I admit it, I can’t live without my precious nut butters. I mean I tried… but after only a week of not having a single jar in the house, I lost it: I just couldn’t resist whipping up a batch.
Oh well… they don’t call me the nut butter queen for nothing! After all, making all kinds of different nut butters truly is my ultimate favorite thing to do in the kitchen. That’s probably why I ended up dedicating an entire chapter to them in my brand new cookbook, Paleo Home Cooking. That’s right! An entire chapter!
In case you haven’t heard, we’re talking over 20 different varieties, from the very basics, like the All Natural Toasted Cashew Butter that I used to make the above Macadamia Cranberry Cookies, to real intricate and fancy flavor combinations, like Cinnamon Roll, or Praline and Cream, just to name a few.
You know what? I figured why deny myself of something I like so much, especially if it’s good for me! Perhaps I should keep a little fewer jars in my cupboards, though. Two or three varieties at a time should be more than sufficient… I sometimes tend to go a little overboard with that, you see?.
And instead of always reaching for one of these jars, decisively armed with a spoon, I’ll stick with having my favorite treat as part of an actual meal or snack.
Because really nut butter, so long as one doesn’t abuse it, isn’t actually bad for you. In fact, it can make for a very nutritious and healthy snack!
- Turn a sliced apple into a more nutritiously complete and satisfying snack by dipping your slices into a little bit of nut butter; Toasted Hazelnuts works wonders for that! Take that snack over the top by sprinkling a little bit of Ceylon Cinnamon over the whole thing. YUM!
- Use about a teaspoon to fill an avocado pit hole. If you’ve never tried that, you really ought to. It’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. My Crunchy Smoked Almond Butter is especially brilliant for that purpose!
- Enjoy a tablespoon or so at breakfast, and spread it onto your favorite muffin. Talk about kicking things up a notch!
Lastly, nut butters can be used in a whole bunch of actual recipes, and are without compare for baking delicious and healthy snacks, such as these Macadamia Cranberry Cookies.
For this recipe, I chose to use an All Natural Toasted Cashew Butter, (for which, like I mentioned earlier, you can find the recipe in Paleo Home Cooking), because I wanted a cookie that would be really dense and chewy.
If, however, you didn’t have that particular kind on hand, I suspect that a few other varieties would work equally well. The key is to use a nut butter that is fairly thick and “sticky”, otherwise, if you use a variety that is too “runny”, like say Toasted Hazelnut Butter, the texture of your dough will probably be a lot softer and you’ll end up with a completely different cookie.
I think that Cashew and Almond, raw or toasted, as well as Sunflower Seeds, would be your best options, but feel free to experiment for yourself and find out which you like best.
Regardless of which nut butter variety you choose to use, you’ll need to start by preheating your oven to 350°F and then put your nut butter, egg and vanilla in a large mixing bow. Then, mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined.
As you can see, at this point there’s no need to fret over the consistency of your nut butter mixture. You’re not looking for perfectly smooth and creamy. Just make sure the egg and vanilla extract are completely combined with the nut butter.
Now throw in the honey…
…and this time, beat on high speed until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy, which should take about 3 minutes. If the mixture should separate on you, don’t panic. Simply add a little bit of warm water, one teaspoon at a time, and resume beating between each addition until it becomes smooth.
Now add the dry ingredients, all at once. No need to get fancy about it.
Mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined.
You’ll see that the consistency of the dough will be a tad on the dry, crumbly side…
What’s important is that the dough, when you squeeze it lightly between your fingers, forms into a ball.
If the dough is too crumbly for that to happen, add a little bit of water, a teaspoon at at time, and mix well between each addition, until your dough reaches the correct consistency.
Note that if you used a “looser”, or “runnier” variety of nut butter, you may end up with a much softer dough, which will in turn affect the final texture of the cookies.
Next, add the cranberries and macadamia nuts, but mix them in with your hands this time.
And then knead the dough into a tight ball. Don’t overwork the dough. Just press it between your hands until it forms a ball.
Using a small one tablespoon spring-loaded cookie scoop, form the dough into 24 cookies. You can also do this by hand by rolling the dough delicately between your palms into roughly 1″ balls.
Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, and then remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Know that these cookies won’t brown or move much in the oven, so be careful not to overcook them, or else they will become extremely dry and hard as a rock. Trust me, 8 minutes is more than enough.
Once completely cooled, store the cookies in a cool dry place in an airtight container, for up to a week.
These cookies are seriously dense and chewy, but kind of soft at the same time, too. In fact, their texture is a bit reminiscent of shortbread cookies, only in a super thick version. As for their flavor, I can’t even find the words to describe just how delicious it is. The Toasted Cashew Butter truly shines, that’s for sure: you can definitely taste its nutty, buttery richness in there… only it’s complemented to the absolute perfection by the sweetness of the honey, the tanginess of the cranberries, as well as the extreme crunchiness of the macadamia nuts.
Let me tell you: one of these babies will definitely give me that little nut butter hit I so often crave!
And then some!
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 cup all natural roasted cashew butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract store-bought or homemade
- 3 scoops (90g | 3oz) vanilla flavored whey protein powder
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Put the cashew butter, egg and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined. Add honey and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. If the mixture should separate, add warm water, one teaspoon at a time, until it becomes smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined and the dough forms into a ball when you squeeze it between your fingers. Again, if the dough is too crumbly, add water a teaspoon at at time and mix well between each addition until your dough reach the correct consistency.
- Add the cranberries and macadamia nuts, mix them in with your hands then knead the dough into a ball.
- Using a small 1 tablespoon spring-loaded cookie scoop, form into 24 cookies. You can also do this by hand, just roll the dough into roughly 1" balls.
- Place the cookies on a 13" x 18" baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper and flatten them sligthy by pressing on them with the tip of your fingers or the tip of a fork.
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, and then remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container, for up to a week.