Occasionally I’ll check out websites such as PunchFork and TasteSpotting to provide ideas for meals or snacks that I can whip up to feed my family and friends. Okay, that’s a lie; I usually eat most of what I cook. I’m more of a creator than a follower, and tend to read a recipe once, then head to the kitchen with a framework in my mind instead of saying ‘This is exactly what we need to do.‘
It’s sort of like cyberkinetic periodization for the kitchen, right?
A few days ago I spotted a peanut butter ball recipe that looked quite simple, and I x-ed out the tab before remembering the link. I decided to try out the recipe on Saturday night, and lo and behold, I couldn’t find it. Crap. Time to experiment. My first attempt to make peanut butter balls ended miserably, with me burning a good amount of peanut butter and coconut oil in a small sauce pan on my stove top. This may or may not be directly related to me turning the stove on then sitting down at my computer to catch up on some of Ben Bruno’s Good Reads for The Week, and getting caught up in the reading. Whoops.
After blasting the fan to clear the stench of burned peanut butter and deciding to try again, but did so on Sunday morning. Here is the edible result of my experimentation:
At first glance, you can tell that they’re no balls; they’re flat discs. We tend to call delicious flat discs cookies, unless they’re a foot across; we call that pizza or cake. Even though I’m calling these cookies, they’re not exactly cookies in the typical sense of the word. Yes, they’re delicious, but no, they’re not loaded with sugar and other crap. In fact, there are only 4 ingredients. Yes, four.
You’ll see that there’s a jar of coconut oil in this picture, but I should point out that I opted to use butter instead in take two; I remember it from the original recipe, and I thought it would be a little bit easier for this recipe. I also used the microwave to heat and combine the peanut butter and butter, instead of trying to use the stove again.
I combined about 1 cup of peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of butter, and microwaved it in Pyrex bowl, stirring ever minute. After three minutes, it was well-blended and had a nice gooey/creamy consistency. Perfect. I added 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein and stirred for about 5 minutes until it had all blended it. (Note to self: Add in smaller amounts next time.)
After this three ingredient blend was mixed, I scooped out spoonfuls onto parchment paper, let them settle and flatten out, then sprinkled some Nature’s Promise Vanilla Almond granola on top. After patting the cookies down so the granola would stick, I placed the cookie sheet out on my front porch. The temperature has hovered below freezing all weekend, so I basically had a glass-enclosed freezer to use.
Once these guys cooled off, I brought a few inside to eat and
share with gave one to my mom. They’re very peanut-buttery, and have a nice creamy consistency to them. You’re basically eating a peanut butter circle with protein and some granola on top. Delicious.
I’m going to experiment with some varieties in the future, including mixing the granola into the peanut butter before I spoon them out, as well as adding dark chocolate for a nice swirl. If you try out the recipe or make your own version, let me know how they come!