Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

My adorable kitchen assistant, Eva, is sadly allergic to peanuts.  Fortunately, she is able to eat tree nuts.  She will eagerly scarf down pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds- you name it.  I happened upon a marked down brand of salted cashews at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and picked up 2 boxes.  One was eaten as snacks, and the other was destined to become cashew butter for cookies.

While cashew butter is often available on grocery store shelves, it's usually unsalted, and in my opinion, a bit bland.  I tossed the whole container into my food processor, held onto the handle (the processor has a tendency to dance around), and blended them until I got the smoothest consistency I could manage.  You could always stir in some chopped cashews after blending for a chunkier consistency.

I used my old standby peanut butter cookie recipe out of my red and white checked Betty Crocker cookbook and substituted an equal amount of cashew butter for the peanut.  I am impatient and was baking with an almost 4-year-old kid, so we skipped the dough chilling portion of the instructions.  I'd recommend you go ahead with it- the cookies will be pretty flat if you don't.

After scooping balls of dough, I flattened each one slightly with my fingers and let my kiddo push chocolate chips onto the top of them.

You could also substitute soy nut butter or almond butter. Delicious!

Betty Crocker Cookbook Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (or cashew butter)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugars, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.

Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Dough was portioned with a spring-handled ice cream scooper.

Sampling the dough for texture and consistency.

More quality checks.  She goes the extra mile to ensure that our cookies are the best!
The finished product.  Yummy!