Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2

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While it seems blasphemous to categorize this as a ‘problem’, I feel as though I’ve got to be honest…I afraid I do have a bit of a peanut butter abuse problem lately. When it comes to Reese Pieces, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or any baked good with ‘peanut butter‘ in it’s name or description, I’ve got it bad. Unfortunately for me Peanut Butter is a very caloric food, which is why I went nuts last week when I discovered the best invention of the 20th century: PB2! A low-calorie Peanut Butter alternative, made with real peanuts, PB2 is a powder that you simply mix with water to get seemingly delicious, creamy real peanut butter – but with 85% less calories than real peanut butter. Can you see why I’m swooning?

After finding out about this little culinary gem I immediately got my paws on a jar and started baking. My first endeavor with PB2? These perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies. These treats are not only low-calorie, but also vegan so long as you use vegan chocolate chips. I found that adding a little bit extra salt added to the Peanut Butter authenticity, however if you are interested in cutting back on sodium these would be just as tasty without.

Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2
Makes 30 Cookies | 91 Calories Per Cookie

Ingredients:
*2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
*1 Cup Quick Oats
*1 Cup Sugar
*1 Cup Mashed Banana (I always mash mine with a fork)
*1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
*1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
*1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
*1/2 Teaspoon Salt
*3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
*1 Tablespoon Vanilla
*Egg Replacer Equal to 1 Egg
*8 Tablespoons PB2 + 4 Tablespoons Water

Directions:
*Pre-mix your PB2 in a small bowl, set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until it begins to look like thin cookie dough. Add in your PB2, the mixture should be sticky and not too thick.
*Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a large mixing spoon, spoon 30 evenly spaced out dollops onto your pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. If you enjoy chilled treats as I do, I would recommend chilling in your fridge in tupperware before enjoying, especially in the summer.

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Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

I can’t believe it’s already June, time flies when you’re having fun am-I-right? Summer in San Francisco can be pretty chilly/windy and all around deceiving as a season, so I always find myself looking for creative ways to trick myself into falling into that summer-y spirit. Along with eating lots of frozen yogurt and frequent weekend getaways to nearby warm locales, one of my favorite trickster tactics to employ is to bake fruity delights in keeping with the season. These Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies that I baked for Father’s Day is one such example.

These cookies were inspired by a freaking amazing cake I tried a few months back when I was visiting my best friend in Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday. The Lemon Early Grey cake was from this stellar local bake shop Valerie Confections which I highly recommend you try if you’re ever in the area. Although these are shortbread cookies, they only clock in at 80 calories per cookie making these vegan treats are light as well as delicious. Happy baking!

Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Makes 30 Cookies | 80 Calories Per Cookies

Ingredients:
*2 cups whole-wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*egg replacer equal to one egg
*2 tablespoons agave nectar
*3 teaspoons lemon juice
*tea leaves from 2 packets of Tazo Earl Grey Tea

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter which can be kneaded into cookie sized balls.
*Using your hands create 30 golf ball sized cookie dough balls and space them out evenly on a pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and use a fork to push down your cookies so they will be more flat.
*Return them to the oven for 5-7 more minutes or until slightly browned on top.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
*Optional: You can glaze these with a light vanilla glaze recipe like this one and substitute almond or soy milk and earth balance for butter if you so desire. I ended up using this recipe to glaze half my batch and it complemented the flavors very well.

Oatmeal-Snickerdoodles with Orange-Marmalade Thumbprints

I had such a lovely summery San Francisco day yesterday. Summers in San Francisco usually consist of temperatures in the mid 60’s-70’s, so it was not *warm* by any means, but there wasn’t much wind and the sun was out and I could walk outside in a light cardigan and be perfectly comfy. People tend to delude themselves into thinking that since San Francisco is in California we have great summer weather, but they don’t take into account that we are also on a peninsula. It can be windy as all hell, rainy, freezing or otherwise inclement at any old time of year, which is what makes me so grateful for days like yesterday. I decide to celebrate my joy over summer when I got home last night, and what better way to celebrate than to make my house smell like cookies…
I think Snickerdoodles are one of the most fantastic cookies ever. Friends have contributed the valuable insight that I probably am so mad for Snickerdoodles because their texture tends to be quite moist and cake-like, and I just like cake more than cookies. Consequently I baked up some of what I shall call ‘the cake of the cookie world': snickerdoodles! And not just any snickerdoodles mind you, Vegan Oatmeal Snickerdoodles with Orange Marmalade Thumbprints. I started off with a basic Snickerdoodle recipe from La Dolce Vegan and made a few subtractions and a few additions to keep it interesting.

Ingredients:

Cookie dough:
*1 and 1/2 cup flour
*4/3 cup sugar
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 cup soymilk
*1/2 cup quick oats
*1/2 cup canola oil
*1 tablespoon vanilla

Toppings:
*4 tablespoons sugar
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*Jar of Orange Marmalade or another Jam or Jelly of your choice

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all ingredients for cookie dough in a large bowl till coagulated. In a separate small bowl mix together cinnamon and sugar for topping. Roll your dough into 10-15 small balls, it should be easy to mold and not too sticky, but moist enough to adhere the topping. Take your dough-balls and roll each one in the cinnamon sugar mixture till coated. Lay out coated-dough-balls on greased baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart and use your thumb to make little wells at the center of each one for your marmalade. Grab a spoon, and spoon about a teaspoon of marmalade into each cookie (or as much as you would like, just don’t overflow your well or you will have a jammy mess on your hands!). Bake for 10 minutes or till the surface of the cookies starts to crack a bit. Remove from oven let cool and enjoy.

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