You can’t go wrong pairing a couple of these peanut butter cookies with a cup of tea or milk. They sweet, peanut buttery, and soft in the middle with just a hint of crispness around the edge. It is like a health minded evil villain zapped 7 dozen giant bakery cookies with a shrink ray. .
From a nutritional perspective these are downright wholesome. Rest assured, all the ingredients are “normal” and probably in most pantries already. Rather than using all purpose the flour for this cookie is a blend of whole wheat and pulverized oats. The swap creates a bit more substance and texture but stops short of tasting “healthified.”
The secret ingredient is applesauce. Adding applesauce to baked goodies is one of those handy little tricks to to reduce both the amount of fat and sugar called for in a recipe. The fruit puree imparts moisture and subtle sweetness that would have come from the additional fat or sugar. In this case the 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce is a major player but the flavor is so mild all you taste is the peanut butter.
Keeping the cookies small means I can nibble 3 or 4 (or 5) during the day for a little treat without completely derailing my good intentions. If portioning 7 dozen bite sized cookies sounds far to tedious, measure the batter by the tablespoon rather than by the teaspoon. Remember to account for the tripling in size if you are tracking your nutrition.
My weight loss menu didn’t include peanut butter very often. Had I stumbled upon this recipe sooner I would have kept a stash in my freezer for evening treats or taken a couple to work to be an afternoon snack. Not that I’m disappointed now, oh no, these cookies are a real treat that I will absolutely revisit in the future.
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Grind the oats into a course flour using a food processor (about 2 minutes on high). In a large bowl blend the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy - about 2 minutes using an electric mixer on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, if needed, and add the egg and vanilla. Blend just enough to combine. Add the peanut butter and applesauce mix until batter is a uniform color and texture.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients adding about 1/3 at a time and mixing completely before adding the next 1/3.
- Measure the batter by the rounded teaspoon on to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten with a fork to make a cross hatch pattern on the tops. Cookies do not spread much and can be baked 24 to a pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes until the edges are just beginning to darken. Let the cookies sit on the pan for a minute or two before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.
- The batter is quite sticky, flattening with a fork may be difficult. If the batter sticks to the fork use the back of a spoon or moistened finger tips to shape the cookies.