There are many types of nut butter cookies and not so many for no nut butter cookies. That is why I wanted to revisit an old recipe that our family has made for years and years. This version is called “Nut Butter and No-Nut Butter Cookies”. The recipe is based on a national brand peanut butter cookie recipe which has always been a favourite in our household. I have updated the recipe to reflect the need to consider dietary restrictions, including gluten-free, nut-free options and refined sugar-free options. This updated recipe will be the answer to all of the Moms out there who are trying to find a great cookie recipe for their families in which no one has to feel guilty snacking on a small cookie or two.
Furthermore, for school lunch treats, try making these cookies with a nut-free spread such as Sunflower Seed or Pumpkin Seed Butter. In addition, I have included a recipe for Sunflower Butter below the Nut Butter Cookie recipe for you to try. And finally, a funny story about a misadventure of making sunflower butter with a happy ending.
Nut Butter and No-Nut Butter Cookies
Yield: Makes about 40 small cookies.
- 1/2 cup nut butter (ie. peanut butter, almond butter, etc.) or nut-free spread like the sunflower butter recipe that follows
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Cream the choice of nut butter, peanut butter or nut-free spread with the butter and sugars.
- Blend in the eggs and vanilla bean paste.
- Add the flour sifted with baking powder, soda and salt; mix well.
- Using a small cookie scoop, form the dough in balls. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced 2 ” apart (12 cookies to a sheet is perfect).
- Flatten slightly. (Traditionally, nut cookies or peanut butter cookies have a crisscross mark on top made with a fork).
- Bake at 350o F. about 12 minutes, or until the cookies start to turn golden around the edges. Let them cool for five minutes on the baking tray. Enjoy!
Nut Butter Cookies – Storage
STORAGE: If you don’t want to bake all of the cookies in one go, put the rest of the cookie balls spaced closely together on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly. Freeze the cookie dough balls until they are quite firm. Place the frozen cookie dough balls in a zipper plastic bag or sealed container and freeze until you want a freshly baked batch of nut butter cookies on another day. When you are ready to bake a fresh batch of cookies, place the frozen cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet (12 cookies on a baking sheet). Add a minute or two to the baking time. Enjoy!
Nut Butter and No-Nut Butter Cookies – VARIATIONS:
TIGER DOUGH: Here is a fun variation on the nut butter cookies. I used this fun technique in my cookbook, “Cookies, Brownies & Squares.” The little ones loved helping with this!
- Take one-third of the dough and add 1 tablespoons of cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon of softened butter or coconut oil to it. (the reason for the butter or coconut oil is because cocoa powder alone would dry out the dough, so a little fat is necessary)
- Now, chill the two cookie doughs for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge. Twist the two cookie doughs together like the photo below. There is no hard and fast rule – have fun! I roll each dough into a long log, twist the two doughs together, roll into a log again, fold over in half over itself and roll into a log again.
- You will end up with an interesting tiger pattern in the cookie dough.
- Cut the log of cookie dough into two pieces and wrap the cylinders of cookie dough in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.
- Slice the cookies into 1/4 inch slices and bake for 6 – 8 minutes.
- Freeze any remaining cookie dough for future use.
Check these baked tiger cookies out in the photograph below! Interesting, right?
NUT-FREE SUNFLOWER BUTTER
Did you know that you can make your own nut-free spread with just a few ingredients? Making your own sunflower butter is not difficult. It tastes so much better than commercial brands. I always find that store-bought versions of sunflower butter or pumpkin seed butter are a little flat in taste and stiff. I am pleased with the results of my sunflower butter and I hope you will try it. (But read my funny story below first).
Here is how you do it:
YIELD: approximately 375 ml sunflower butter
Start by toasting 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Cool the seeds slightly.
- Using a food processor with a steel blade, put the cooled sunflower seeds in the bowl.
- Grind the cooled sunflower seeds in the food processor for 30 seconds to one minute to pulverize the sunflower seeds very finely (CHEF TIP: this is now sunflower flour or meal, which can be used in place of almond flour). The time it takes to achieve this will depend on your food processor – my food processor is quite powerful, so 30 seconds was perfect.
- To Sweeten the Sunflower Butter, add 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar or Maple Sugar if you can find it. You can always adjust the sweetness level to your taste at the end.
- Add a pinch of sea salt.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste while the food processor is still running.
- Continue to process the sunflower seeds in the food processor for one minute or two longer. (It will start to look like a paste is forming.)
- If the sunflower paste is too thick, add a little more coconut oil. Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly. That’s it!
- NOTE: To store, refrigerate the sunflower butter and microwave for 10 seconds to soften slightly to a spreadable consistency.
My funny sunflower butter story with a happy ending:
In the past, I have made peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter and even walnut paste for a cake, so I thought – how hard can it be to make sunflower butter? My first attempt was interesting, to say the least. My recipe plan was no refined sugar in the sunflower butter, so I tried maple syrup instead of coconut sugar or maple sugar. Well, that did not go as planned. This is what I ended up with:
The SunFlower Butter Trial
I ended up with a granular dry mixture instead of a nice smooth sunflower butter – but all is not lost. It was actually quite tasty – already the ideas were rolling around in my head as to what I could make with this interesting result. I think I invented something really cool completely by accident! Isn’t that how some things in our world were created in the first place? Think of the Post-It Notes story, or the history of the Eaton Mess dessert, or Crumb Truffles or ……you get the idea. Anyway, this chef was not going to stop there – I am persistent by nature. I am calling it, “Sunflower Butter Crumble”.
I will share with you soon what I did with this delicious funny sunflower misadventure.
The moral of that story is:
Never Give Up!
Making sunflower butter is not difficult, however,
use coconut sugar or maple sugar rather than maple syrup so it doesn’t end up like melted chocolate that has had a drop of water added to it.
(If it has happened to you, you will know what I mean)
“Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food.
They are very bite-sized and personal.”
– Sandra Lee
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Perseverance & Patience
- Toasting Your Nuts (Seeds)
Happy Cookie Baking, everyone!
As always, if you give this recipe for Nut Butter and No-Nut Butter Cookies a try, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. You can find me on social media – just be sure to tag @urbnspice and #urbnspice so I’m sure to see it. Enjoy!
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