At this point in my life, I’m not one to overdose on Halloween candy. Up until a few years ago, yes. Now, not so much.
Mostly because if I start eating it, I won’t stop. So I don’t start (if I can help it).
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want something sweet on the holiday. I mean, who doesn’t? This is one of the most sugar-centric holidays we have in this country, and I’m a lover of sweets. I just don’t need to eat an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (though I’d love to).
My newest favorite sweet treat happen to taste a bit like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mixed with cookie dough, but they’re much, much healthier: Peanut butter cookie dough bites.
I plan on bringing these to some of the Halloween-themed functions I will be attending, and I highly recommend making them if you’re staring down the candy stash hours (or days) before the trick-or-treaters begin to show up. Eat a few and you’ll feel much better than if you overdo it on the candy, plus you’ll get a dose of good fat, fiber and flavor.
These days I tend to make a double batch of these any time I have a moment to actually “cook” them (funny how the baby loves to eat but would rather not give me time in the kitchen).
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (adapted from “The Oh She Glows Cookbook” by Angela Liddon)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats or oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (you might want a bit more if there’s no salt in your peanut butter)
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
If using regular rolled oats instead of oat flour, start by grinding your oats into a fine powder using either a high-speed blender, food processor or (my favorite) a coffee grinder.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla, and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the almond flour, oat flour and salt and beat again until combined. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a bit more peanut butter and/or maple syrup. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Roll the dough into small balls. If the chocolate chips fall to the bottom of the bowl, press them back into the dough when rolling. Place the finished bites on a plate or pan lined with parchment paper.
Freeze the bites for five to 10 minutes or until firm. Store the bites in the freezer in a freezer bag for quick and easy snacks.
Makes about 30.
Tips: Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature (I keep my maple syrup and almond flour in the fridge) because if ingredients are too cold, the coconut oil will start to solidify, making it hard to mix. Also, if you’re using the type of nut butter that requires stirring, make sure the oil is well-incorporated before measuring it out for the recipe.
Last week, I promised a holiday cookie recipe. And, boy, do I have one for you. It’s super tasty, extremely easy and about as healthy as a holiday cookie can be. Plus, it is reminiscent of a holiday favorite: the peanut butter-chocolate yumminess that is the “buckeye.”
Yes, buckeyes without the powdered sugar and butter, but with all the taste. (They’re Megan Stuke/Flying Fork approved, so yeah, they’re GOOD.)
Now, I’ll quit my yapping and cut to the recipe, because I’m sure you want to get started.
Healthy Free-Form Buckeyes
1 cup puffed kamut or brown-rice cereal (I used Arrowhead Mills Puffed Kamut)
½ cup smooth peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup chocolate chips
Cacao nibs (optional)
First, cover a cookie sheet in parchment or wax paper OR fill a mini-muffin pan with liners — you will be freezing your buckeyes either on the paper or liners, it’s up to you.
Next, in a food processor, mix together the maple syrup and peanut butter until smooth.
Add cereal and process, taking care to stop the machine and scrape down the sides when necessary. Process the dough until it gets to the “ball” stage.
Next, use a teaspoon to scoop out loose balls onto your parchment or into your mini-muffin liners.
Once all the dough has been used, pour your chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex and melt them in the microwave, going at 30-second intervals and then 15-second intervals as you get closer to all the chips being melted. Stir in between stints in the microwave. When your chips have all melted into a thick liquid, use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate on top of your buckeye balls. Top with cacao nibs if desired.
Next, put them in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. The chocolate should get hard, while the dough will stay chewy. Enjoy!