This is my favorite quick dessert to make. It is loved by all, especially children. The wonderful part of the recipe is its simplicity. We like to take these cookies when traveling, telling ourselves it is the same as eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich.
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or oats
½ cup honey (warmed in microwave)*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt (omit if peanuts are salted)
*Note: This is a critical step. The honey is the liquid in the recipe. It needs to pour like water or the mix will seem dry and if too much water is added, the cookies will be tough.
1. Place peanuts and flour in a food processor and whiz for about 1 minute until nuts and flour are about the same texture. (Takes about 1 minute. In a Vita-Mix, using the plunger, it takes only about 30 seconds.)
2. Place flour-and-nut mixture in a mixing bowl and add salt. Mix in the honey and vanilla. Stir together and then mix with your hands. (If your food processor is large enough, you can mix the honey and vanilla in the processor. Turn on briefly to mix.)
The dough should hold together without being dry and crumbly. If needed, add a tablespoon of water, but be careful not to get it so wet that it sticks to your hands. It should be like piecrust. If it is too dry, the cookies will crumble and not hold together, but if too wet, they will be hard. A little extra flour can be worked in if the dough is too sticky!
3. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls the size of walnuts. Place on a cookie sheet and press flat with hands. Then press flatter with a fork dipping the fork in water as needed to keep it from sticking to the dough (or use a plastic fork—it won’t stick even if dry, but will break unless you press on the tines).
4. Bake at 350ºF for about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully. They are done when just beginning to brown on the edges. I can think of nothing that burns so easily as peanut butter cookies. So take them out before it looks like they’re done! Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing.
Makes about 20 cookies.
Variation: Gluten-free Cookies
Replace whole wheat flour with 1 cup brown rice flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.