Peanut Butter and Jelly Half-Baked Cookies

pbj cookies tittle

Why half-baked? Because I adore chewy cookies…and it is the best way to describe this chewy peanut butter treat!

I have quite a few ‘therapy’ outlets for those moments that ‘me time’ needs to be something more than binge watching bad movies on Netflix…

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I realized last night as I was standing in my kitchen whirring cookie batter together in my nifty food processor that cooking and baking have become another way for me to sweeten up my routine. It’s been a long week prepping for school to start, but I still found time to pull a batch of peanut butter cookies from the oven (and eat several in one sitting).

I don’t even want to admit how much batter didn’t even make it to the pan…
But really, who else caves at the sight of peanut butter and bananas? Hmmm…thought so.

pbj cookies6Then top them off with my chia seed jam for good measure. Peanut butter, banana, and jelly anyone?

This was one of my favorite school lunches as a child, and was feeling nostalgic as my summer is (rather quickly!) winding down to an end.

On a side note: is there a vortex that steals away summer days? I swear they go by faster every year! Speaking of a vortex…did I mention I’m still a little fascinated by my food processor? 

Pretty much insta-cookie dough.

pbj cookies5Now that I’m back on campus, I’m also back to dining hall food. Admittedly, my school does a pretty great job making everything tasty…meaning I have to put in extra effort to not get that second plate.

Sooo…I aimed to make these cookies healthy, sweet, and scrumptious. As a result, they became vegan and sort of a half-baked oatmeal cookie texture.

If you love chewy cookies, these are for you!

I loooove chewy cookies…but still managed to give the last three away. I can become a smidge over-protective of all things chocolate and peanut butter.

At least I can admit it, right? Ah well, baby steps.

pbj cookies4As I was planning the recipe, I decided to investigate just what goes into cookies, and how the ratio of ingredients impacts the outcome. Low and behold: sugarkissed.net had a great post about ‘cookie chemistry’ that explained the basics.

There are five key ingredients: Sweetener, fat, flour, rising agent, and a binding agent. Altering the ratio of these five ingredients moves the cookie along the chewy v. crunchy scale.

For these cookies, I chose:

Stevia as the sweetener (super sweet, and I can’t tell much of an aftertaste in baking).

pbj cookies7Homemade peanut butter and a banana as the fat. The peanut butter is high in protein and healthy oils, plus it is rich in flavor.  To me, the bananas seem to serve a dual purpose, adding bulk and moisture like a fat, but also replacing eggs as a binding agent and adding some extra natural sweetness (bonus!).

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Oat flour (aka ground up oatmeal) makes these cookies filling, and adds a little extra protein, making these a guilt free dessert or an awesome afternoon power snack!

Baking soda as the rising agent (it’s what I had in my pantry…)

Homemade walnut milk as the binding agent (you can use any non-dairy product you prefer, or dairy milk if you are not worried about keeping the cookies vegan).

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As I said, the ratios and ingredients I chose made super chewy cookies, so feel free to play around with ratios if you like a bit more crunch (ie: less fat and more flour).

And now to the actual recipe:

pbj cookies directions

Tried a version of your own? Let me know how they turn out, and what tweaks you make! I love hearing about how recipes evolve and inspire!

Until Sunday!

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-xoxo

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