It was just one of those weeks. My son had conjunctivitis in both eyes; my daughter was too ill to attend her ballet class; I didn’t have any butter. You know how it goes.
I actually made two different types of cupcakes this week, believe it or not. You haven’t seen any photographic evidence on Flickr or Twitter because I considered them both failures. The first one was a lavender cupcake with honey Swiss meringue buttercream. Sounds nice, right? Well, the cake, while it tasted alright, was way too dense. The buttercream, while it also had a nice taste, had a strange texture to it, almost sort of… elastic? Yeah, it was a little weird.
My second batch of cupcakes were vanilla on vanilla, a classic combination using real vanilla beans. But the cakes started splitting on top (I *might* be a bit particular about how the tops of my cupcakes look) while baking and turned too brown too quickly. They also tasted slightly eggy. And the buttercream? It was way too sweet.
After both of those failures, I had no butter left. And yes, also, my son came home from preschool with conjunctivitis (A.K.A. “pink eye”). And my daughter acquired a stomach bug. This winter has been horrible for viruses; I don’t think the kids have been not sick for any length of time for the past few months. It’s so terribly annoying!
But just hours before I realized that both of my kids would be coming home sick, I was searching the internet to find a recipe that I could bake that also did not have butter. I didn’t have my hopes up. Someone suggested hummingbird cake to me, but I didn’t have any carrots either.
Eventually, I started singling out cookies. And I came across this one – peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. They looked easy and delicious. But having a read over the comments and reviews of the recipe, I knew I had to change the original if I wanted to end up with something edible.
And end up with something edible I definitely did. These were extremely indulgent and out-of-this-world delicious.
I don’t even need to continue this post with words; I could just show you more pictures of these incredible cookies and that would be enough.
But I do want to tell you what I did different with the recipe. It is a butterless and flourless recipe. But, after reading over the comments on the recipe page, so many people had problems with it and said it was sickly to eat. Too much peanut butter, too much sugar. So following the advice of others, I reduced the peanut butter (I used smooth and not chunky) and brown sugar down from 1 cup to 3/4 cup. Others added 1/2 cup of self-raising flour, but I didn’t have any, so I added 1/2 cup of plain flour + 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Finally, I reduce the amount of chocolate down from 1 cup to about 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon or so. Oh, and I also used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.
The dough was stiff and difficult to mix by hand. The chunks were difficult to stir in and I ended up chucking the spoon and using my hands to incorporate the chunks. I used about a tablespoon of dough per cookie, and flatten them slightly before baking.
Again differing from the original recipe, I reduced the oven temperature from 200C to 180C and my cookies were done in 9-10 minutes.
I’ll note as well that the recipe I am including below is the exact recipe that I, myself, used.
As with most cookies, I want to remind you that it is very important not to overbake these. You’ll only need a slightly golden outside to keep them soft and chewy. Straight from the oven, they are very soft, so let them cool on the tray for a bit before removing them.
There is no crunch to these cookies, they are just all over soft and chewy (and remain so on the next day). And they stick to the roof of your mouth, just like peanut butter does. You will need a glass of milk with these, no doubt about it.
I never expected to end up with such a delicious cookie without any butter. I am highly impressed and proud to say that these are now one of my most favorite ever cookies! If you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, I guarantee you will love these as well!
Adapted from Emma Worthington & taste.com.au
Makes 20-25 cookies
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (or crunchy, if you prefer)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup + 1 or 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks (or chocolate of your choice)
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease two baking trays and line with non-stick baking paper. Combine peanut butter, sugar, flour + baking powder and egg in a bowl. Stir in chocolate chunks (or mix by hand if you find it is too difficult to stir).
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the prepared trays. Press lightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden. Leave to cool on the trays then immediately enjoy with a glass of cold milk. Store leftovers in an airtight container.