Since I have family members who avoid dairy and eggs, I sometimes challenge myself to make a vegan version of one of my usual recipes. This recipe is the result of one such challenge, and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. It's based on the Tender Natural-Style Peanut Butter Cookies I posted last year, and is also something of a follow-up to my Vegan Chocolate Shortbread. Like the latter recipe, this one doesn't contain oil or vegan margarine but uses only the peanut butter itself for shortening. The maple syrup in the recipe substitutes for the liquid of an egg and gives the cookies a perfect chewy texture and a more-rounded sweetness without adding an overt maple flavor.
A note about the measurements: I believe you could probably use 2/3 a cup of peanut butter and 1/3 a cup of maple syrup instead of the 5/8 and 3/8 specified. I don't happen to have a 1/3 cup measure right now but I do have an 1/8, which is why I went with these proportions.
- 5/8 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter (the kind you need to stir)
- 3/8 cup pure dark amber maple syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup einkorn flour*
*Einkorn flour is made from an ancient variety of wheat and is naturally moister than all-purpose flour. If you substitute all-purpose flour, you may need to add 1-2 extra tablespoons of peanut butter.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
3. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Add a quarter cup of the flour and mix. Keep adding the flour and mixing, a quarter cup at a time, and begin using your hands to incorporate it once the dough becomes too stiff to stir.
4. Fill a small bowl with a few tablespoons of granulated sugar. Form the dough into balls about an inch and a half in diameter, roll them in the sugar, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Use a fork to flatten the dough balls, pressing twice to create a grid pattern--the dough will be on the crumbly side, so use gentle pressure.
5. Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Carefully use a spatula to transfer the cookies to wire cooling racks to cool.
Makes 24 cookies