Cookies packed into lunch boxes, cookies as after school snacks, cookies for anytime that urge for a sweet takes over. Today we are making back to school cookies that are as “healthy” as I can make them after several attempts to take them from “big and bad” to “big and (almost) good for you”. I really wish I could do something about eliminating those darn calories!!
We like our cookies really big around here. I’m talkin’ Peanut Butter Cookies, here. I like my peanut butter cookies to be really BIG. Big in diameter and big in thickness. Thin little peanut butter cookies just don’t do it for me. They need to be so big that two people can share one cookie and be satisfied with their half of it.
Are you wondering where I could have had such a cookie? At a local Cider Mill near where I live. Every Fall Mr. D. and I go for a ride to view the Fall foliage, and we stop at the cider mill to get apples, cider and a cookie. Yep, just one, and we share it. That cookie is my ideal where peanut butter cookies are concerned, and I keep playing around with recipes trying to duplicate it. The cookie recipe I’m presenting here comes pretty close, but they are still not quite thick enough. I need to keep working on getting that right, but in the mean time these are very good indeed.
First, are they chewy inside? Check. Are they really big? They can be as big as you care to make them. Are they crunchy? Check, I used chunky peanut butter. How healthy are they? Pretty healthy, really. I used whole wheat flour for fiber (which you would never know if I didn’t tell you), honey for some sweetness, that allowed me to cut back on the sugar, and only 4 Tablespoons of butter. The remaining fat comes from the peanut butter and I used an “all natural” brand, so no corn syrup or other added stuff. I used a 1/4 cup cookie scoop to measure out the dough. The cookies spread while baking and puff up, but flatten out some as they cool so you get that chewy interior.
HEALTHY PEANUT-BUTTER COOKIES
YIELD: about 20 cookies
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (4 Tbs.) butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour ( I used white whole wheat)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- additional sugar for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixer bowl, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter on low speed until well mixed. Beat in honey and egg until well blended.
3. Beat in as much flour as you can, then stir in the rest with a wooden spoon to create a smooth dough that is quite thick.
4. Measure out dough using a cookie scoop, or form the dough into balls (about 1 1/2 inch). Place on cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Flatten with a fork to form a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned. If cookies are really large, you may need an additional 1-2 minutes. Cool for 1 minute and remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool for another 15 minutes.
If any of you know how to make these thicker while keeping their size, please share your secret with me. I’m aiming for the kind of thick cookie you can get in a bakery. Thanks, readers.
SOURCE: This recipe is several adaptations removed from the recipe my mother used to bake.