My kids are adults now, but I have enough friends with school-aged kids to realize that plenty of parents all over the world shed tears this past week. Depending on the parent (or possibly the behavior of the child), the tears may have been more of the joy-filled variety those of bittersweet sorrow.
Regardless of your attitude towards back-to-school season, it's now time for parents to set their minds on all things lunch box. Sandwiches, particularly the peanut butter & jelly variety, seem to be popular lunch box visitors for young and old kids alike. In celebration of the beloved PB & J, I have a recipe for you...this is a super fun cookie that's sure to bring smiles to everyone in your lunch box crowd!
I recently joined a monthly cookie recipe group called Creative Cookie Exchange. It's administrators are Laura from The Spiced Life and Rebecka from At Home with Rebecka. Each month, everyone in the group bakes up cookies with a unique recipe that's based on the theme for that month. This month's theme is none other than BACK TO SCHOOL!
If you've been following along with me for the past few months, you are likely aware that I'm trying to shed a few pounds. That being the case, I decided to create a cookie with less sugar than most, but any good cookie (in my opinion) needs to contain SOME sugar. Without the use of sugar (which acts a tenderizer), cookies get too crispy for my liking. That's why the best cookies and brownies are CHEWY! Oh, and without sugar, which caramelizes under heat, cookies won't brown properly when they're baked. That's why I decided to make peanut butter cookies. Manufactured peanut butter generally has a decent amount of sugar in it, so I was then able to reduce the amount of sugar I used in this recipe. I reduced the carbohydrates even further by using my favorite low-carb baking mix from Bob's Red Mill. Because it has a nice brown color, it was the perfect choice for these cookies. I love wheat bread, and that's exactly what these little peanut butter cookies look like!
I could have made or purchased a completely sugar-free preserve to use as the filling for these cookies, but I decided to use what I had on hand in the fridge. Brian is the primary user of jams and jellies in our house, and I don't usually force my low-sugar regime on him. It helps to keep our relationship on an even keel if I keep his tummy happy
Although it tested my patience (or lack thereof), I made the peanut butter cookies icebox style. I shaped the dough into the form of a loaf of bread by pressing my fingers into the sides to make an indent, and I made another indent on the top of the dough. Then I wrapped the log in plastic wrap and placed it into the refrigerator for a couple of hours before slicing and baking. Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting...especially where baked goods are concerned? If a recipe requires me to wait more than 20 minutes from the time of assembly to the devouring process, I tend to get fidgety and whiny. It's soooo becoming on a 49-year old.
So while I waited for the "bread" to firm up enough for slicing and baking, I worked my butt off trying to get past level 207 in Candy Crush. Yes..it worked perfectly at keeping me sane and free from whining, why do you ask? Umm. Before lightning bolts shoot down at me from the sky, let's move on.
Before I share the recipe, I'm offering up a personal invite for all of you bloggers out there to join us in this great recipe exchange! Get your apron on and scoot into your kitchen. Make up your favorite cookie "back-to-school" style. Maybe you have an after school favorite you'd like to share. Perhaps you have a memory of a cookie that was always present in your lunch box. Dig into your creative cookie brain and whip up a wonderful cookie! After you've blogged it, add the link to your post into the Link tool below. I can't wait to see what you come up with!
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup NuNaturals Tagatose (or your favorite brand sugar substitute)
- 1/4 cup Splenda (or your favorite brand) light brown sugar substitute
- 1 egg
- 2.5 tablespoons almond or regular milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.25 cups Bob's low carb baking mix (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Any flavor or variety of jam, jelly, or fruit preserves
- Using a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, combine the peanut butter and sugars. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed, until light & fluffy.
- In a medium sized bowl, add and whisk together the baking mix/flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and beat JUST UNTIL COMBINED.
- Take the dough and shape it into a rectangular block. Use your fingers to press along the middle of the top and along the sides to form indentations along the length of the block. The dough should now resemble a loaf of bread. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Once the dough is well chilled, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Cut dough into slices, approximately 1/4 inch in thickness and arrange them on the prepared pan at 1-2 inches apart from one another.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to sit on pan for 2-3 minutes before using a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, use a knife to spread jam, jelly, or preserves onto the top of one cookie. Layer a second cookie on top.
Here are the "rules of the road" concerning the recipe exchange:
1. Write a blog post with recipe and original photo (please include some language specific to that month's theme). We would like the recipe to be one you’re blogging about for the first time, and photos must be taken by you.
2. Post this Cookie Exchange badge below somewhere on your blog so others can join in the fun
Pecan Chocolate Bars from The Spiced Life
Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Food Lust People Love
White Chocolate Oat Cookies from Magnolia Days
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies from It’s Yummi
Fortune Cookies from A Baker’s House
Whole Wheat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Chocolate Chip Skillet Brownies from At Home with Rebecka
Orange Cookies from Basic N Delicious
Melting Moments from All that’s Left Are the Crumbs
Pumpkin Oatmeal Pecan Cookies from If I Ever Owned A Bakery
Peanut Butter No-Bakes from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt