Few other foods are universally liked and directly linked to our childhood as peanut butter. Who doesn’t crave a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and after the first bite, immediately reminisce about childhood? Or what about celery with peanut butter? It’s classic kid food. Though, for me, it has always been peanut butter cookies. Many of my fondest memories as a wee-one were walking into my grandma’s kitchen and stealing fingerfuls of peanut butter as she whipped up dozens upon dozens of cookies. As an adult, I have found that almond butter is a bit on the swankier side and certainly a worthy candidate for dressing up the classic peanut butter cookie.
Almond butter is nearly the same thing as peanut butter but with the obvious swap-out for almonds. Significantly healthier for you and darn tasty, almond butter is readily available in supermarkets everywhere for a reasonable price. You can also find many artisanal varieties at specialty food stores and organic markets. Some varieties even have gourmet twists, such as Justin’s hazelnut almond butter or their maple almond version. Other purveyors, such as Barney’s Butter, offer delicious varieties as well, like this all natural “Bare Butter.”
With the common peanut allergy affecting both children and adults, Barney’s guarantees all butters have zero traces of any peanut particles or contaminants. It’s definitely a sigh of relief for anyone looking for safe peanut alternatives.
So, how can you use almond butter in other ways than just slathered between two slice of bread or smeared on a crisp Fuji apple (not that those are bad options, mind you)? Well, do like I did, and make cookies! In my mind, I’m thinking that I have delicious almond butter and that I’m craving peanut butter cookies. Voila, let’s get creative! In my recipe, I also added sesame seeds for another layer of flavor and an unusually delightful crunch. The recipe is really easy, and it takes no more effort than a basic sugar cookie-esque recipe.
Becky’s Sesame Almond Butter Cookies Recipe
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond meal (finely ground almonds)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- Scant 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Stir together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy or about 3 minutes.
- Beat in almond butter and almond extract. Reduce speed to low, and add flour and almond meal mixture in 2 batches, mixing until dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and press into a disk. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Pour sesame seeds into a large, shallow bowl.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll balls in seeds to coat. Arrange a couple inches apart on baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed and starting to crack or about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Once you remove the cookies from the oven, immediately sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.