Chewy Magic Peanut Butter Middle Cookies

Finally, Magic "Peanut Butter Middle" Cookies for the rest of us to enjoy. Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, grain-free, refined sugar free and easily peanut-free!

***Folks, one reader said this recipe did not work for them too well (could have been their error), others say it turned out great. I have not had the time to re-test, just an FYI*** Thanks!

This morning I quietly reflected on the joys and challenges that have been mine in 2010. I am thankful that through each joy and challenge God has continued His refining work. Everything can shape us for the better if we allow it to. It has been a magical year in so many ways!

If I could give each and every one of you a hug, I would! I can't thank you enough for being a part of Lexie's Kitchen, for reading my ramblings, and for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm. You are a source of great joy!

One of the beautiful things about blogging is the virtual friendships that are made and the kinship that can be found. Take Ariana for example. A couple weeks back she posted on Facebook asking if anyone could help her modify a few cookie recipes. I jumped at the chance, and the challenge, and we began to chat. A week later, I call her a friend and we've got a new recipe to share! I love my new friends—YOU included! It thrills me to know that over 30,000 people have visited this blog in the last 8 months! Isn't that cool! What I think is so encouraging is that these are people interested in good health and good food.

I am full of confidence that 2011 will be even more magical. I look forward to serving up more eats and treats and to making more friends in the kitchen. I'd love to know what kinds of recipes you'd like to see in 2011—leave a comment or leave me a challenge!

For today, Ariana and I are serving up Magic "Peanut Butter Middle" Cookies. They are soft and chewy with a surprise peanut butter middle. They are sweet but not overly. I can't eat just one! Can you?

Chewy Magic "Peanut Butter Middle" Cookies

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Easily Peanut-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 20 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Middle
Option 1 (coconut sugar-sweetened):
1/2 cup creamy PEANUT BUTTER or SunButter® sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup POWDERED SUGAR (make your own coconut, date or cane powdered sugar)
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme LIQUID STEVIA
2-3 tablespoons WATER (as needed if mixture is too dry)

Option 2 (date-sweetened):
1/2 cup PEANUT BUTTER or SunButter® sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup lightly packed GOLDEN DATES (soaked in hot water, drained, pits and stem debris removed)
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme LIQUID STEVIA

Chocolate Cookie Dough
1 cup loosely packed DATES
1/2 cup unsweetened APPLESAUCE
1/4 cup extra virgin COCONUT OIL
1/4 cup runny HONEY or agave
1 tablespoon CHIA SEED, ground (see Notes)
2 teaspoons gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
2/3 cup packed ALMOND FLOUR
1/4 cup POTATO FLOUR (not starch)
1/4 cup COCOA POWDER
2 tablespoons ARROWROOT STARCH
1 teaspoon non-aluminum, corn-free BAKING POWDER (make your own)
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1/8 teaspoon SEA SALT 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Soak dates in warm water until soft. Remove pits and stems.
  3. In food processor fitted with the "S" blade, combine peanut butter middle ingredients. Process until thick, smooth paste forms.
  4. Scoop mounds of peanut butter paste by the scant tablespoonful onto a plate (a one-tablespoon cookie dough scoop is handy). Squeeze firmly and roll into uniform balls with moisten hands. Set aside.
  5. In food processor, combine until super smooth; 1 cup soaked dates, applesauce, oil, honey, ground chia seed and vanilla extract.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and process until just combined.
  7. Scoop mounds of chocolate dough by the two tablespoonsful onto a plate (a two-tablespoon cookie dough scoop comes in handy here). Dough will be sticky. With moistened hands, gingerly hollow out a hole in a mound of chocolate dough. Place a peanut butter ball in center, wrap chocolate dough completely around peanut butter ball. Moisten hands again and roll in the palm of your hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and pat to 1/2-3/4" thick disk. Repeat. Moisten hands before forming each cookie. 
  8. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

This cookie is filled with the coconut sugar-sweetened peanut butter filling.Notes:

1. For those allergic to peanuts, SunButter® sunflower seed butter is the brand I use to replace peanut butter.

2. Chia seed can be found at natural food stores and on Amazon. It has excellent binding qualities and is an outstanding egg replacer in baked goods (when mixed with water or applesauce). For baking I prefer white chia. Chia seed is easily ground in a coffee grinder/mill or in a high-powered blender.

3. Skipping the stevia? Here is a handy stevia to sugar conversion chart.

Cookies On My List to Try:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies over at She Let Them Eat Cake

Maple Flax Cookies over at Diets Dessert and Dogs

Penny's Lemon Rosemary Cashew Cookies over at Yum Universe