Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peanut butter shortbread recipe

Easter was a bit of a challenge. I have fond memories of hunting for eggs and a basket full of goodies-- I'm partial to the Reeses' Peanut Butter Egg-- but wanted to keep the sweet factor to a minimum. So I came up with a couple of things that were bite-sized, tasty, and small enough to be stashd in a plastic egg, yet not too extravagant in the sugar department. For this shortbread I use mostly whole wheat pastry flour, and natural peanut butter (I recently discovered how easy it is to make nut butters at home if you have a food processor: 1) roast nuts, 2) process. Add a little oil if you need to to get them to the right consistency. Voila!).

Peanut Butter Shortbread

1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature.
1/3 c. natural peanut butter (no added salt or sugar)
2 Tbs. sugar (possibly optional, but I haven't tried leaving it out completely yet)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. All Purpose flour
pinch of salt (optional)

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add in sugar, salt (if you decide to use it), and vanilla. Stir in the flours. Refrigerate 30 minutes or so until it's not totally squishy. On a floured surface (Silpat!), roll half the dough out to between 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and cut out your shapes with your cutters. They don't puff up much, so you can space them fairly close together on your pan. Bake at 350 just until bottom is beginning to turn golden, 7-9 minutes. You could also pat it into the bottom of your trusty cast iron skillet and bake the whole thing for quite a bit longer (30 minutes?), and cut it into wedges when it's done.

Gonna try it with cashew or almond butter next. Or maybe pistachio!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Have I mentioned how much I love 101Cookbooks? Because I do. Everything I have made from there has been stellar. Even when I'm a bit skeptical-- you know, you look at the ingrdient list and, mindful of previous disappointments in the realm of whole grains, greens, and beans, proceed cautiously. And then discover that whatever it is is absolutely delicious.

Like the Baked Farro Risotto, the leftovers of which I'm eating now (well, I used oat groats because my farro was buggy, but it still turned out). I have someday-plans to use pearl couscous in this and serve it to Mae as the holes of a certain well-known canned ring-shaped pasta. If such marketing to her turns out to be necessary (which last night, it certainly didn't. She liked it almost as much as I did).

Or like these, a sort of sugar-free little cookie. I know. "sugar-free cookie"-- the skepticism registers. And yet! I subbed chopped dates for the chocolate, and it's still fab.