Sometimes, things occur by happenstance. Yesterday afternoon, a craving for something filling yet nutritious hit. Also, our pantry was void of fresh, soft and healthful cookies for my one-year and three-year-old’s portable snack supply. An experiment in baking resulted – Speedy Peanut Butter Raisin-Oat Cookies. There is no butter or flour in these cookies. Old fashioned oats, high in fiber and known for their association with reduced heart disease, replace the wheat. Peanut butter, a legume high in protein and a whole food, gives the “dairy butter” a swift kick out the door. Any nut butter would be delicious – work well – in this recipe if no peanut butter is on hand.
I chose to to use peanut butter as the nut butter for purely nostalgic reasons – childhood memories. In high school, I often stopped at a small, independently owned bagel shop on the way to class. A few boyfriends accompanied me for the 6:45 AM detour, but usually I was alone. The peace of the early morning, the smell of baking bagels – there is nothing comparable. I never deviated from my bagel order: “one toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel, spread with extra peanut butter, please.” The bagel was wrapped in wax paper, tucked neatly into a paper bag and handed to me. “One dollar and twelve cents, please,” the kind Vietnamese owner replied. Oh, the value of a dollar in the 1990’s. The bagel, oozing with warm peanut butter and smelling of sweet cinnamon, was mine, all mine, to devour during the twenty-minute drive to school.
These cookies take me back to the days when my biggest concern was if I had the time to stop for a cinnamon-raisin bagel spread with peanut-butter on the way to school. The future was mine to conquer, the sky the limit, the world my oyster. These cookies transport me to a simple life.
Speedy Peanut Butter Raisin + Oat Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Fast to make and quickly devoured!. Feel free to replace the peanut butter with your nut butter of choice
1 cup old fashioned oats (choose a certified gluten-free variety, if desired)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. each: cinnamon and nutmeg
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. good quality vanilla
½ cup raisins
1.) Preheat oven to 350° or 190°C. In a food processor, whirl oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until a fine powder results. Then, add the brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla to the oat mixture and process until a ball of dough is formed. Place raisins in a bowl and stir the batter from the food processor into the bowl with the raisins. Take care that the raisins are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
2.) Place the dough by spoonfuls (using a melon baller or two small spoons) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes, or until cookies have fluffed up and set and are the lightest shade of gold. Avoid over-baking. Cool and enjoy, ideally with a glass of milk or vanilla almond milk.
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