Cookies: Peanut Butter Beauties

by Sherri Koehler on May 19, 2014

My favorite cookies growing up were “Peanut Butter Blossoms”. My Mom found the recipe in a magazine, co-sponsored by two major brands. These cookies, sparkling a little with sugar and melty chocolate perched atop crackled peanut butter cookie, were my absolute favorite. My Mom would only make these for Christmas, during which I’d be repeatedly admonished to stop eating them all. After the holiday season was over I’d spend the rest of the year pining for them.

The nice thing about being a grown up is that I can make these cookies whenever I like. When we do manage to send out Christmas cookies to loved ones, I always try to include some of these.

The use of flax meal as a binder compliments the peanut flavor perfectly. The nice thing about making a vegan recipe for this old stand-by is that all the animal products are removed. I believe food, cookies especially, always taste better when made compassionately, hence my name for these yummy cookies, “Peanut Butter Beauties“. I’m happy to share my childhood favorite, now made vegan, as part of the So Delicious Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest.

The Stuff

  • 1 3/4 cups flour*
  • 1/2 sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening**
  • 2 T So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Plus™ 5X almond milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter***
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T golden flaxseed meal whisked with 3 T water
  • Extra sugar to roll cookies in
  • Dark chocolate for topping cookies (see note)

    * Using whole wheat pastry flour is fine and just adds to the overall nuttiness of the cookie.
    **I like either Spectrum Naturals or Earth Balance.
    ***Crunchy or Creamy is fine. For extra special ones, get freshly ground peanut butter.

The Making

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Set out your shortening to warm up just a little.

Blend the 2 tablespoons of flax meal with the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside. As this mixture sits it will get thick and have a gel-like consistency.

In a large bowl, or the bowl for a stand mixer, add the shortening and peanut butter. Blend together on a low speed until they are will mixed. Add sugar and continue blending until sugar, peanut butter, and shortening are light and creamy. Add in remaining ingredients, aside from flour and blend, scaping down sides if needed.

Add flour in slowly, in 3 to 4 batches, and blend slowly to incorporate it. You will have a nice, firm dough, not too sticky when done.

Shape dough into 1″ balls and roll each ball in sugar. Place balls 2″ apart on an un-greased cookie sheet; the cookies will spread out so don’t skimp on the spacing.

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown and starting to crack. Remove from oven.

While cookies are still on the cookie sheet, immediately top each cookie with a piece of chocolate. Press chocolate into the center cracks of the hot cookie carefully so they don’t fall apart, but the chocolate is wedged in. Carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely. The chocolate will melt further into the cookie as it cools.

Makes 3 dozen+.

A Note About Chocolate:

These cookies are traditionally made with chocolate that isn’t vegan and isn’t really that tasty anyway. I have used good bars, Theo Jane Goodall bars to be exact, and broken into rough squares or rectangles to top with. Now I’m using E. Guittard 72% Bittersweet Chocolate Couverture Wafers and they are far easier to use than breaking up the bars. I just use one wafer per cookie and they are perfect.

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