The joyous day has been and gone! Whole 30 is finally over, and what better way to mark such a momentous occasion than a new mouth-watering recipe containing my one true love peanut butter, AND homemade nutella!
As naughty as it sounds, this recipe is actually still gluten, dairy and refined sugar free – so you know what, you knock yourself out: make the batch and eat the batch without feeling all that guilty!
First things first: Make the Nutella
Being as lazy as I am, I could not be bothered to go out and buy a bunch of hazelnuts – firstly I am a poor student (if Whole 30 taught me anything it’s that nuts are so damn expensive), and secondly it’s always nice to branch outside the box. I had a pantry full of various other nuts so I decided to make my own nutella combo. Do feel free to do whatever combination you want or even stick to what you know and keep with pure hazelnuts. Also stepping away from the normal recipe, which is obviously entirely chocolate based, I incorporated my new found love of carob powder into the mix – again you can omit this and just use all cacao powder.
Ingredients (yields 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups nuts (I used a combo of pecans, brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts)
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tsp carob powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
- If you are using hazelnuts, brazil nuts, or any other nut that has a skin you will need to roast them in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes – keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn. Burnt nuts are bitter!
- When the nuts have cooled remove as much of their skin as you can and place them in your food processor or high speed blender. Blend until a nut butter begins to form, I use a Vitamix so this really doesn’t take too long but if you don’t have one of those be patient!
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until all is incorporated. Taste and sweeten further if necessary.
- Scoop your nutella into a container and leave in the fridge whilst you prepare your cookie dough. Very important or it’ll get very messy later…
YUM TIME: Peanut Butter Cookies
If you listen to just one thing I suggest here, let it be this: LEAVE YOUR DOUGH IN THE FRIDGE FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES!! Peanut butter is a sticky gooey mess, I love it for that… but when the majority of your dough is made up of sticky gooeyness it gets kind of impossible to do anything with, let alone stuff with glorious nutella. So please, listen to me just stick it in the fridge. Also, I read various techniques on how to go about stuffing the dough – none of which left much batter on the baking tray (most of it was all over me, and eventually in my mouth). However, my wise mother came up with a pretty good method that created minimum mess and a perfectly stuffed cookie – so I’d also suggest following my advice there as well.
Ingredients (yields 8 cookies)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup GF oat flour (add a touch more if you think the dough is impossibly wet)
1/3 cup unrefined light brown packed sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda (UK: combo of bicarbonate soda and baking powder)
- In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix until the dough is smooth and no lumps remain (besides those of the nuts if you’re using crunchy peanut butter).
- PUT THE DOUGH IN THE FRIDGE! Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- After 15 minutes, take the nutella and cookie dough out of the fridge and get a small bowl of water handy (this will help stop any sticking).
- Scoop one tablespoon of the dough on to the baking tray, then using a dampened finger make a smallish concave in the dough but make sure it does not touch the bottom of the baking tray. Spoon one teaspoon of the chilled nutella into the hole and then using damp fingers again mould the sides up and around the nutella so to encase it entirely in the cookie dough. If there is not quite enough to completely cover the nutella, add a tiny bit more from the mixing bowl. Once covered smooth over the top of your cookies using a damp finger. You should end up with cookies just slightly flatter than spheres on the baking tray – they spread out slightly in the baking process.
- Repeat this process until you have used all your dough. Save that extra nutella for pancake Sundays!
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should be just shy of golden brown. If you cook them for too long the nutella gooey centres will cook also and you won’t get that oozing effect.
- Allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes or so before you stuff yourself silly! Enjoy!