Tonight's cooking 'experiment' is a recipe I found on another food blog called "Brown Eyed Baker". When I saw this recipe, I had to try it. They look amazing. But here's the thing... my son is allergic to nuts and this is problematic for so many reasons. The obvious one being his health, of course. I worry all the time about him accidentally eating something that contains nuts. That's a given. But from a purely selfish perspective, it really kills me that I can't make a lot of the things I love anymore. Christmas baking was not as fun this year, I never realized how many of the cookie recipes I love contain nuts! I love nuts in my cookies, cakes, salads and I like to garnish with them too. But all that aside, I figured it was time to start looking for a good peanut butter substitute. I found this:
The clerk at the organic supermarket assured me it was one of the best peanut butter substitutes. It's made from sunflower seeds. It comes from a factory that contains NO nuts, it's pricey but what the heck, you gotta start somewhere...
Looks promising, right? It tastes...okay. It has a mildly bitter aftertaste, but if you're cooking with it, it's not something you'd notice. It's a lot looser than peanut butter. I wouldn't try spreading this on a piece of toast or anything. What I didn't like was how it looked when it was melted into the batter.
It just looked a little curdled. But I had come this far, so I kept going.
In the end, I wouldn't say that I "love" these cookies. They're "good", but they're not "great". See, now that I've actually told a few people about this blog, and I know that some of these people are actually reading it (even if they aren't 'followers'), and that they may even try certain recipes, I feel like I have to be even more careful about giving anything my endorsement. I'd hate to mislead anyone.
But I will say that I am my own worst critic. Everyone tells me this and I know it's true. As much as I love to cook and bake, when I serve my food, I hold my breath, my heart rate goes up and I feel uncomfortable. And then when the taster says "This is really good", I don't believe them. I figure they're just being polite. When they insist that it really is good, I think "Wow, so and so is a total liar". Then I watch them closely as they continue to eat it. Is that a fake smile? Are they trying to suppress their gagging reflex? I watch to see how many times they take a drink, and if they finish everything I've given them. And even when they do, the next question is, how long did it take for them to choke it down? It's not until they ask for seconds (or thirds) that I relax and allow myself to believe that maybe, just maybe, it didn't totally suck.
Oh right, I'm supposed to be talking about these cookies. Sorry. What was I saying? They're good, not great. They may be familiar to some people, I have a vague recollection of eating something similar when I was a kid. I loved them then, like them now. Maybe it was the peanut butter substitute. But it was a super easy, super quick recipe so if they look like something you really want to try, you've got very little to lose. Here's the recipe:
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies:
(found on Brown Eyed Baker blog)1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cocoa
Bring to rolling boil in 4 quart pot. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add:
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 t. vanilla
3 c. quick oats (must be quick oats or will be too hard to chew)