Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peanut-free PB & J Thumprint Cookies

I mentioned awhile back, when I first posted about the faux-nut butter slash soy butter product that I bought, that the first time I bought fake peanut butter I had been let down.
The first time I tried it was heaven but any time after that it just had this weird taste and it made me feel a bit queasy.
This time around it's all good.
Better than all good, even.
I've had it a number of times (on bread, with banana, with jam, with honey, etc) and used it in baking (granola bars, now cookies) and I haven't gotten anything but good results from it.
So obviously since I've found a suitable replacement for the love I lost from my life at 9 years old, I've been looking around for recipes to use it in.
I wanted to make some peaNOT butter cookies and remembered seeing these:

PB & J Thumprint Cookies
(peanut free!)

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup soy butter (or peanut butter if you're allowed the real stuff)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar PLUS another 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup jam (I used black current jam that John's mother made)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper (or tinfoil).
  2. In a bowl mix together soy butter, butter (softened), sugars and vanilla. Beat in the egg. In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the soy butter mixture and mix until well combined.
  3. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Using a spoon or your hands, take about a 1 tbsp amount of dough and roll it into a ball using the palms of your hand. Roll the ball in the bowl of sugar to coat the outside then place on the baking sheet. Repeat until the baking sheet is full or you're out of dough.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes until the tops start to puff up. Remove from the oven and gently push your thumb into the tops of each cookie to make the indentation for the jam. Return the cookies to the oven for another 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove cookies and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Spoon enough jam into the thumprint to fill it. If you're finding the jam/jelly hard to work with you can heat it gently over medium-low heat in a saucepan to loosen it up.

Very easy and so satisfying when you've been denied that peanut butter taste for almost 14 years.

Here's a quick little Sunday morning story for you.

One day, when I was 9 years old, I was sitting in my grade 4 classroom - music, I believe it was - when I started to notice that my hands and feet were very itchy. I looked down and saw that my hands were red, swollen, and splotchy with hives. I noticed too that the skin on my face felt stretched to it's limit, like my cheeks and nose were trying to break free and make a run for it. The teacher asked if I was alright and I excused myself to the washroom where I finally saw how very swollen I looked. I went to the office, my mom was called, and shortly thereafter an appointment was made to go and see my doctor.

Thankfully I've never had an anaphylactic reaction and my breathing wasn't compromised.

At the doctors office, she told us that it had likely been an allergic reaction to something I had eaten and that for the next few days I would likely have small reactions as my body worked to get rid of the unwanted allergen from my system.

"I had a chocolate chip cookie at recess." I volunteered.

"What did you have yesterday? Any eggs, nuts, shellfish...?"

Now here's where this makes me look less like a poor scared child and more like a kid abusing their sick day-off from school.

The day before I had stayed home sick from school. That or it was a Sunday though I distinctly remember being alone in the living room and I'm pretty sure that if it were a Sunday at least one parent would have been around to stop me.

Having likely planned out my day in TV shows (yep, I did that. Cartoons at 10, Price is Right at 11....), I saddled up to the tv and got cozy on the carpet with my two companions: a jar of peanut butter and a spoon.

You can guess the rest.

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