Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flour-less Mixed Nut Cookies

When I was around 7 or 8 years old, and already quite the bake-aholic, my granny sent me a recipe clipping for Easy Peanut Butter Cookies. The recipe went something like this:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix, roll, flatten with a fork, and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Okay, it went exactly like that. And they're good, too! I relied on that recipe during college, to satisfy many a late-night, empty pantry, baking spree. I may run out of butter and flour, but I'm rarely out of butter and flour AND peanut butter, sugar and eggs, at the same time. It's a sad day, indeed, if I am.

Anyway, I love that simple recipe. This new one is kind of like Easy Peanut Butter Cookies -- All Grown Up. I used some leavening, added more nuts and nuanced flavor, and even some flaxseed meal. Simple and adaptable, I'm pretty sure you could substitute any kind of nut butter and chopped nuts, and end up with something wonderful. Let me know if you do!

And if your great mind thinks like mine... try drizzling melted dark chocolate over the tops, once they're cooled. I didn't because I'm married to someone who actually complains that I put chocolate in everything.... I know!

The maple flavoring is not essential, but it does add a wonderful depth to the flavor. This idea come from my peanut butter balls, and it does not disappoint! You could also try using vanilla. I tossed in the extra yolk for texture's sake, and because just a bit more liquid was necessary to accommodate the flax seed and chopped nuts. A whole extra egg would have been too much. A little leavening, too. The original recipe is a denser than I wanted these to be.

1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. raw, unsalted almond butter
1/4 c. + 1/2 c. roasted mixed nuts, divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 TB ground flaxseed
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 c. + 1 c. sugar, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pulse mixed nuts in food processor, until they resemble course crumbs. In large bowl, mix nut butters, maple flavoring, egg and egg yolk, 1 c. sugar and 1/2 c. mixed nuts.

Mix remaining 1/4 c. sugar and 1/4 c. mixed, chopped nuts in shallow dish.

Roll dough by tablespoonfuls into dense balls; roll in sugar/nut mixture and place 1" apart on un-greased, heavy baking sheet. Press down lightly with a fork, in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 8 minutes. LET THEM COOL FOR AT LEAST 5 MINUTES ON THE COOKIE SHEET. They'll crumble if you don't. Then transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Otherwise, they will punish you by crumbling in your fingers. Cooled, they are delicate, but hold together nicely. This is definitely not an overly-dense cookie.

Makes ~36.


  1. Ah, the classic peanut butter cookie. :) I'm definitely intrigued by your updated version! I think I might sub in maple syrup for the maple flavoring or maybe for part of the sugar--but then I do have a jug of maple syrup waiting patiently in my fridge.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Eileen! Imitation maple flavoring is definitely a bit contrary to my nature, too... It's just such a great flavor with the nut butter! Please do let me know how it goes with maple syrup. And for the record, I think you could definitely cut down on the sugar in this recipe, overall and still have a great cookie -- I realize this as I sit here eating one for breakfast ;) Have a great day!