I have a love-hate relationship with these cookies. I was trying to make a simple peanut butter cookie, but every version I tried was either an outright failure or just not-quite-right, and I went through seven iterations before I reached the final recipe that we have here. The reason for the struggle is because, at One Ingredient Chef, I have very tight constraints. Everything I publish has to meet the criteria of being obnoxiously delicious while also being made with healthy, unprocessed ingredients. My conscience simply won’t let me publish anything that doesn’t meet both criteria. Thus, my unique job is to find that perfect balance with every recipe.
Anyone can make a delicious vegan peanut butter cookie: just dump a cup of margarine into 2 cups of brown sugar with some flour and peanut butter. On the other hand, it is easy to make a “healthy” peanut butter cookie that tastes like sawdust. Through all my trials this week, I ended up on both ends of that spectrum: terrible tasting cookies and terribly unhealthy cookies. None of them were good enough for you, lovely readers.
I’m glad I persevered, though, and I hope you will be too. What I finally settled on is a cookie that has absolutely no oil or processed fats, is very high in fiber and nutrients, is sweetened with molasses (see my article championing molasses), and has great complimentary flavors. The peanut butter shines, of course, but there are also deep notes from the molasses and a hint of banana as well. All in all, this was one tough cookie but I’m really pleased with how the flavors came together.
Makes ~16 cookies
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup Sucanat
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Flax egg (ground flaxseed + water)
First, make the flax “egg” which is a staple in ‘One Ingredient’ baking. To make a healthy egg replacer, simply combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Set this aside, as it needs 5-10 minutes to create a gel-like consistency.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Next, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, sucanat) in a mixing bowl. Same with the wet ingredients: in a separate bowl, mash 1/2 cup banana and add peanut butter, molasses*, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and the flax egg. Mix well. Then, add the try ingredients into the wet and gently combine.
* Molasses is what makes these cookies so much darker than a typical peanut butter cookie. I love the strong, slightly-bitter flavor of molasses and I think it works great in these cookies. If you, however, aren’t such a big fan, feel free to add a little more Sucanat (unprocessed cane sugar) and a little less molasses.
Form the batter into ~1 inch balls onto a baking sheet or Silpat and press lightly with a wet fork to get the trademark criss-cross patterns of oatmeal cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350º F until the edges are just turning brown and the cookies have firmed up a bit. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5+ minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!