Some food tastes fabulous, but doesn’t look so great on the plate. Indian food comes to mind. Other foods look great on the plate, and not so good on the tongue. I’m thinking of a number of wedding or birthday cakes. You know the clearance aisle variety with lots of colorful icing and little flavor? Jello Molds might work here as well. I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with food that jiggles. Then there are some recipes that look great on the plate and taste delicious, but include an ingredient (or two) that you don’t really want to divulge. Today’s recipe falls into that later category. Peanut Butter and Cheddar Cheese Cookies look awesome, taste incredible, but the ingredients can be a deal breaker for some.
I was hesitant when I decided to add cheese to a peanut butter cookie. I mean, that sounds crazy, right?
But then again, sometimes crazy can be fabulous. Think Robin Williams, roller coasters, and sky diving.
Although, now that I think about it, sky diving actually is crazy. I barely even want to get on a plant let alone jump out of one mid-flight!
So crazy needs to stay reasonable. It’s ok to love roller coasters, let’s just be sure to wear the proper constraints. And sure, after riding a few I act a little off kilter, but that could be said about me most days anyway.
I calculated the cost of the ingredients as I prepared what I imagined would be an epic failure. Or epic fail as my daughter’s friends like to say.
“Whoa, mom! Those cookies are an epic fail!”
That’s what I imagined they would say to me. Dread began filling every fiber of my being. Why can’t I just live a normal life? You know, one with normal cookies?
But the cheese was shredded and the experiment was underway. A little like when they shut the cargo door on the flight to Chicago. Turn off your cellphones because there’s no going back now.
I could barely wait for these to cool after I pulled the first batch out of the oven. I took my first bite and much to my surprise, it was good. Really good. The second bite confirmed it – these were some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. The cheese, combined with just a hint of cinnamon, created a delicious gooey center that was to die for.
I know there’s a big hairy trend of putting peanut butter cups or snickers bars or whatever in the middle of cookies. But you and me? We’re not trend followers. We’re fierce individuals who like living on the edge. That’s why we put cheese…vegan cheese no less…in our cookies. Let’s just not go broadcasting it, until others have had a chance to try one for themselves. That way, they’ll see how incredible they are too. When they say, “Wow, these are good! What’s in them?” That’s when you pull up a chair and say, “Well, let me tell you about these cookies…”
Vegan Peanut Butter & Cheddar Cheese Cookies
Inspired by: A Recipe by Food 52
Yield: 2 – 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookies
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 package Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge, Shredded (reserving ¼ for the cookie dough)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Dash of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup dairy-free margarine
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter
- ¼ cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese (see above)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In small bowl combine ¼cup peanut butter, all but ¼ cup of the shredded vegan cheddar cheese (set that ¼ cup aside for later), 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, Stir together until the cheese has incorporated and the mixture resembles a spread. Refrigerate to chill the Cheese Filling.
- In a large bowl mix the dairy-free margarine and brown sugar with a mixer until fluffy (3 – 4 minutes) Add the ground flax seed, corn starch and water and beat for another minute on high. Next add the peanut butter and beat for another minute on high, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add ¼ cup shredded vegan cheddar and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Pour flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined. Cover and place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
- When you’re ready to make these cookies, begin by heating your oven to 350F.
- Remove the Cheese Filling from the fridge and roll into teaspoon-size balls using your hands. Set aside.
- Remove the cookie dough batter from the fridge, grab a tablespoon size chunk of the dough and round it into a ball between your hands. Now, flatten the ball of cookie dough so you have a big circle of cookie dough in one hand. Do your best not to eat it. Instead, grab one of the Cheese Filling balls and place that in the middle and close up the cookie dough around it. Place this on your cookie sheet and press down on it with your palm, just a little to flatten it.
- If you have leftover cookie dough (and you might), go ahead and make some plain peanut butter cookies – they’re mighty tasty as well!
- Bake the cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and serve.
Note: This is not a sponsored post, but Daiya did provide coupons for me to sample their products. From time-to-time I share about brands I have tried and enjoy. I feel this is a service to my readers who may be wanting to try different products themselves, but are reluctant without knowing more about it. I am grateful to work with high-quality brands, such as Daiya Foods, and to share about them with you. The many opinions I have on a variety of topics, including today’s post, are completely and entirely my own.