Like fresh-baked cookies? Want to have them at the touch of your fingertips at any given time? Then these are for you. Now I’m not the biggest dessert person in the world – the savory part of the meal is my favorite and I tend not to leave space for dessert. However, like every other self-respecting foodie in the world my ears perk up at the mention of the holy combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
Ice cream is a great dessert, but there is something special about a warm, fresh baked good. For some it’s cake, for others it’s pie. For me, there is nothing quite like a fresh out-of-the-oven simultaneously chewy and crispy cookie. But unless you’ve got the culinary talents of Celine to bake single-serving portions, the problem with baking cookies is that they are at their prime within 20 minutes of leaving the oven. After that, they only stay fresh for a couple of days. One solution is to gobble down the entire batch within those peak 20 minutes. A better solution is my anytime cookies. It’s quite genius really – make the dough, freeze the dough, slice off desired amount, refreeze the remaining dough, bake and enjoy. This way, you only have to make the dough once, you only have to wash the dishes once and you have the power of fresh-baked cookies at your fingertips. Could you think of a greater superhero power?
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate and peanut butter can be a very nutritious duo. Peanut butter is very low in saturated fat and contains mostly healthy fats, the heart-healthy fats that will also help you lose weight (if you’re looking to do so) on an otherwise low-fat diet. However, chocolate is a large source of saturated fats and generally contains quite a bit of sugar. But cocoa is an excellent source of antioxidants, and if you buy all the science behind it, eating foods rich in antioxidants will make you live forever. Lucky for true chocoholics like myself, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content. But even better than chocolate is unsweetened cocoa powder – chock-full of antioxidants, very low in fat, no added sugar and lots of fiber and protein. Along the same lines, these chocolate & peanut butter cookies are nutritious and delicious.
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4t baking soda
3T natural chunky peanut butter
2T healthy butter spread (I use Smart Balance Light)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2T granulated sugar
1t vanilla extract
1 egg white (2T egg substitute)
Makes about 24 cookies
1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Remember to lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and use a knife to level it off. In large bowl, mix the butter spread and peanut butter until well mixed and fluffy. Add in the sugars and mix until well blended. Add vanilla and egg white and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture until a nice even dough is formed.
2. Place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and shape into a log about 6-8 inches long. Roll up the wax paper and roll the log around to get it more evenly rounded. Freeze for at least 3 hours or up to several months.
3. When you feel like some cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place some tinfoil on a baking sheet (easy clean up) and spray with cooking spray. Take the log out of the freezer and cut a few 1/4 inch thick slices (as many as you think you’ll want plus 1), turning the log after each cut to prevent the bottom from flattening. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Cookies should be crispy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside.
Be sure to dip them in a glass of your favorite milk.
Before I forget, I’ve been awarded the Magic Lamp of Luck Award by The crew at Equal Opportunity Kitchen. Thanks guys! Perfect timing for my interview article in the Sacramento News & Review. More on that later…