UNAMI PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
I developed this recipe because I became OBSESSED with recipe development when I worked with Maricu and then when I was an assistant to the Technical Advisors in Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. Creating a cookie that was the best of all worlds: vegan, gluten free, sugar free and also could become a breakfast item for my trips was a fantasy that emerged because of my major frustration of not finding anything sweet + healthy + amazing I could eat and enjoy. To this day when I travel, I constantly seek a healthy goodie. When I started my quest to do a world tour of Noble Baking in 2015 I have travelled to 13 cities and taught over 1,200 people in my classes. So you can imagine how many airports, coffee shops, pastry stores and gourmet venues I have explored madly seeking that one cookie that would fulfill my needs. So I decided to create it, amongst other pastries I crave too.
This recipe is adapted from a very cool baking book called: Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. I love it because you can do so much with it and it has the perfect element of umami, that surprising savoriness that is a flavor enhancer and makes life so memorable. I will tell you this: from a picky foodie and a hypoglycemic pastry chef with such a mixed culinary background (Mom is English, my Dad has a Lebanese family), all this made me incorporate umami into my pastry world. When you have low blood sugar: I have realized after 21 years that acid, salty and spicy is very important to fulfill the void of getting divorced from sugar and also because they are such satisfying elements to our palate.
Make this recipe with the surprise element or without it but give it a chance it is spectacular.
Note: I love peanuts like you have no idea/ I was actually once addicted to them. Now I know that peanut (and peanut butter of course) is not the best nut (they are allergen friendly, they can harm gut health and also tend to grow mold or fungus called aflatoxin, they are one of the 7 foods to avoid if you want to loose weight and boost your metabolism according to expert nutritionist JJ Virgin), so what to do? Well here is my opinion on these matters: make an exception and make them only when you are craving peanut butter cookies or substitute with almond butter or tahini which is the new kid on the block (note texture might change as tahini is fattier and more liquid so you might need to adjust flours).
- 85 gr natural peanut butter can be chunky/ I love mine with salt/ for food allergies sub for almond butter which is a healthier option
- 48 gr coconut palm sugar (you can use half coconut sugar and half Swerve)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil organic and unrefined not melted
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons almond milk
- 5 gr vanilla
- 2 teaspoons of Siracha (this is the umami!!)
- ½ cup 70 % chocolate such as Valhrona or Cacao Barry or Callebaut or Luker you can also sub for pecans or peanuts chopped
- ½ cup Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour 1:1 blue label (I don’t recommend the red label Bobs Red Mill flour as it is too gummy and has a beany flavor)
- ¼ cup oat flour must be GF certified such as Bobs Red Mill
- 1 tablespoon amaranth flour
- 1 teaspoon aluminium and gluten free baking powder (at high altitude use half)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude use half)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ cup chopped peanuts or sub for hemp seeds
- ½ cup 70 -85 % chocolate chopped into chunks, use the best
- Preheat oven to 340 F.
- Line a baking tray with Silpat. (I love perforated baking trays as they work as a cooling rack also). Prepare a #24 scoop.
- In a bowl: sift dry ingredients. On a separate bowl, mix by hand with a spatula: peanut butter, sugars, vanilla, oil, Siracha, and maple syrup. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add peanuts the chocolate chunks.
- Scoop onto the prepared tray leaving room between cookies.
- Bake at 340 F for approx. 8-10 mins. depending on your oven. Preferably a convection oven.
- Cookies must be crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Remember that they continue to bake as they cool on the tray.
- Let cool on a tray and then remove from the tray. Cool on a rack or perforated tray.
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