Why do toasters have settings that burn bread beyond recognition??
I’m glad to hear that my family and friends made it through Hurricane Irene safely and hope that my other readers did the same. Mother Nature can be a real b!tch if she wants to!
As most of you know from a previous post, I’m attempting to be back on the South Beach Diet (SBD), although I must admit, I haven’t been such a good girl as of late. I haven’t been a real brat, but not as good as I should be. In other words, I haven’t lost any weight since that post, but I haven’t really gained any either. Maybe this is the weight my body wants to stay at and refuses to let go of any more…grumble, grumble.
However, I shall still carry on since, even though I may not lose weight, it’s much more healthy to be eating properly. I’ll really get to see how I’m doing as I’m going for a health check next week.
Now, getting back to the subject at hand…Peanut Butter. The SBD has a recipe for peanut butter cookies. I had tried it a while back, but I ended up tweaking it a bit more to my liking. Many of their desert/baking recipes call for Splenda to be used as the sweetener. Granted, I do use it, but only in my coffee. I do not like the taste it gives to baked goods.
In doing some research, I found that I could actually use Agave Nectar in lieu of artificial sweeteners. It has a lower Glycemic index and is sweeter than sugar, so you can use less. I had to experiment a few times to come up with the perfect (and least) amount I could use and still have a bit of sweetness in the cookies.
I started out with using a bit more than a 1/3 cup (about 6 Tbsp). The next batch, I went down to 5 Tbsp. I’m currently at 1/4 Cup/4 Tbsp. I may drop it to 3 Tbsp. to see how that works. Remember that this is spread out over the whole batch of cookies and I usually get around 23-26 cookies. I eat 1 cookie at a time, once or twice a day. They take care of the sweet craving and it gives me some protein and even a bit of chocolate.
I also make my own peanut butter. I could buy natural/organic/no sugar peanut butter in the stores, but this is much more economical…in other words, cheaper! I buy a 400g/14oz. bag of store brand roasted, salted peanuts and throw them into my food processor. Whiz them around a bit until they’re almost a chunky paste, and then put in about a Tbsp. of peanut oil. You have to put that in to give it the proper consistency or else it will be too dry. Whiz it around some more until it’s as smooth as possible. Mine doesn’t come out as smooth as you would think, but it’s not really chunky like the store bought either. Let’s put it this way….it gets the job done! You can hopefully get the idea from the picture below.
I spread it on an oatcake and I then proceeded to eat it after I took the picture. 🙂 (Well you didn’t want me to waste it now, did you?)
Now you don’t have to make your own PB, but at least you know what’s in it if you do. If you don’t want to make your own and you’re trying to avoid sugar, then get the natural PB without sugar. If you’re not worrying about the sugar, then by all means, get regular PB, chunky or smooth. I don’t normally like chunky PB, but for this recipe I would use the chunky as it give some depth to the cookies.
Now that you have your peanut butter, here’s the rest of the ingredients and directions. And remember, there is no flour in these!
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsp. agave nectar
3/4 C. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
20g/1oz. dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
Preheat your oven to 165c/325f. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and set aside.
In a medium bowl, put the egg, vanilla and agave nectar. Beat with an electric hand mixer for about 20 seconds on low, then for about one minute on medium, and then two minutes on high. You want the mix to be really frothy.
Then add the peanut butter
and mix thoroughly to incorporate it. The mixture will stiffen up once it’s mixed in properly. (As a side note, it appears that 4 Tbsp of agave nectar should be the amount. I’m finding that only 3 Tbsp is making the mix too stiff. I added a Tbsp. of milk rather than add more agave, but that is up to your personal discretion.)
Add the cocoa powder and salt and mix again. Start off on a low speed so that the cocoa powder doesn’t go flying all over your kitchen counter! Then add the chocolate pieces. You may want to mix them in with a fork instead of the electric mixer as it will be easier.
Drop walnut size pieces onto a non-stick baking sheet. With a clean, wet fork, press down on the dough to flatten a bit. You may need to wet the fork every 2-3 cookies or else you’ll find the dough sticking to the fork. Just dip the fork into water and shake off the excess.
Bake for 10 minutes then remove cookies to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
August 24, 2011