When we were little my brother Murtaza decided that we need to eat peanut butter. It was hardly a staple in our Pakistanis-in-Saudi Arabia household, but my parents promptly obliged by buying an imported jar of the stuff. We tried it and all of us unanimously thought it sucked. My mother then tried the back of the jar cookie recipe for peanut butter cookies, but with no success. Not for a lack of talent mind you, my mother was quite the baker. We just didn’t like peanut butter.
Somehow I went from being that kid to the adult who eats it off a spoon as a snack, whose kids do the same, who doesn’t believe in peanut butter and jelly because it gets in the way of the peanut buttery goodness and who can’t say no to a peanut butter cookie. How did this happen? Beats me.
When I recently acquired Tara O’Bradys Seven Spoons cookbook I marked a whole variety of things to try, but a late afternoon craving had me turning to her Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies first. Whole Wheat Flour, Natural Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp honey, I didn’t think that these changes off the usual would make such a difference, but suddenly it was like I was eating a cookie that had grown up. It is less cloyingly sweet than previous ones, but has a deeper flavour. I added 1/3 cup of skor bits and while they weren’t noticeable in a warm cookie, they definitely added interest to cooled ones.
As you can see my cookies were slim at best despite the freezing and I blame that on my overfull freezer. I am sure if you follow the freezing instructions yours won’t be so slender. They are in their thin form the perfect candidate for a filling. Strawberry Jam, Dulce de leche, vanilla cream, or perhaps a dollop of Nutella with a little Sea Salt?
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies w. Skor Bits
Seven Spoons Cookbook
Makes: 18 cookies
3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter (you can sub w regular but it will yield a sweeter cookie)
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 egg, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
1/3 cup skor bits (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 celsius and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Tara O’ Brady recommends putting racks in the upper and lower thirds, but owing to my ovens bizarre hot spots I bake them in the center. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
Now cream the butter and peanut butter till wonderfully fluffy, 2 minutes or so. Add the sugars and honey and beat for another few minutes, Now in goes the egg and vanilla, beat till combined. Stir in your dry ingredients and skor bits (if using) till well incorporated. At this point I refrigerated my dough for a few hours, but if yours is firmer then you can go straight to the next step.
Roll two tablespoons of dough into a ball and place each ball 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Once you have placed all the cookies on the cookie sheet you can add the traditional criss cross with the tines of a fork. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer. Tara recommends 10-15 minutes, but I had better luck with 20-22 minutes (not pictured).
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back. Once again I just stick with the center. Remove the cookies from the oven and if yours are as thin as mine then let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack. These are best within the first 3 days, but are still good for another day or two.