Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Who Needs the Girl Scouts: Sandwiches to Go Nuts About


IT’S COOKIE TIME! I love to find fun, warm baking projects in the winter to help warm the whole house up. On top of that, I was having a total sweet tooth moment. I looked in my pantry and there it was…peanut butter!

As you know, now is the time for those tempting and addicting Girl Scout cookies. My favorite cookies were the peanut butter sandwich cookies (of course).

So I decided to give myself a challenge. Why not try to make them both vegan and gluten- free, so all my friends could enjoy them? And they turned out awesome! 

They are soft and chewy and quite decadent. These are super easy to make and a perfect way to make a vegan/gluten intolerant friend very happy-- or just about anybody happy. I recommend enjoying these with a nice big frosty glass of almond milk, or your favorite milk. 


VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES
Makes about 12-15 cookies

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

INGREDIENTS
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oat flour (you can make this by pulsing oats in a food processor till it’s more flour-like)
1 tsp baking soda
teaspoon salt
¼ cup water

DIRECTIONS
1.     Preheat oven to 350 F
2.     In a mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter and brown sugar till creamy (about 1 minute).
3.     Add in vanilla and beat for 1 more minute.
4.     In separate bowl combine oat flour, baking soda and salt.
5.     While mixing peanut butter mixture, slowly add in flour mixture till crumbly. Then add in the water and beat till combined. Do not overbeat the mixture.
6.     Line sheet pans with either silpat mats or parchment paper.
7.     Roll dough into round balls, about 1- 1 ½ tablespoon of dough each.
8.     Then taking a fork, do a criss cross pattern on top of each dough ball to flatten out and give it a neat pattern.
9.     Bake 8-10 minutes. Make sure to not over bake these.
10.  Once fully cooled, pipe or spread vegan peanut butter frosting on the bottom side of a cookie*
11.  Then place another cookie, bottom side down on top of the frosting to form the sandwich cookie.
12.  ENJOY!

*For best results, I recommend only adding the frosting right before you serve them. The unfrosted peanut butter cookies will last for about a week in the refrigerator and about a month in the freezer. But really, I don’t think they will ACTUALLY last that long without being gobbled up.

VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

INGREDIENTS
1 cup vegan margarine (I like to use Earth Balance)
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 tablespoons almond milk ( any non-dairy milk will work too)

DIRECTIONS
1.     In mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and peanut butter till it’s nice and creamy.
2.     With the mixer going, slowly add in the powdered sugar.
3.     Then add in vanilla. Then add in the almond milk and mix till it has a nice soft whipped consistency.
4.     Now it’s ready to make the peanut butter sandwich cookies.

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