Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All natural, no-sugar peanut and pistachio butter cookies

I have been seeing recipes for these natural peanut butter cookies around for a while now. When I saw Monet post about them the other day, I knew my time had come. She has a beautiful baby daughter so I knew the recipe would be wholesome, but she is first and foremost a wonderful baker so I was certain these cookies would be really good besides being healthy.
That is a must in my book. My idea, and those of you who have been reading my blog for a while have heard me preach this before, is that if you are going to make a dessert or something sweet you might as well go the whole way and make something worth the calories you are ingesting. Otherwise, if you are on a health kick or trying to lose a few pounds, skip dessert altogether and have some fruit or yogurt instead.
 There are cases, however, when this does not apply, like feeding your kids afterschool snacks that are so good they won't really be able to tell they are naturally sweetened and full of wholesome ingredients.
So even though I still stand by my belief that a chocolate fudge cake should be a buttery, sweet, dense affair, if the result of a recipe is a lovely tasting cookie that satisfies a craving without going way overboard, why not?
With this batch of cookies I finished the jar of pistachio paste I told you about in my last post. I also used up that almost empty jar of peanut butter I had lying around for more time than I care to remember. It worked out perfectly, since I didn't have enough of either to make a whole batch of just one kind, and how do you split an egg in half?
Both cookies are delicious because they are so incredibly full of nutty flavor and they are just sweet enough, with that touch of salty that keeps you wanting more.

See how chewy these are on the inside? Mmmmmh...
 The peanut butter cookies are crumbly and dense, perfect to have with a cup of coffee or a big glass of milk. The pistachio cookies have a completely different texture, moist and chewy and rich. They are sweeter because I had added some sugar to the paste (ok, so there is a little sugar in the pistachio cookies, but if you want to make these 100% without sugar, pistachio butter would work just as well) and are fabulous with a cup of unsweetened tea in  my book. The different texture is the result of several factors: i) I used more pistachio paste than PB because I wanted to finish the jar, ii) the pistachio paste was not as dense as the PB, iii) the pistachio cookies baked as long as the others but they were a bit bigger in size.
To make the two different batches, I followed Monet's basic instructions but divided the egg mixture into two bowls. Then I added the different nut pastes into each and split the dry mixture between the two. It makes for a little extra work and more bowls to wash but this way you won't end up with a huge amount of cookies if you are making both. If making just one kind, use a whole cup of the nut butter of choice and use just one bowl for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pistachio paste or pistachio butter

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, beat the egg and stir in the melted butter, maple syrup, honey and vanilla. Pour half of the the egg mixture into a third bowl. Stir the peanut butter into one of the bowls and the pistachio paste into the other until smooth.
Split the dry ingredients between the two bowls with the wet ingredients and mix until the dough forms.
Place the bowls into the freezer while you preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C. The original recipe suggests this step after shaping the cookies, but who has a freezer that size in Europe?
After about 15 minutes, take the bowls out and start rolling the dough into little balls, arranging them on a lined baking sheet. Press down with a fork (for the pistachio cookies I used the tip of my whisk because the dough was stickier and the fork kept getting stuck in the process). Bake for about 8 minutes, until the cookies just start turning golden.









  1. I'm so interested in these! I've never had sugar free cookies but I bet they are great. How interesting that they have a different texture too!

  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Pretty cookies! I sometimes make maple and coconut oil cookies and feel very virtuous about it (although all sugar is sugar in some form, right?). These little nutty bites look wonderful.

    1. True, although at least maple sugar and honey are natural and consumed pretty much as nature makes them, unlike overprocessed table sugar or corn syrup. Not less caloric for sure, but definitely healthier!

  4. These cookies look so tempting. I agree with you on your dessert philosophy. Today I stopped into a new bake shop in my neighborhood and they were boasting that it was all gluten free and vegan. I sampled some and frankly wanted to spit it out. There was no way I'd pay 5$ for a dry, sad muffin or cupcake for that matter! No thanks. I'll keep my butter and sugar and eat my kale salad to compensate :)

  5. I think this was the BEST use of your leftover pistachio butter! I love Monet's recipe concept but your use of the pistachio butter is genius - and what caught my eye! Brava!


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