Get your peanut butter cookie fix with just 3 main ingredients – and without needing to turn on the oven!
Recipe Redux time! I love this month’s challenge, as it’s all about my favorite part of cooking and baking: family memories.
What did you cook as a child? Or what are you cooking with kids now? Share a healthy recipe you remember making as a child – or show us how you have fun in the kitchen with some special kids.
While I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking as a kid other than helping my dad and grandpa make pancakes, I have so many memories of baking with my mom and grandma – especially cookies.
When I first read the challenge, immediately I thought of peanut butter cookies. I have two very distinct memories of baking growing up and they both revolve around peanut butter cookies. The first was helping my Grandma Betty make her signature peanut butter cookies around Christmas time. For as long as I can remember, my Grandma had fiery red hair (which she dyed and none of us are exactly sure what her real hair color was) and an equally fiery personality to go with it. Instead of being the classic housewife of the 50’s, my grandma was a total socialite who didn’t cook. However, the woman could whip up amazing Christmas cookies.
One year I was helping her make her two signature cookies: Scottish shortbread and classic peanut butter. While she didn’t tolerate any sneaking of cookie dough from the bowl, she was patient with teaching me how to gently press a fork into the peanut butter cookie dough to make them look just right. To this day, anytime I make classic peanut butter cookies, I always think about hers and how uniform they’d always come out.
My other memory comes from my first adventure of baking without parental supervision. My friends and I decided to make these peanut butter bear cookies that we saw in the Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook. Things were going smoothly, we made the dough, shaped them into bears like the book said, and baked them without starting a fire. However, when the cookies came out they looked more like blobs than bears and they tasted horrible. While it would take me more years to learn that if the dough is too warm from microwave-softened butter then your cookies will spread, I did learn that day the power of vanilla extract.
These peanut butter cookie energy bites have all the flavor of peanut butter cookies without needing to turn on the oven. Simply combine Medjool dates, dry-roasted peanuts, a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor and pulse away. Once the mixture is sticky, similar to a cookie dough consistency, roll into balls then place in the freezer for ~20 minutes. Besides not needing an oven, this recipe is perfect to make with kids as they can help roll out the balls and it’s perfectly safe if they sneak a bite or two of the mixture ?.
Speaking of family time, Bry is away at a bachelor party this weekend and my dad will be busy with beerfest in Denver, so my mom and I are looking forward to a girl’s weekend (plus my pup Bernie). You can bet that there will be plenty of time spent baking and catching up on Bachelor in Paradise ?.
So here’s a toast to family memories made in the kitchen!
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bites
- 1 cup Medjool dates pitted
- 1 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
- Pinch salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ Tbsp water or more depending on how dry your dates are
- Place peanuts and salt in food processor and pulse on high until almost powdery. Add dates and vanilla extract. Pulse until mixture forms a batter-like consistency, adding water 1 tsp at a time if mixture is too dry and not holding together.
- Roll into 16 balls and place on a parchment paper-line baking sheet. Place bites in freezer for 20 minutes and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze bites for up to 3 months. (Note: if you like softer bites, you can store them in the fridge instead.)
Love energy bites? Check out these other dessert-worthy recipes!