Easy and quick to make, these peanut butter cookies not only use more healthful ingredients than traditional cookies, but they also hold a chocolaty surprise in every center. They're perfect for a quick dessert, especially to take to parties.
Sweet Riot Chocolate:
The folks at Sweetriot sent me a sampling of their fair trade chocolate deliciousness. Sweetriot is a company that sells only fair trade chocolates, with a mission focusing on social and environmental sustainability. The company hits that sweet spot of having both a responsible and respectable business stance and a high quality product to offer consumers.
I enjoyed the chocolate so much that I wanted to use it for a dessert recipe. I wanted to make something classic, with a simple, familiar flavor so that the chocolate would have a chance to stand out. It was easy enough to settle on a favorite cookie, the peanut butter cookie. Hiding a square of Sweetriot chocolate bar in the center of each drop of cookie dough is a great way to enjoy this well-loved treat with a melty surprise in every center.
I used Sweetriot's 70% Dark Chocolate with Kickin' Coconut for the filling in this recipe — not only do the cookies have a chocolately center, but also a hint of coconut flavor. Deeelicious!
Since this chocolate bar is vegan and gluten-free, it was only fitting to select a vegan and gluten-free cookie recipe. I found a basic vegan peanut butter cookie recipe I really like from 101 Cookbooks, which also uses olive oil, a healthier alternative to the usual vegetable oil. I altered it in a few ways, including using a gluten-free multi-blend flour from Authentic Foods. It is an excellent cup-for-cup style flour that is great for making gluten-free cookies and quick breads. However, if you prefer using all-purpose flour, you can simply substitute.
Other substitutions to consider is using applesauce instead of oil, and maple syrup (or honey, if not a strict vegan) instead of agave nectar. This makes about 16-24 chocolate-filled cookies, depending on cookie size.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40-42 minutes
Yields: 16-24 cookies, depending on how large you make the cookies
Chocolate-Filled Peanut Butter Cookies: Vegan Recipe
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 cup organic smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup agave nectar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 bar vegan fair-trade dark chocolate, cut into squares
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a fork to sift.
- In a large bowl combine the peanut butter, agave nectar, olive oil, and vanilla. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until just barely combined.
- Take a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and press an indentation in the center. Add a square of chocolate to the indentation.
- Fold the edges over to completely cover the chocolate, taking care not to not work the dough too much. Place on the baking sheet and press to slightly flatten.
- Bake for 12 minutes (or 10 minutes if you have made smaller cookies). Bake until just barely golden brown, taking care not to over-bake. Let cool five minutes on the tray, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Enjoy with a glass of cold almond milk to wash them down
Related recipes on MNN: