GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!
Everywhere I am, lately, seems to be serving some form of chocolate-peanut butter combination treat. As this has been one of my favorite combinations since I was a Halloween Trick-or-Treater searching for the jackpot homes passing out chocolate peanut butter cups, the temptation has been irritating. So after my work colleague, the chef behind the Ipso Fatto blog, brought homemade milk chocolate peanut butter cookies to share at the office, I couldn’t take it anymore! But instead of getting frustrated, I decided to take on the challenge of creating a peanut-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free chocolate-“peanut” butter cookie treat!
I also had some Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola that I had wanted to try in an unknown creative recipe. When I first learned of my infant daughter’s multiple food allergies, one of my work friend’s introduced me to Enjoy Life products. I have been a fan ever since! In fact, I always try to keep a couple Enjoy Life Chewy Bars in my purse or diaper bag as a quick emergency go-to snack when nursing mommy hunger pains overwhelm me. Even my 3-year old son loves the Caramel Apple and Very Berry flavors of Chewy Bars, which I cannot eat around him unless I am interested in sharing (like yesterday on our drive back home from picking some up at the grocery store). So even though, generally, I am not the biggest chocolate fan, I said yes when Enjoy Life offered me a free bag of their Double Chocolate Crunch Granola to sample.
Having liked how well Linda Coss’s egg substitute worked in my vegan salty oat chocolate chip cranberry cookies and spice cookie sandwiches (recipe to come), I also decided to use it in this cookie recipe.
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour [feel free to try a gluten free flour & xanthan gum mix]
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt (ground fine)
- ½ cup plus ⅓ cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp dairy-free, soy-free shortening
- 3 tbsp dairy-free, soy-free buttery spread
- ½ cup sunflower butter (like SunButter**)
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tbsp water
- additional 1 ½ tbsp canola oil
- additional ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola
- ¾ cup dairy-free, soy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
- additional Double Chocolate Crunch Granola for ice cream sandwiches (optional)
- allergy-friendly ice cream for ice cream sandwiches (optional)
**Note: SunButter’s label states that it is “[m]ade on equipment that also roasts soy,” so if this raises concern, you may want to make your own sunflower butter. Here’s a simple and tasty-looking sunflower butter recipe I came across on the Prudent Baby blog.
Method (or Mistakes)
Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 tsp baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or electric mixer), cream together shortening and buttery spread. Add powdered sugar and brown sugar, and then beat until blended. Add sunflower butter, and beat until creamy (about 2 minutes). While beating, gradually add ½ cup canola oil, and then vanilla. In a small bowl whisk together water, additional canola oil, and additional baking powder, and then add mixture to batter. Beat to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients, and beat just until blended. Stir in granola and chocolate chips. Use a small cookie scoop (1 ¼ inch) to measure dough and place on baking sheets about 1-1 ½ inches apart. (Cookies do not spread much when baking so no need to worry about overlap.) Bake cookies until puffed and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minus before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
Ice Cream Sandwiches: Place a heaping 1 tbsp of your favorite allergy-friendly vanilla ice cream in between two completely cooled cookies. Then roll the edges of the sandwich in the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola to coat the ice cream. Store sandwiches in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to enjoy.
The original recipe called for a milk chocolate-peanut butter filling, but having noticed that many of the reviewers felt the filling was too much and preferred the cookies by themselves, I decided against a SunButter filling. Instead, I served the cookies as they were, and I also enjoyed a few as the ice cream sandwiches. (My office buddies had to enjoy them plain as trying to take ice cream sandwiches with me on my one-hour morning commute then daycare drop-off would have been a messy disaster.)
I am so glad I added the Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola to this recipe, rather than just using the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips alone. The granola really added a nice crunch to the cookie’s otherwise soft texture. Many of my office “tasters” commented that they enjoyed the contrast of the cookie’s natural softness with the crunch of the granola. It made the cookies more exciting! And even though the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola came pre-loaded with chocolate mini chips, adding even more chocolate chips gave the cookies a irresistible chocolaty-”peanut” buttery flavor combination in every bite!
I also think it was the granola that had many people fooled into believing that these cookies had peanuts even though they were completely peanut-free. A couple office friends stopped by my office to ask was I serious when I had said these cookies did not contain peanuts?! And when I served these cookies at our spur of the moment pre-Memorial Day BBQ (see Red Quinoa Potato Salad post), my girlfriend’s son who is seriously allergic to peanuts stopped eating his cookie after the first bite. Worried that he was going to have an allergic reaction, he secretly warned his mom that he had just eaten peanut butter. I don’t think he believed her that the cookies were peanut-free (in addition to being free of other common food allergens), because he didn’t go back to the cookie. I think the combination of the crunchiness of the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola combined with the nutty flavor of the sunflower seeds in the SunButter gave the pretense of a cookie made with chunky peanut butter.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the chocolate granola. In addition, to using it in these peanut-free, nut-free, vegan, soy-free Chocolate Chip Granola SunButter Cookies, I enjoyed my resealable bag of Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola in some
“experimental” buttery wafers I made free of the top 8 most common allergens (a recipe I need to perfect a bit more before sharing), sprinkled over ice cream with some of my homemade dairy-free salted caramel topping (thickened a bit more this time with 1 ½ tbsp of cornstarch), and straight from the bag. I definitely intend to add this product to the number of Enjoy Life products I already routinely buy to stock my kitchen!
*GIVEAWAY*: You Be the (Chocolate) Chef [Apron and Enjoy Life Chocolates] Giveaway!
GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!
As part of my Nom Yum & Free “You Be the (Chocolate) Chef” Giveaway, Enjoy Life has promised to send samples of their newest chocolate products to a lucky one of my readers.
As the winner of a Nom Yum & Free™ “Allergy Friendly LOVE for Eating! ™” allergy awareness apron** and a bag of each of my new favorite allergy friendly chocolate ingredients – Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola and Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks – you can be the chocolate chef! Try these YUMmy semi-sweet chocolate products (free of the top 8 most common allergens) in the above allergy friendly Chocolate Chip Granola Sunbutter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches or my (top 8 allergen free) Chocolate Chunk Granola Pretzel Bar recipe, or use them to create your own chocolaty recipe altogether!
There are many ways to enter – see below. And the more ways you enter, the more chances you have to win!!
Thank you for your support of Nom Yum & Free and happy allergy friendly eating!!
**Visit the Nom Yum & Free store for other apparel and accessories. In honor of my food allergy stricken daughter, a portion of shop proceeds goes to organizations supporting children with food allergies. Thank you for your support!