Six-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Fact: Americans eat an average of six pounds of peanut butter per person per year with children being the largest consumers.

Fact: Peanut butter is tasty, heart-healthy, and protein-packed.

Fact: Peanut butter is one of the greatest food inventions of all time.

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Peanut butter covers all the food craving groups: salty, fatty, and sweet. It can be used for sweet or savory purposes in baked goods, in frostings, in stir-frys, spread on toast or fruit, or in a classic peanut butter & jelly sandwichMy favorite way to eat peanut butter, besides by the spoonful? In these cookies.

I love these cookies because they are super simple to make, and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. I made them with ingredients I already had in my dorm room.

dsc_0046dsc_0055You really have no reason not to make them, because even if you don’t have an oven, you can at least make the dough and eat it all (since it’s vegan so no fear of salmonella!). Or better yet, you can try to make them in the microwave by microwaving balls of dough for a minute. They won’t taste as good as the oven version though. The microwave can’t give you those crispy edges like the oven can.

Give these cookies a try! Peanut butter lovers will rejoice at this sweet, delectable, and soft yet crispy cookie (p.s.- my article first appeared on Spoon University).

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Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes around 20 cookies

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. This will take around a minute of quick mixing.
  3. Add in the flour a 1/3 of a cup at a time. Mix the batter after each 1/3 cup is added.
  4. Mix in the baking soda.
  5. Mix in the water. If batter seems extremely thick, add in a Tbsp more of water.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown and firm.
  8. Once cookies are out of the oven, flatten them with a fork in 2 different directions to give the classic criss-cross pattern.
  9. Let the cookies cool for at least 5 minutes before taking them off the pan and enjoying them.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Wow it’s been a hot second since I’ve blogged. It’s good to be back though!

In the time that I haven’t blogged, I’ve…

  • been running avidly! I am a member of the running club at my college, so I’ve gotten really into running this fall. Last weekend, our team drove 9 hours to Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA for collegiate running club nationals. I ran the most challenging 6K ever- hill after hill after hill, but I PRed (got a personal record) which was exciting. That weekend we also explored downtown Harrisburg (the capitol of PA), toured the Hershey candy world factory, and saw a political protest. It was quite the weekend.
  • went to multiple Big Ten college football games.
  • did a corn maze with my family when I went home for the weekend.
  • went on my first Uber ride.
  • met multiple other vegans, either in class or in the community kitchen near my dorm.
  • baked multiple times in the community kitchen.
  • and last and probably the most noteworthy, I got hit by a flying table.

Wait what?!

Okay so here’s the backstory. On Halloween weekend, I went to a fraternity party because why not try new things in college. I was standing with a crowd of people on the lawn outside the frat, facing away from the house, when ALL OF A SUDDEN someone threw a WOODEN COFFEE table out a second story window. When it fell, it hit the entire back of my legs and ankles with significant force. Needless to say, I fell down, cried, and went inside and yelled at a bunch of people in the frat because one of their members THREW A TABLE OUT A WINDOW AND INTO A CROWD OF PEOPLE AND IT HIT ME (and really only me). The table scraped up my legs, my calves and ankles swelled up to double their size, and my legs became badly bruised. It was hard to walk for the first week after it happened and I wasn’t able to work out, BUT I got super lucky because the table didn’t break any of my bones. I had to get an X-ray to check.

Even though getting a table thrown at me is bad luck, there is a silver lining to the story. I got lucky with the fact that the table only hit my legs. If I had been standing a foot closer to the house, it could have hit me in the head. That would have been bad, to say the very least. As in, I could have died (not to be dramatic or anything).

I’d say I’ve had a very interesting month or so since we’ve last talked. It’s been a good month though. Especially because I made these cookies.

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These cookies are a fall twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. They’re adapted from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever, the chocolate chip cookies in Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. I replaced half of the butter in the original recipe for pumpkin and added in a bunch of quintessential fall spices. It makes the cookies a smidge healthier and adds some flair to them.

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The whole recipe came about this past week when a few of my friends and I decided to bake together in the community kitchen. We made these pumpkin muffins (in cake form because we couldn’t find a muffin pan) and had leftover pumpkin so we decided to add it in to the cookies we’d planned on making. It turned out really well!

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Fun fact, we had to open the canned pumpkin with scissors and a knife because we couldn’t find a can opener, and we had to mix the cookie batter in a saucepan because we couldn’t find a mixing bowl. The cookies still turned out though.

I hope you like these cookies as much as we did, and I hope you can mix them in a regular bowl! Let me know if you make them, and let me know what you’ve been up to in the last little bit!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Chloe Coscarelli’s regular chocolate chip cookies in Chloe’s Vegan Desserts

Makes 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch OR 2 Tbsp more flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened (I use Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s semisweet )

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cream together the butter, pumpkin, and sugars.
  3. Add in the water and vanilla. Beat the mixture, in a stand mixer or by mixing rapidly by hand, until it is light and fluffy (for around 2 minutes).
  4. Mix in the flour one cup at a time.
  5. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until batter is just combined.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips. More is better!
  7. Roll the cookies into inch balls on a cookie sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes.
  8. Flatten the cookies when they come out of the oven by slamming the pan hard down onto the counter once or twice.
  9. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

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Happy early Thanksgiving! What are you making for Thanksgiving dessert?

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4-Ingredient Microwave Cookies + an Announcement

Hey and happy Wednesday!

Let’s get right to it- I have an exciting announcement. Have you ever heard of Spoon University? If you haven’t, it’s a food writing website for college students by college students. Colleges have chapters, and each chapter makes articles and hosts cool events like this one. I joined my school’s chapter and published my first post today (!!!!).

I am so excited about being involved with Spoon. How excited you ask?

THIS EXCITED.

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Here’s a pic of me and donuts the size of my FACE at an event our chapter hosted this past Monday. 

My article is a recipe of four-ingredient cookies that you can make in your microwave. They’re great for busy college students everywhere because they only contain four ingredients and take like six minutes total to make and bake. They’re healthy enough to make for breakfast, but they’re also a great healthy snack or dessert for those not wanting to gain the freshman 15. Give them a try and show “Cupcake Wars” that you don’t need an oven to make satisfying dessert!

Please check out my first article and tell me what you think! HERE‘S the link. 

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Four-Ingredient Microwave Cookies

Makes 6 cookies

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice- I used peanut butter
  • 3 100 calorie packets of oats (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Mash the banana in a small bowl or mug.
  2. Stir in the nut butter.
  3. Stir in the oats.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Form the cookie dough into 2 inch balls. Place on a (microwave safe) plate and heat in the microwave for a minute and 10 seconds.
  6. Take out of the microwave, let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

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I hope your day is as fun as you are.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Hump day calls for cookies. Agreed? Agreed.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies are the ugly duckling of the cookie jar. They seem to always be passed up for the more “appetizing” chocolate chip studded cookies. Poor oatmeal raisin cookies.

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These oatmeal raisin cookies are not ugly ducklings. They are tender, perfectly spiced, and filled with plump raisins. The more raisins the better is my philosophy when it comes to these cookies because they add a sweet surprise to each bite.

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I promise you that these oatmeal raisin cookies will not be passed up. They will be eaten faster than it takes for a grape to be turned into a raisin. Actually that’s a bad example since grapes take days to shrivel into raisins. How about these cookies will go faster than you can say, “Baby, it’s cold outside?” Yes, that’s better. And it’s true because baby it IS cold outside.

DSC_0114.jpgYou know how you can warm yourself up though? By turning on your oven and making these cookies. They taste like fall, especially when paired with a pumpkin spice latte* (aka fall’s official drink). 😉

*Sidetone: what are your feelings on the notorious pumpkin spice latte (PSL)? Love it? Hate it? Never tried it? I’m the third option, actually!

What are you waiting for? Go get out your mixing bowl and prove to the world that oatmeal raisin cookies are not ugly duckings with this cookie recipe. Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes 14 cookies

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 + ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp nondairy milk- I used almond
  • ½ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together.
  3. Whisk in wet ingredients.
  4. Add raisins and mix dough until just combined.
  5. Spoon dough into balls on a cookie sheet, then flatten them a bit with your palm.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

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Happy Wednesday! Happy baking!

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Super Six Sunday 5/29/16

Super Six Sunday… since it’s not Friday so I can’t really do a “Fab Five Friday.” This way you get a BONUS thing! 

What’s up people!?!??! It’s been a bit. But guess what!? I JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL ON THURSDAY (3 days ago)! Wahooooo! My last day was Tuesday, then Wednesday was the senior breakfast, then Thursday night was the graduation ceremony. I’ve been pretty silent because I’ve been finishing up school. I’ve also been busy with high school varsity tennis since we’re getting ready to play in the state tournament this coming weekend!

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I’m back now with lots of time on my hands to work on the bloggy! Here are my plans for the blog for this summer:

  • to move my blog from http://www.peanutbutterandle.wordpress.com to a self-hosted site, hopefully http://www.peanutbutterandellie.com! A self-hosted site would make it easier for people to find my blog. It’d make it so anyone could comment on my blog, without needing a WordPress account first like they do now. Lastly, a self-hosted site would allow me to monetize my blog through ads.
  • to post an original recipe AT LEAST once a week.
  • to post once or twice a week at least. I’ll hopefully post one recipe on Monday or Tuesday, then a “Fab Five Friday” or a list of some sort on Friday.
  • to continue to improve my photography skills
  • to become better at the techy aspects of blogging, such as coding and using photo-editing software.

So those are my goals! Get ready for Peanut Butter & Ellie 2.0! 

Below are other things that I’m excited about or that I’ve been loving this past month. Enjoyyyy and let me know what your favorite things are this month!

  1. Graduating high school

You knew this was going to be my #1 as soon as I said I graduated. I can’t believe that I’m a high school graduate. I knew I would be one someday… I just can’t believe that “someday” is NOW! Time flew. I must have been having fun. 😉

The actual graduation ceremony was nice- below are some pictures from it. I actually spoke a little bit at graduation which was pretty cool! After graduation, the seniors were shipped off to a “secret location,” which turned out to be a summer camp, for a full night of good clean partying. We ate good food such as fruit and snow cones, we went rock climbing, we sang karaoke, we ran around, and we watched a hypnotist (which was way cooler and funnier than I expected). The party went from 9 pm until 5:30 AM, after a sunrise breakfast (with nothing I could eat 😦 ). It was a fun party, and a good way to end the school year. I was pooped when it was over, though.

I’m so thankful for my GOOD high school experience. I got lucky. Sure, there are things I wish I’d done differently, but all in all it was a memorable and rewarding four years. I’m especially thankful for the high school tennis team and the veggie club I started my junior year. I’ve connected with a lot of cool people in “real” life as well as online through my blog, and I wish I’d connected with even MORE people! I guess that’s what college is for! By the way, I am lucky enough to be able to attend university this coming fall! I will be attending Michigan State University… and I am INCREDIBLY PUMPED! I have a sweet roommate, we know where we’re living, I have dorm room bedding… it’s going to be great!

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2. This cute “vegan” baseball tee from BEET X BEET

All I can say is that it is so cute and that I love the message it spreads! I am going to get one.

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3. These Donuts

…which are coming to the blog on Thursday for the monthly “Peanut Butter Bash!” I haven’t done this virtual peanut butter party in a while, but I was able to bake something for it this month since I now have some time on my hands! The theme is peanut butter and yogurt. Get ready for my sweet creation!

4. Graduation Parties… and grad party food.

My weekends have been filled with my fellow classmates’ graduation parties. It’s fun to see people outside of school to catch up, and the parties typically have great food! Yesterday I went to Erin and Savy’s party, two of my friends from school who are VEGAN! Erin went vegan about a week ago and I’m so proud of her! Their party was full of FABULOUS vegan food catered by my favorite restaurant EVER, Marie Catrib’s. I feasted on lentils and rice, a chili-lime quinoa + black bean salad, special seasoned potatoes, vegan jalepeño mac n’ cheese, and fruit. Best grad party food I’ve had so far. I also went to another friend’s party last night that had vegan chocolate cake! YAY for more people becoming vegan in my town and therefore more vegan options!

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5. The Great British Bake Off (British show on Netflix)

I just started watching this a few days ago, and even though I’m only a couple episodes in… I love it! Twelve home bakers compete to be the next “great” British baker. They have three baking challenges to complete each week, and each week someone is eliminated. It’s sort of like Cupcake Wars except you get to know each competitor better since they are on week after week instead of on just one episode, and the judges are more helpful and personable on “Bakeoff.” Each episode is an hour long, so get your popcorn ready!

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6.  Peanut butter oat banana cookies from my friend at Life Diet Health

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Laurena’s were more like little muffins, but I made them into cookies so they were more portable. 😉 There are only three ingredients in them so they’re super easy to make! And they’re yummy! And healthy. Basically, there’s no excuse not to make them! They have three of my favorite foods in them: oats, banana, and peanut butter. 😍 I also topped them with a chocolate drizzle because why not? The drizzle was a 1/4 cup of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and a splash of almond milk microwaved for 30 seconds and then stirred together.

Recipe (since the original is in grams and idk the equivalent to those in cups even after looking them up online!):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (or another nut butter)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oats

Mix the banana. Add in the peanut butter (or another nut butter) and mix. Add in the oats and mix. Shape them into little balls and flatten them out a little bit. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Makes 9 little balls of yum.

**If you want a more chocolatey version of these, look at my three ingredient chewy chocolate cookie recipe from last year HERE. It’s very similar to this recipe.

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So now that you know what’s up with me, I want to know what’s up with YOU! Leave me a comment and let me know how the month of May has been for you.

Talk soon!

xx Ellie

Snickerdoodles (v + gf)

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When I was 14, I had my first love (Justin Bieber, anyone?)

You see, I tried a snickerdoodle for the first time when I was 14. It was love at first bite, even though it didn’t have ANY chocolate in it! It was sweet, had a soft fluffiness, and an aromatic cinnamon and vanilla combination. It was a cookie that deserved to be loved.

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Snickerdoodles fresh out of the oven

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Not so long ago, I was craving Snickerdoodles. So, like any logical person, I searched through my array of cookbooks for a vegan snickerdoodle recipe. I found one in Let Them Eat Vegan, a cookbook by Dreena Burton. They sounded delicious, but they weren’t gluten-free. I wanted to make them gluten-free because I was making them for my tennis team and one of the girls on the team is gluten-free. She’s also my doubles partner, so together we make up the crazy vegan / gluten-free doubles team!

I followed the basics of Dreena’s recipe, but tweaked it by adding gluten-free oat flour to make it gluten-free, as well as adding more cinnamon. They were sweet and delicious! I hope you make them and love them as much as my tennis team and I did!

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oats to be made into oat flour

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Snickerdoodles

vegan and gluten-free

adapted from the “Snifferdoodles” recipe in Let Them Eat Vegan, by Dreena Burton

makes 16 cookies

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour (I made my own by pulsing 1 cup of gluten free oats in the food processor until they became flour) (oat flour can be subbed for regular gluten free flour or whole wheat flour, but I prefer the oat flour)
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (cane or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I used a mixture of vegetable and coconut)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the maple syrup, vanilla, and oil in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until combined. Cover the mixture and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Roll a ½ tablespoon or so of dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until you run out of room on the baking sheet or all the dough is gone. Do not flatten the cookies, because they will flatten naturally in the oven. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until they are golden-brown. Let them cool for a few minutes, then ENJOY!

xx Ellie

P.s. – What is your favorite type of cookie? I love snickerdoodles, but I also love chocolate chip cookies and these hippie cookies. Give me a cookie and I will be happy!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate-y.

Chewy.

Rustic.

Sweet.

Is your mouth watering yet? If not, here’s a picture.

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Still not convinced? What if I told you these cookies were…

Gluten-free.

Sugar-free.

Vegan.

Paleo.

AND had only 3 ingredients!?

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking’ about!

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These cookies are the perfect pick-me-up snack, sweet treat after a meal, and on-the-go breakfast. They’re great for a SPRING BREAK road trip, since they’re easy to make and easily transportable! Make ’em and pop them in the oven while you pack the car. They’ll be done by the time you’re ready to go, so you’ll have warm cookies to eat in the car on the first leg of your road trip!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

makes a dozen

  • 1 banana
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate peanut butter (a tablespoon of cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter would probably work if you don’t have a chocolate peanut butter spread)
  • 1 cup oats
  • chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Process the banana and peanut butter in a food processor. If you don’y have a food processor, you can mash up the banana and peanut butter together. Stir in the oats.  Form into the dough into balls with a cookie scoop. Press down the balls so they are flatter. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are soft and chewy! Let cool, and enjoy!

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Have a wonderful day!

xx Ellie

This post is part of Spring Break V, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media at #SpringBreakV. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here.