outside part froze up while the middle was still pudding-like. My recommendation is to not let it get even close to boiling after you add the cornstarch. If your ice cream maker still struggles, don't worry--we froze ours up by mixing the frozen sides into the unfrozen middle and soon enough it all evened out (which surprised me). Incidentally if you don't have an ice cream maker, you could freeze this into ice cubes and then blend those cubes into ice cream.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
adapted from Sweet As Sugar Cookies
makes 1 quart
Prep time: 20 minutes (and then you'll need to cool it off before making it in your ice cream maker)
Mix time: 10 minutes
Cost: $1.05
milk: .40, peanut butter: .50, sugar: .15

3 C milk (we used 2 %)
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp cinnamon, optional
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 C chocolate chips, chopped up a bit

Combine 2 Tbsp milk with cornstarch. Set aside.

Pour rest of milk into a saucepan. Add peanut butter, brown sugar, and spices if using. Whisk together over medium heat. Bring it almost to a boil.

Now add your cornstarch mixture and whisk it in well. If your ice cream maker is weak, take it off the heat here. Otherwise, heat it until it's thickened slightly. Whisk in the vanilla.

Chill this thoroughly. If you're in a hurry, put it in a bowl over a bigger bowl that is filled with ice and stir it ever few minutes. If you're not in a hurry, put it in your refrigeratore.

When you're ready, freeze it according to the instruction's on your ice cream maker. (Or freeze it into ice cubes and then blend it.)

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reese's Bars in Two Movements

Today I present to you Reese's Bars.


And their whole grain cousin.


Reese's Bars are all over the web right now. And with good reason. They taste like Reese's cups and take at most 5 minutes to whip up, and they're so much cheaper than Reese's Cups (this is a very rough estimate, but at $.75 for 2 Reese's Cups, this batch of Reese's Bars is worth about $12 and it only costs $4.50 to make). Plus, you can have a whole pan-ful of them yourself if you make them. Wait. Maybe that's a bad reason.

At any rate, we had a bunch of friends over last week and I decided to make them. And then, for reasons I don't even really understand myself, but which probably had to do with a rash of breakfast cookie experimentation last week, it came into my mind to use oat flour in place of the graham cracker crumbs for one pan. We'll just call it inspiration.

As indeed it was. The fun thing about serving two different versions of the same food and forcing your guests to taste one of each is that you get a pretty good idea of which is the most popular.

I have to tell you they were both pretty popular. And that people liked both versions, even when they had a favorite. But at the end of the night more of the oat version was gone. There were only 4 pieces left as opposed to nearly half of the other pan. The oat version is also cheaper by nearly a dollar. However, I should tell you this: my favorite was the graham cracker one. Yeah, I know, clearly I wasn't thinking skinny thoughts. Or, well, whole grain thoughts, since neither version could really be considered, um, skinny.

Which brings me to one final thought. These may look like cookies, but they're really--as one of my friends pointed out--more of a candy. It's just something to keep in mind when you're cutting yourself (or watching your kids cut) an enormous bar. Not that I'm telling you how to live your life (although I'd be happy to tell your kids how to live their lives if you think it would help {pssst--it won't}); you can eat the whole darn pan if you want to. I just wanted to warn you that you can get sugared up on them pretty easily, so just beware; and please drive responsibly.

Reese's Bars (with optional oat flour adaptation)
adapted from Baker Lady
Makes 9x13 inch pan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Wait time: 30 minutes
Cost: $4.45 for graham cracker version; $3.55 for oat version
butter: .50, graham cracker crumbs: 1.30, oats: .35, sugar: .40, peanut butter: 1.25, chocolate chips: 1.00

1 C butter, melted
2 C graham cracker crumbs, finely ground (or 2 C oat flour)
2 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/4 C peanut butter
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

If you don't have pre-prepared graham cracker crumbs or oat flour, throw graham crackers (about 2 sleeves) or oats (probably about 4 cups, but I'm guessing here) into a blender and go to town until you have a flour-like substance.

Mix butter, crumbs, sugar, and peanut butter until it's a nice paste. Press this into a 9x13 inch pan and chill until set (about 30 minutes).

When your peanut stuff is set, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave by microwaving in 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until the chocolate is all melted. Pour this on top of your peanut layer and spread quickly (because your peanut layer is cold and your chocolate is going to start to set up quickly). Let the chocolate set up (it won't take too long since your peanut layer is cold).

Cut and eat. I refrigerated these and preferred them brought to room temperature for purposes of both cutting and eating. They were softer and just tastier to eat when not cold and they were much easier to cut; when at room temperature, the chocolate didn't break into pieces during cutting and it adhered to the peanut butter layer better.

PRINTABLE RECIPE



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies: An old friend with new pictures





These are my family's favorite breakfast cookie. They're 100% whole grain, low sugar, and most of the fat comes from peanut butter.

They make good breakfasts and I'm not afraid to say so, but they're also good for snacks or a healthy dessert. (Why breakfast cookies, you may ask? Well, first of all, who are you to be asking such a question. When someone tells you you can eat a cookie for breakfast, you just take that one on blind and hopeful faith. Secondly (if you must), you can have a look here at the original post for why I started making them.)

Since my original post, I've learned that one does not use a flash or take a picture under lovely florescent light or both. So here are some new photos for you. Also, the recipe could has undergone a few small tweaks as well, which make them even healthier. Enjoy.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
Makes 15-18
Prep time: 5 minutes (without little helpers)
Bake time: 7-8 minutes
Cost: $1.65 without chocolate, 2.00 with chocolate. That's about $.12/serving. So cheap, so good.
(butter: .15, peanut butter: 1.00, sugars: .06, whole wheat flour: .24, eggs: .20, chocolate chips: .35)


2 Tbsp butter, melted (it really must be melted or you'll have to use more of it)
1 C peanut butter, melted
2 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
2-4 T sweet potato puree (totally optional, but it makes me feel like a better person)
1 ¼ C whole wheat flour
¾ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
2 eggs
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
½ C chocolate chips, or a combo of chocolate chips and PB chips, or--heck--throw some M & M's in if you must (optional--Because this is health food, darn it)

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add sweet potato puree (if using), eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet. (The dough will be a bit drier than what you're probably used to in cookies. That's okay.) 

Mix in chocolate chips if using.  

Roll into balls (or plop them down if lazy like me), then flatten and criss-cross with a fork (or don't). Bake 7-8 minutes at 350. Might not look done. Take them out anyway. Seriously, take the cookies out already.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

New picture--hurray!




These cookies are very good. But that is only the first of their virtues.

They are also terribly easy to make. The ingredient list is 5 long, which made these the ideal cookie for my my daughter, Elizabeth (age 6), to make by herself.

They are gluten free.

But do you know what I like the most about them: they're kind of like peanut butter balls all grown up. Warm, crispy. I can totally pass on the peanut butter balls because they're kid-like to me, but these, they have just that extra bit of sophistication that calls to me (what do you mean, you don't think it's the sophistication calling to me; what do you mean you think it's the granules of sugar popping so nicely between my teeth. Truly, I'm insulted; I don't even know if we can be friends anymore.) Especially when I remind myself how, um, healthy they are (see, ha). Okay, fine, they're not exactly health food; they have a LOT of sugar, but they also contain no fat outside of the peanut butter and all the protein that peanut butter provides. Because of this, I consider these an ideal dessert to feed to hungry kids before bed. No, it's not breakfast food, but it's not as bad as a regular chocolate chip cookie (may it be forever blessed) either.

Unfortunately for me, I can't take credit for these. I found them on Loves Veggies and Yoga. (She has much prettier pictures too. I'll work on that; these were taken in bad light.) And they needed no improvement or alteration. Well, except for one little one, which you might be able to guess if you know me or any living members of my family. And so, a handful of chocolate chips later we were good to go.

And just for kicks, here's the old picture:


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
taken from loves yoga and veggies
Makes 12 big; 18 small
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $1.40
(peanut butter: .90, sugars: .20, egg: .10, chocolate chips: .20)

Note: You can make these chocolate peanut butter cookies by adding 1/2 C cocoa to the mix. This is good, but I like them best just as peanut butter cookies.

1 C peanut butter
3/4 C white sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together except chocolate chips. Add chocolate chips. Roll into balls (12 large or 18 small).  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. They will be just barely barely golden at the edges. I recommend you take them out at 10 minutes (11 if they're large) whether you see gold or not, because these can burn fairly easily. They won't even look burned, but when you taste them, they will taste burned. I expect that the PB burns more easily without the flour to temper it a bit. Please, be warned and watch the clock, not the cookies (not usually a rule to live by, but trust me).

When you take them out they'll be kind of thick. You can mash them with a spatula if you like which causes the edges to crack a la snickerdoodle and is lovely, or you can leave them as thick delicious mushroom cap cookies. If you make them smaller, they come out flatter. Lovesveggiesandyoga's are flat and really delicious looking. And ours were much flatter when we made them smaller.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Healthy Kiss Cookies

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $6/day.


We started off last week with on an ice cream topping jag. This week I start off with a cookie jag. Forgive me, I don't know what my problem is. Oh, wait, yes I do: there are men in my life. Men, in case you haven't noticed either a) have no problems with their weight or b) don't care if they have problems with their weight. Furthermore, most of them are perfectly comfortable with the idea of dying at, say, age 50, which to them is eons away. Even if they're in their late 30's. In a way, it's kind of refreshing, these men with their carpe diem live-for-the-moment sorts of ways. Refreshing and alarming both because, yes, I'd like to keep mine around for a little longer than age 50.

So, even though we splurge on cookies like the ones I made this weekend for Kip. And even though I have absolutely NO problem with splurges like this--truth be told, I find them rather good for the soul. Even so, for our day to day cookie needs, I like to keep it a little healthier (well, you know, most of the time). So, while I don't believe you can rightly call anything with a big Hershey's Kiss on the top a breakfast cookie, it does have half the sugar, half the fat, and whole wheat flour. A very solid lunch box cookie if I do say so myself. Or day camp cookie, which is how this recipe came to be. You can thank the littler man in my life for today's recipe. He had day camp for cub scouts last week. It's the first day camp any of my kids has ever attended. I wanted to send the message that I love him without any embarrassing napkin notes. He being male and all, Hershey's Kisses seemed the obvious choice. One day he'll look back and he'll know. For now, he'll just be the envy of all his friends.

Healthy Kiss Cookies
adapted from Hershey Butter Blossoms
Makes 36-48 (They said 48, but I got considerably less)
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes
Cost: $2.31
(kisses: 1.00, PB: .65, butter: .25, sugars: .06, eggs: .10, whole wheat flour: .25)

Note: Try to find kisses on sale after holidays and then freeze them in a deep dark spot in your freezer where no one will see them or even think about them until you see a recipe like this and remember that you, conveniently, have some inexpensive ones on hand.

30-35 Kisses, unwrapped (about 1/2 bag)
3/4 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream peanut butter, butter, and sugars. Add egg. Add milk and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

While they're baking, remove the kisses from their foil. As soon as you pull the cookies out of the oven, press one kiss into each cookie. The edges will crack just slightly and it was all be lovely.

Let cool and serve or send.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.



I'm not sure what families do when their children aren't allowed to have peanut butter at their schools. I think my oldest would have to be home schooled. He doesn't eat cold cuts, tuna fish, or cheese. He likes pastas and pizza and even tomato soup (motto: if it looks like ketchup, it must be okay), but he won't touch most of the other foods the school offers, including things that are supposed to be classic kid foods: hamburgers, chicken nuggets, burritos. He is, in fact, a vegetarian--not through any kind of a choice except that of his palate. He just doesn't like meat. Or beans. Or most nuts. Which means he is kept alive with peanut butter and whole wheat bread.

Fortunately, I like peanuts too. And even more fortunately there are no peanut allergies in this family and no peanut bans at his school.

In their original conception, these peanut butter and jelly bars were meant as a dessert. But like so many desserts containing peanuts, I saw some potential for a breakfast cookie. And I'm glad I did.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars 
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
Serves 16
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $1.25
(butter: .30, sugar: .10, egg: .10, peanut butter: .32, whole wheat flour: .18, jam: .25)

1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 C peanut butter
1 Tbsp milk
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp jam
1/3 C chopped peanuts (optional--wasn't a hit in my family; now if I'd used chopped chocolate chips...)

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease 9x9 inch square pan.

Cream butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, peanut butter, and milk. Mix until well combined.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Dough will be very thick.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the pan. Glop on the jam and spread it around evenly. Plop the remaining dough over the top and very gently press it so that it is flat-ish. If you don't, it will come out a bit crumbly on top. Not a problem, but a little messier (note: it's going to be a little crumbly on top no matter what you do, unless you'd like to add more butter so that the batter will spread on its own; if you do, I promise not to tattle to the breakfast police).

Bake for about 30 minutes. These bars are tough to test for doneness. Why? Because even if you stick a fork in the original uncooked batter, it will come out fairly clean. Fortunately, this is good even if it's not completely done. And fortunately, I've made these a couple times and 30 minutes is fairly accurate, though that is not a guarantee or a promise for your oven and you may not sue me if your bars are not done at 30 minutes, thank you. Now, how do I check it, you ask. I take a small centimeter sized chunk out of the middle and look at the bottom layer. If it is still goopy, I put the pan back in. Yes, I have a lot of finesse as a chef. Which is why I get paid the big bucks.

Note: You can use jelly, but jam works best. The jelly doesn't leave much of a fruity line in these already pared down bars. Also, I wanted to make a honey-filled version and did. I used 2 oz cream cheese and mixed it with 4 Tbsp honey, which created two problems. First, the honey flavor was somewhat overpowered by the cream cheese flavoring (thus, my kids weren't huge fans). Also, it really needed to be doubled because the line of cream cheese kind of got lost in the baking, but to double something with cream cheese--well, you see the breakfast-y problem here; it's becoming less and less healthy. So we'll just be going with jam in the future, but if you'd like to experiment with honey, be my guest. If you wanted to get fussier, you could puree cottage cheese or drain plain yogurt overnight to get a cream cheese-like yogurt. If you wanted to go more gourmet, you could use ricotta cheese mixed with honey. And if your children will eat such a thing, I salute you.

Note: These are thick little bars. Which means that although they are nutritious, they are a wee bit calorie rich. I'm okay with that sort of thing. But by way of warning, you probably want to eat them slowly and perhaps with a piece of fruit thereby. Otherwise, you might look down to realize you've eaten a half a pan. And lower sugar, lower fat or not, half a pan is a whole lot of breakfast bar.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Friday, January 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch (or join us) as or family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.



You may have noticed we eat a lot of peanut butter in these parts. There are plenty of reasons for that. First off, we love it. Secondly, at $1.45/lb, it's a good, cheap source of protein for us. Thirdly, my son eats no meat whatsoever, and we've got to supply him with something to fill that hole (because, unfortunately, I don't think ketchup is going to cover quite all of his nutrition needs).

This smoothie is a great after-school snack or after workout snack (it is the season of resolution after all) or bedtime snack. It's also good when you're starving, but dinner is 2 hours away. Best of all, with fruit, protien, and no added sugar (yes, the PB has some, but I didn't add any), it feels much more sinful than it is. Seriously, it's so easy and so so good.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Serves 1-2 depending on how much you need to be picked up
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cost: $.35
(banana: .12, milk: .13, PB: .10)

1 banana, frozen
1-2 Tbsp peanut butter
1-1 1/2 C milk (I've used whole and 2%)
Throw in 1 Tbsp cocoa if you're into, um, anti-oxidants
Throw in 1/4 C spinach if you're into more wholesome looking anti-oxidants (This will affect the taste only slightly--the PB taste is fairly strong. But it will affect the color.)

Blend in blender or food processor. Throw in 1/4 C spinach if you will. It won't affect the flavor too much and will add a vita-boost.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Cheap Eat Challenge Count Down: 12 days


Don't have a mold? Worry not.



Yeah, these are good. To say they are merely better than the store bought kind would be to stab me in the heart. They are in a different league. Also, they are easy to make. And gluten-free if you've got a Christmas friend in need of such a treat. My gosh, does that make them a health food? Just don't ask your scale.

Seriously, though, if you've never made your own candy, you ought to give it a go. All homemade food is beautiful in its own right. Which is partly what makes home cooking somewhat spiritual in nature. To cook food is a small act of creation. In this, as well as other ways, it can be deeply satisfying. Which is why, even though there will be a fair amount of eating-too-many-of-these jokes throughout this post (because some in this family--who have metabolisms to handle it--can pop these babies into their mouths whole as though the peanut butter balls were wee chocolate chips), I usually just eat just one. Slowly. Happily. And that's all I need.

It's a much different experience that tossing something into your cart at check-out and, honesty--HONESTLY--it doesn't take much longer. Not including the periods of waiting for chocolate to set up, these probably took me 7 minutes to make. Not counting chocolate melting times, they probably took me 4 minutes.

And if making your own food is good, is spiritual, decorating your food is just one step further. If it were perfectly healthy, it'd be, like, food nirvana. Beautification is its own little department in the bureau of home cooking. It's not a step I always take, but with these it's easy. The melted chocolate does all the work. I believe that beautiful chocolates make women feel beautiful. If they made us feel like gross, piggy slobs, they wouldn't be given on Valentine's Day, now would they. Make them yourself and you'll feel better than beautiful. You'll feel powerful and beautiful. Now that's a food worth savoring.

If you're using a mold (they cost a buck or two at Michael's), you'll fill them with melted chocolate on the bottoms and sort of paint it up the sides with your finger. Let it harden.

  While the chocolate is setting, mix up the peanut butter filling. It won't be rock hard, but it'll be rollable.



Once your chocolate is set, add a blob of peanut butter goodness.



Then pour more chocolate on the top and voila.



Bang the mold on the counter a few times to get any air pockets out. And let it harden. Then turn the mold over and press them out.



If you're making balls, roll the peanut butter delight into balls, place them on wax or parchment paper, then dribble melted chocolate on the top.





After they've set you can flip them over and do the bottoms, but by the time I got to that step there were only 4 left (true story) and that didn't seem worth bothering about. (Though I do like the contrast of the shelled outside and the soft middle--if, you know, you and yourn have 30 minutes or so of willpower.)

If you'd like the outside to be a thinner chocolate, put a smear of melted (and not extremely hot) chocolate in the palm of your hand and roll the ball around in it.

A note on chocolate. You can buy tempered chocolate. That way your chocolate won't get light-colored splotches on it in a day or so. (Also, I hear that using very high quality chocolate helps with splotching.) You can temper your own chocolate by cooling it off at the right rate. I hear that this can be done by melting the chocolate (either in the microwave or over a double broiler), then taking it away from the heat source and adding about an ounce of hard chocolate and mixing it in until it's melted.
But you'll have to read up on the internet for more information on this because I never mess with it. First of all, it doesn't change the taste, only the appearance of the chocolate. Secondly, did you miss the part about how I couldn't even do the bottoms of my chocolate balls because there were only four left. Ahem.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Makes (I forgot to count) at least 30

Filling:

Note: If using a mold or if you want a really creamy center, you can scale back the sugar to 2 C. With the reduced sugar, you might have to get it good and cold in the refrigerator if you're rolling it into balls. It will be worth it because it is so creamy and awesome, but it requires foresight, which can be lacking in this household.

3 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 T butter
2 1/3 C powdered sugar
1/4 C peanut butter

Beat cream cheese and butter together. Beat in powdered sugar, then peanut butter.

Roll into balls and cover with melted chocolate. You'll probably use about 1 C or 6 oz. chocolate.

How to melt chocolate:

I do it lazy style. I pour chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet) onto a plate and microwave in 20 second intervals, mixing each time the microwave dings until they're melted.

You can also use a double boiler and just pour them into the top and mix until melted.

If you don't have a double boiler or a microwave, you can put a bowl over a pan of boiling water (as in find a bowl with a top just bigger than your pan's top so the bowl is suspended above the bottom of the pan). Then get the water boiling and mix the chocolate in the bowl until it melts. But seriously, this is the type of instruction that keeps people from doing this sort of thing. Just put it in the microwave. 20 second intervals.

Dribble and harden. And eat. With joy. With love. Power. Beauty.

PRINTABLE RECIPE



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


Today is my anniversary.

And, no, this cake does not contain apples in any form (or pumpkins either). And you cannot eat it for breakfast; at least in America. In America we have standards for breakfast. And sometimes logos.

Also, I can't take credit for it. I got this recipe off of smittenkitchen and did not (cannot) in any way improve on it. The cake is light, moist, chocolate-y. If you are one of those who claim that homemade cake cannot be as light or whatever as boxed cake, then first of all, our friendship may be at risk, but fortunately, it is redeemable because this cake will prove that you are in every way incorrect (see what a good friend I am). This cake is moist and light in that cake-boxy way without being flimsy (sorry cake-boxers) and with all the chocolate-y, flavorful, real ingredient goodness the cake box people don't get (like, at all).

And the peanut butter frosting. It it is frosting nirvana, frosting heaven, frosting paradise, frosting whatever-higher-glory-your-religion-believes-in. It was even better than the cake. In fact, having it on one's anniversary may be a bad idea because I believe that it alone could fulfill any needs a woman may ever have (I exaggerate, Kip. Of course I will always need you, especially if you are covered with this peanut butter frosting). We love peanut butter in this house. That is no surprise. But I was worried this frosting would be that sort of heavy, stick to your mouth kind of thing--like peanut butter fudge in liquid form. Which just wasn't what I wanted on my cake. This frosting was not that. It was creamy, soft, and smooth with the exact right about of peanut butter. Would that there was an adjective for it, but I cannot find one. The balance, texture, and flavor were, for lack of a more interesting word, perfect.

And the ganache was, simply, ganache. Generally, you can't go wrong with ganache. Although, I will say this: I reduced the original recipe so that we only had one layer and missed having more of that peanut butter frosting between layers (have I mentioned I enjoyed this frosting). I felt with the one layer that the chocolate-y ganache out-balanced the glorious peanut butter. Kip did not feel that way, so pick your poison.

And speaking of poison, with this cake in the world, I'm not sure why anyone feels a need to use drugs. This cake was mood-altering; it was love-inspiring; I'm quite sure it gave me more energy. Furthermore it is not illegal (unless eaten for breakfast in America) and will not make your teeth fall out (at least not at age 20). You don't even have to go from store to store buying non-suspicious amounts of cough syrup to make it.

Before eating cake we went out for lunch at TGIFridays. It was so so. I have decided that all these restaurant chains must all have the same supplier. I feel fairly confident that all the breaded things, sauces, and mixes just come to them in tubes or boxes and they just mix it up and put in on a plate for you. For this we paid over $15 and that was with a coupon. It's not that it was terrible. It just wasn't great. And one of the dreadful things about being a cook and a cheapskate is that you sit there and figure up how much the ingredients would have cost had you made them at home. For about the cost of my meal (Parmesan crusted chicken with a exactly 5 tortellini and a very average tomato salad--$8.50 plus a tip), I could have bought a free range fryer chicken (about $5 here in Evansville), a bag of decent tortellini ($2 at Aldi), a couple cups of shredded Parmesan from Aldi ($1.99), a cup of cream ($1 or less) and sprinkle of mozzarella ($.50). Easy. And it would have been more than one meal. And I would have been full after eating it. Which I was not when we left TGIFridays. And I am a 130 pound woman. I proposed a new eating-out rule to Kip, which is that we either eat at Golden Corral (Kip's favorite) or at some sort of small independent place that does not get their sauces in big bags from a supplier.

Tomorrow we will return to not-illegal-to-eat-for-breakfast-in-America (though lacking a logo) apple-hood. For today, celebrate with us. Let's eat cake.

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Bake Breakfast Cookies


(Ahh, an updated photo of these much loved breakfast cookies.)

No bake cookies have a special place in my heart. I once lived in Taiwan. Taiwanese people do not eat chocolate chip cookies. Or brownies. Or cakes. Or pretty much any of the stuff that makes Americans chubby and Asian people not chubby. Nor do they carry some of the ingredients for the things that make Americans chubby and Asian people not chubby. What was a group of American English teachers supposed to do when the withdrawl symptoms began to appear? Well, we could get oatmeal, cocoa, peanut butter, butter, and sugar. And then when our chubby American needs needed to be met, we met them with honor, with love, with too many cookies at once. Indeed we did. Or at least I did.

I developed this healthier recipe when my mom was visiting and I wanted chocolate. Not that my mom makes me crave chocolate. At least not any more than anything else makes me crave chocolate.

It has one quarter the sugar and less butter. It's still good. Very good. If, however, you are too wimpy for such a change (although you shouldn't be), or believe in suffering and therefore find  the idea of breakfast cookies repugnant, I will let you in on a little secret. (((The original recipe calls for 2 C sugar and 1/2 C butter. You can reduce the sugar to 1 C and... not. even. notice. a. difference. That is right. It will not be a breakfast cookie, but it will be a half-sugar, tastes-the-same cookie, and I think that that is worth knowing.)))

(As a reminder of my first picture of these--just for fun--here it is.)


No Bake Breakfast Cookies
Makes 18 cookies

1/3 C butter
3 T cocoa
½ C milk
½ C sugar

½ C peanut butter
1 t vanilla

3 C oats.

In a saucepan, bring the first 4 ingredients to a rolling boil [a boil in which even when you stir, you can see the bubbles boiling energetically], stirring constantly for about 1 1/2 minutes. (If you boil too long, the cookies will be chalky, not long enough, they won’t hold together well.)

Remove from heat and add peanut butter, then vanilla. Stir until peanut butter melted.

Add oats and stir.

Drop onto wax paper. Let set if you can. Otherwise, you can always grab a spoon.

PRINTABLE RECIPE
(another new picture)


(another old picture)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies (Low Sugar)



I realize I haven't given a lot of lip to the cheapskate side of The Tasty Cheapskate. Forgive me. Clearly, I am under a holiday spell and have been compelled to focus overmuch on the tasty side of things. Additionally, I know that come January 1st with our Cheap Eat Challenge we won't be able to indulge in as much of this sweetness. However, today let me send a bit of love to the cheaper side of things.

Today we will compare Great Value Strawberry Awake (the generic version of Kellogg's Special K with Strawberries) to my Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies.

The Strawberry Awake cost $2.64 from Walmart here in southern Indiana. It serves 11. It has 110 calories and 10g (2 tsp) of sugar per serving. The ingredient lineup: Rice, sugar, whole grain wheat, wheat gluten, freeze dried strawberries, defatted wheat germ (yummy), high fructose corn syrup, salt, wheat flour, malt flavoring, and the list of added vitamins. In short, it's not 100% whole grain and it contains high fructose corn syrup, and 2 tsp sugar per serving and a serving with enough empty calories to get you to, oh, 8am before you're hungry again.

Below is the recipe for my oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies with prices beside. The total for 12-15 servings comes out to $1.66. They are whole grain, have no high fructose corn syrup and only 5 g (1tsp) sugar per serving. They contain 126 calories/serving (for 15 cookies) and are more filling as they contain whole grains and more fat. I know I just said the f-a-t word, but I swear it deserves a place in the American diet--like in getting us from breakfast to lunch without a jillion expensive and caloric snacks in between.

In short:
For less servings, less calories, less whole grain, more sugar, and certainly more weirdo ingredients, the Strawberry Awake costs nearly $1 (or 40%) more. Also (humble opinion alert), it tastes a lot worse.


$.11 ( made 15)

$.24

I would, however, recommend a tall glass of milk with both.

Whew I haven't done that much math for many years. Thank goodness I took AP Calculus in high school. (Hi, Ms. Anderson)

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies
(adapted--again--from smittenkitchen and--again--if you want an awesome regular cookie recipe, check hers out)
Serves 12-15 (um, or 6 in our family)
1/3 C butter, soft     ($.65)
1/3 C brown sugar, packed     ($.20)
1 egg     ($.10)
½ t vanilla     ($.01)
¾ C whole wheat flour     ($.15)
½ t baking soda     ($.01)
½ t cinnamon     ($.01)
1 1/4 C oats (I use quick)     ($.13)
¾ C raisins (I do part raisins, part coconut. You can also add or sub chocolate chips, but shockingly I prefer it with the dried fruit. It makes it softer, chewier, and better. The chocolate chips yield a crunchier cookie.)     ($.40--raisings)
1/4 C chopped walnuts (Optional. We don't do as my kids don't like nuts and I don't want to consume entire pan of breakfast cookies.)

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add dry to wet. Stir in oats and dried fruit. Add a few walnuts if you want a little protien.

It will be stiff (very stiff). Plop it onto a cookie sheet and press them down because they won't spread on their own.

If you don't want to eat it all for breakfast, you can freeze it in little balls and bake it up whenever the whim hits.

Bake 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies (Low Sugar)

(An updated picture for you. For an updated, slightly tweeked, somewhat healthier, and overall more amazing breakfast cookie, have a looked here.)




I know I'm not the best photographer in the world or anything and I know my weaknesses abound in both cooking and mothering. But tell me that isn't something you'd like to eat for breakfast.



I began devising breakfast cookie recipes a few months ago when I looked at the nutritional info on a box of Raisin Bran--not fancy crunchy Raisin Bran--just the boring old kind we associate with healthy breakfast eating and grandmas. It had 19 grams of sugar per serving, which translates to about 4 teaspoons. (Seriously, where do the Raisin Bran people hide it? Not in the 10 raisins per bowl, surely.) If you're shooting for the WHO recommended 10 teaspoons a day, you've already blown almost half of that; and that's on a measely cup or so of cereal, which hardly fills most of us up until lunch (which is always one of my breakfast goals--snacking the morning away be darned). I made a batch of cookies soon thereafter and thought, "I could make cookies for breakfast." It was a good thought. A very good thought.

So I skipped a little sugar here and a bit of butter there and added whole grains to everything. And, yes, it was a very very good thought.

(My what a neat and orderly work surface.)

(Oh, look, I remembered to criss-cross)

All of the breakfast cookies you'll see on this site have about 1 teaspoon (4-5 grams) of sugar per cookie or less without the chocolate chips. (1/2 C chocolate chips add about 1/4 teaspoon more sugar per cookie if there are 24 cookies). Which is less than most breakfast cereals, especially the plain breakfast cereals you buy to be a "good mom" which your children (and husband) then feel compelled to pour sugar on in super human quantities. All these cookies have some fat, though I've tried to keep the fats as healthy as possible--many are from nut sources. And even with the fat, they have less than if you spread some butter or PB on a piece of toast. Plus, a couple breakfast cookies keep me full until lunch. And you can grab them on the way out the door, or feed them to kids after school, or have them as a healthy dessert.

These here are my family's favorites. For good reason.

Cautionary Note: If you eat, say, the whole pan of these cookies for breakfast, the health benefits are a bit more, you know, muted, especially in the waist line department.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from smittenkitchen (and if you're looking for a non-breakfast wicked good PB cookie, try hers)
Makes 24 small cookies (18 regular-ish sized cookies)

Note: You can double the sugars (or add a couple tablespoons honey) here and still be pretty close to the teaspoon of sugar per cookie. It just depends on how virtuous you want to be. With the recipe as it stands you’re getting the same as or less sugar than you get from a bowl of plain Crispix and they taste a good bit better in my (humble) opinion. If you double the sugars, I’ll be darned if they don’t taste like a regular cookie and still have just over a teaspoon per cookie. They even got the husband stamp of approval—he could not tell the sugar had been reduced or that it was whole wheat—and he ate the ones without the chocolate chips (and he prefers chocolate chips with pretty much all foods). Now that’s a breakfast cookie.

¼ C butter, melted
1 C peanut butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
2-4 T sweet potato puree (optional, but it makes me feel like a better person)
1 ¼ C whole wheat flour
¾ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
2 eggs
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
½ C chocolate chips, or a combo of chocolate chips and PB chips, or--heck--throw some M & M's in if you must (optional--Because this is health food, darn it)

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add sweet potato puree (if using), eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet. (The dough will be a bit drier than what you're probably used to in cookies. That's okay.) 

Mix in chocolate chips if using.  

Roll into balls (or plop them down if lazy like me), then flatten and criss-cross with a fork or spatula. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350. Might not look done. Take them out anyway. Seriously, take the cookies out already.

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