Sunday, 25 March 2018

5 Ingredient | Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies | VEGAN

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 10-12 minutes
COOLING TIME: 5 minutes

They're chewy, chocolaty and delicious, and so affordable to make. This recipe makes around 10 medium sized cookies (if you don't eat half the mixture waiting for others to cook!) and they only take 10 minutes per tray to bake.

After some experimenting and adaptation of existing recipes, I quickly found my staple recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies. I was never a fan of peanut butter on its own and it wasn't something I could imagine myself taking a liking to, however I found a recipe online which seemed easy enough to do, and all that was required from me was a few adaptations of the recipe to make it vegan! I really wanted to give PB another chance to shine after hearing so many wonderful reviews of it in different recipes. 

Originally I made these without the cacao powder - which is fine - but the peanut butter taste was still too strong for my liking. I did however quickly realise that when you add something sweet (i.e sugar) to peanut butter it completely changed my opinion of the taste. I think for me it was just too nutty and savoury and needed that sweet side.

So after my first batch there was still something missing to make these cookies the dream that they now are. They were the perfect consistency and size, not complicated to make and took no real time at all to churn out - but something was missing...


Of course it was chocolate!! What else would make something a thousand times better? So when it came round to making these again I decided to throw in a couple of tablespoons of raw cacao powder, giving these cookies the perfect colour and balance of flavours. 

One of my favourite things about this recipe is there's no funny ingredients - everything is so basic and easily accessible with very little fuss to use. In about 20 minutes you can whip up a batch of these wonderful cookies to share (or not to share!). 

(I could literally sit and eat these all day. Try with a side of plant milk to wash them down!)


What you will need:
-   1 ripe banana (riper bananas will give more chewy cookies)
-   1 cup Billingtons Golden Caster Sugar (labelled vegan)
-   1 cup Peanut Butter (Personally I have tried Whole Earth's Smooth PB which is my favourite! However in the pictures, I actually used Meridian's Smooth PB which gives a slightly sweeter taste so feel free to experiment!)
-   3 tbsp raw cacao powder
-   1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda for US)
-   Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

What you will need:
-   2 medium baking trays (generic basic value trays)
-   Cup measures: 1 cup, 1 tbsp, 1/4 tsp.
-   Large mixing bowl.
-   Cutlery: 1 fork, 1 spoon, 1 spatula.
-   Cooling rack.

-   Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
-   Peel and mash the ripe banana with a fork into the large mixing bowl.

-   Measure 1 cup Whole Earth's Smooth Peanut Butter, followed by 1 cup Billington's Golden Caster Sugar and add to the mixing bowl (DO NOT BEGIN MIXING).
-   Add 3 tbsp's of raw cacao powder.
-   Add 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional) to the bowl and begin mixing with a spoon.

-   Ensure your ingredients have distributed evenly and there are no clumps of sugar!
-   When your mixture is ready and your oven in preheated, you can begin to size out and shape your cookies.
-   Using the tablespoon measure, roughly collect 1 tbsp of mixture per cookie (as shown) and transfer to the baking tray. (The mixture should be doughy but quite sticky so you may have to shake the tbsp measure for it to come out!) Shape the mixture into a circular shape measuring roughly 4-5cm wide, by about 1cm in thickness.

NB: On the medium sized trays you can only fit 4 cookies as they expand and flatten during baking.

-   Pop the first tray of 4 in the oven at 180c for exactly 10 minutes (12 minutes for 2 trays of 4). Timing is very important with these cookies as they can quickly burn!

-   Your cookies should look as if they are rising like little cakes - don't worry! They won't have cake texture as they flatten during the last minute of baking! When the timer hits 10 minutes watch your cookies very carefully for the next 2 minutes and when they look like they are beginning to flatten take them out of the oven.
-   Leave the baking tray on a heatproof surface for a few minutes while the cookies cool and finish cooking. They are extremely fragile when you first take them out so don't try to transfer them to the cooling rack just yet!
-   After a few minutes lightly touch with your finger to see if they've firmed up - then you can use a spatula to place them onto a cooling rack. In about 5-10 minutes they'll be cooled and firm enough to eat.

You should have enough mixture for 10-12 cookies (three rounds of 4) with a little bit left to munch on while they bake.

I'd definitely consider this as a base recipe which you can build on by adding different accent ingredients. NB: Try to remember to balance out the wet with the dry ingredients - too wet and they'll not hold their shape, too dry and the cookies will be too firm to eat.

Suggested accent ingredients:
- chocolate chips
- mixed crushed nuts
- cranberries
NB: stick to smaller ingredients as larger ones can affect the cookie integrity and shape.
- You could also add whole nuts and press them into the tops of the mixture for a prettier appearance.


Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe at home and how they turned out! Any questions can be left in the comments too - or you can tweet me @chloesharman

Happy baking! Enjoy!

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