these cookies were my absolute favorite during the Christmas season. They had all of my favorite components in 1 cookie: peanut butter and chocolate.
As a kid, my family would all bring cookies to Grandma’s on Christmas Eve. I was a cookie monster!!! But inevitably, I’d be in a cookie coma hours later. This will be my first holiday season where I’ve had a sweet treat that didn’t make me feel sick after and I LOVE it.
but why not have a balance that tastes the EXACT same as the regular recipe. I created this twist to keep the flavor without all the processed ingredients. I say: let the true flavors shine! While I’m not vegan, this recipe is also egg and dairy free. These cookies just had a better texture without the eggs. The Peanut Butter Blossoms have that perfectly fluffy cookie base with a powerful punch of peanut butter in every bite.
why peanut butter and not almond butter, know that I debated it. When I went strict paleo, peanuts were not included as they are a legume. Legumes are known to cause inflammation in the body. However, as I’ve added some healthy grains and legumes back into my diet, I recognized that while I still avoid peanut products on average as well as most legumes and grains, when peanut butter is raw, or freshly ground, it is okay to consume in smaller doses. Everything in moderation right?
You’ll notice I only use other plant-based products in my baking as well. I have the scoop in my book under Pantry Staples as to why I use these particular ingredients only when baking. In my book, I give you the ins and outs to clean eating with tips on how to find that balance, even through the holidays. So enjoy this holiday cookie one bite a time. I’ve already given the cookies to 3 different friends who couldn’t tell the difference between my variation and the original recipe.
If YOU are vegan, I recommend you try this recipe with my Chocolate Covered Caramels (pages listed below) featured in my cookbook, Take Back Your Kitchen
The caramels take the cookie up a notch in flavor profile and are just a great addition to your holiday sweets or are a great hostess gift. They are not filled with refined sugar, but rather honey instead. So if you’re going to indulge a little, indulge thoughtfully.
In a large bowl, sift your flours. This creates that light and airy texture in the final cookie. Add the baking soda and salt. Add the peanut butter, palm shortening, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until combined.
Roll into 1 ½ inch balls and coat each cookie in coconut crystals or sugar. Place cookies on a lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, press a small indent into the cookie as they will not spread during baking. This will be your placeholder for the dark chocolate kiss.
Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. Immediately place the dark chocolate kiss. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
If using my Chocolate Covered Caramel recipe, which I highly recommend, make them a day in advance and keep in the freezer. Create a slightly wider indent the size of the candy mold. All the cookie to cool for 5 minutes first, then place on a wire rack to then insert the candy.
Afterthoughts: make the caramel separately. After the cookies come out of the oven, add the caramel only to the indent. Once the cookie has cooled for 5 minutes, drizzle the chocolate across. (not pictured)