Monday, August 25, 2008

Magical (Flourless) Peanut Butter Cookies From Paula Dean

You probably won't see a lot of Paula Dean recipes on my blog. Its nothing personal, I like Paula but she uses a lot more butter and cream than even Ina and much more than I need. Imagine my surprise the other day when I was doing some work and had the Food Network on and Paula said she was "cooking healthy" without mayonnaise, cream cheese or butter. She made several recipes but the one that caught my eye was for "Magical Peanut Butter Cookies", made without flour, using a sugar substitute. They looked really good and made me crave a fresh-baked peanut butter cookie.

Paula's recipe called for a sugar substitute and she recommended Splenda. Not being a huge Splenda fan --it's artificial and that scares me a little, I decided to try it with Xylitol. Xylitol is derived from birch trees and is supposed to have less impact on blood sugar (no spikes). You are supposed to be able to bake with it and I had made some brownies with it that turned out pretty well. Well it must work better in cakes and brownies than it does cookies because it made the cookie dough very soft and they spread all over the baking pan. They also had kind of a funny taste that I didn't notice in the brownies. (See bad cookie below)

So I remade them with an organic natural, unbleached sugar and reduced it to 1 cup. Maybe it defeated the purpose but it made a good tasting, firm peanut butter cookie with four ingredients that you couldn't tell didn't have flour in it. Great with some cold milk.

Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
Paula's Home Cooking, Paula Dean

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 1/3 cups baking sugar replacement (recommended: Splenda)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar replacement, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar replacement to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar replacement. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Oh and by the way, Paula did end up using 2 Tbsp of butter in her asparagus in this episode--baby steps I guess!


  1. there is a lot of Xylitol in gum here, thanks for clearing up what it is :)

  2. Peanut butter cookies are hubby's fave. I am surprised that Paula recommended artificial sweeteners.
    I, too, didn't know what xylitol was - thanks for the info!
    Virgo, 17.

  3. I've made this recipe before with regular sugar. I can't remember where I got the recipe and it's been a loooong time, but they were really good. I've baked with splenda before, but I can't decide if I really think artificial is better than real in terms of health. Sometimes I think it's just better to eat something that is more natural. The second batch of cookies look so yummy. That really wasn't much sugar that you added in the end.

  4. Ohhh... those look good. I'm not a fan of the artificial stuff either.
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  5. Ohh those look yummy! I'm scared of Splenda too. And I had no idea about xylitol except for hearing about it in gum. Great informative post!

  6. Kat--It is also supposed to be good for teeth (removes bacteria) one reason why they put it in gum.

    Natashya--I know! She said she thought Splenda was the only "sugar substitute" you could bake with.

    Prudy--I agree, natural is better!

  7. Cats Pajamas--Thanks, they were pretty tasty!

    Andrea--I am just starting to learn more about it and the benefits.


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