Yes to Yummy

Nutter Butter Cookies (vegan + whole wheat)

August 15, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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For the first time in the seven plus weeks I’ve been out here, it REALLY rained on Tuesday. Like, the sky turned dark gray and all of a sudden at 8 A.M., it started to POUR, of course when I was in the middle of an open field picking shishito peppers. At least I was wearing a windbreaker.

You don’t really think about this, but when it’s raining buckets, farmers can’t really do much, so I spent the rest of the morning helping clean greenhouses and tidying up some garlic with the apprentices at Amber Waves Farm. A very-caffeinated game of Heads Up was also played.

When I got home, I felt a sudden itch–a baking itch. I always love baking treats when the weather is bad, whether it’s raining or snowing or just gray and dreary. So, as the rain was falling on the treetops outside, I stood in the kitchen wearing my moccasins and baggy tie-dye harem pants from an Indian clothing store, making peanut butter cookies.

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But not just any peanut butter cookies: NUTTER. BUTTER. COOKIES.

Stop right there. Now we’re talkin’ body yummy.

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I’ve actually never eaten a real Nutter Butter (thanks for keeping me a healthy kid, Ma and Pa!), but they looked like fun to make, so I decided to give them a go. My farm pals all said they tasted authentic, so I think I did pretty well!

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These were honestly so much fun to make. I loved rolling and shaping them especially, and making a pattern with a fork was really enjoyable. The cookies also tasted INCREDIBLE: sweet but not overpoweringly so, tender and chewy yet just a bit crumbly and crunchy. The light dusting of sugar for a finish really adds a nice touch, almost like glitter. Glitter! Whee! I love glitter.

That was random. What can I say, I’m a non sequitur kind of chick.

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While I am still in a committed and dedicated relationship with peanut butter, my favorite part of these cookies is the flour I used. What’s so special about it? Well, the whole wheat flour was grown ON Amber Waves Farm from seedling to tall stalks of grain, then winnowed and milled fresh for use. I know a lot of you out there are gluten-free (by choice), but when you have flour THAT local, THAT fresh, how can you not take advantage of it? In my opinion, it’s so much healthier than using a blend of random flours from the store that have been imported from faraway. (Though if you’re actually allergic to gluten or wheat, it’s obviously much wiser to use gluten-free flour!)

Anyway. Tangent over for the day. You should make these cookies. They’re the bomb.

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Nutter Butter Cookies

Ingredients

Prep Time
Cooking Time
Total Time
Yield 1 dozen cookies

FOR THE COOKIES:

1 cup of whole wheat flour (or oat flour or brown rice flour)

3/4-1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour (can also substitute with gluten-free flour)

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of organic unhydrogenated palm shortening (I like Spectrum), coconut oil, or vegan butter

1/2 cup of coconut sugar

1/4 cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 3 tablespoons of water (serves as egg replacement)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of peanut butter (use crunchy or smooth, up to you)

Unrefined cane sugar, for dusting

FOR THE FILLING:

1/4 cup of unhydrogenated palm shortening (I like Spectrum) or vegan butter

2/3 cup of smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

FOR THE COOKIES:

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, cream together the palm shortening with the coconut sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then pour in the maple syrup, arrowroot/water mixture, vanilla, and peanut butter, and mix on low until everything is homogeneous.

Pour in the dry ingredients and mix on low until a dough starts to form. Once there are no clumps of flour left, take a small scoop of dough and roll it into a ball. If it rolls easily without sticking too much, you’re good to go. If it seems a bit wet and sticky, add in another 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour until a well-formed dough is achieved.

Squish the dough together into one big ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge to chill for an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the 1/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar into a bowl.

When the dough has finished chilling, break off a piece and roll it into a circle, then a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long by 1 inch (ish) wide. It doesn’t have to be exact: just make sure that your cylinders are roughly the same size each time. Roll the cylinder in the bowl of sugar to coat, then place on a prepared baking sheet.

Using a fork, gently flatten the cookie on either size, creating a crosshatch pattern with the fork’s tines. When the cookie is about 1/2 inch high, use your thumb and index finger to pinch the middle of the cookie, making a peanut shape. Repeat with the remaining dough: you should have 24 cookies in total.

Place the baking sheets in the freezer to harden for 15 minutes, then put in the oven and bake until golden-brown around the edges and firm to the touch, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets before adding the filling.

FOR THE FILLING:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening, peanut butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Taste and add more sugar/salt/peanut butter if necessary. Set aside until the cookies are cool.

When the cookies are cool to the touch, gently spread 2 tablespoons (approximately) of the filling on one cookie and sandwich another on top. Repeat with the remaining cookies, and be super careful–if you handle one improperly, it might break!

Store in an airtight container (in the fridge if it’s super hot, but otherwise room temperature is fine) for up to 3 days, although these taste best when eaten fresh.


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I hope you’re diggin’ the sultry rainy day lighting, because I certainly was. 🙂

What is your favorite childhood cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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