This week I went to town with one of my old favorites, the peanut butter sandwich Girl Scout cookie. How fitting, since it’s Girl Scout cookie season. But if you don’t know a Girl Scout and one doesn’t come a-knocking down your street, don’t despair — this recipe is for you.
It’s basically a peanut butter and oatmeal cookie. The way I made it, the recipe was almost entirely vegan, minus the use of one egg.
Of course, back when I was a Girl Scout, all the way through 12th grade of high school — boy, is that embarrassing now — I was nowhere near vegan. I was your everyday meat-chomping, wilderness-crushing, banshee-screaming teenage girl. Isn’t that what every teenage girl is?
That’s beside the point. I had nothing in my mind concerning food justice and simply ate whatever arrived at my plate. Blissful ignorance.
This recipe is exactly what I need when I want to pretend to go back to that ignorant mindset. I can make these cookies taste exactly like the ones from my days of freedom from food justice, but also make them in a way that abides by my new principles.
So, let’s talk cookies. First of all, there is a substitute for everything. My substitute for butter, called Earth Balance, is versatile and acts exactly as regular butter would, even in a baked recipe. There are also substitutes for eggs, namely the elusive (and expensive) Ener-G Egg Replacer, which most of the time can only be found at specialty stores. This week, it would have stretched my wallet to its limit. Alas, I used a regular egg.
Just a note: Regular eggs, even if they say they are cage-free, usually come from factory farms that circumvent certain requirements so they can be labeled cage-free. In this way, factory farms are taking advantage of the organic, local and free-range movements that have become a recent fad in the states. They sell their product as one thing, when behind the scenes they are just the same as a company that doesn’t bother with organic, free range labels. I attribute the information above to the books “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. You can read more about this issue and others in these books.
This recipe only calls for one egg and a whole lot of butter, so finding a milk substitute was not a problem. I cut out the filling — which could only have been described as sinful, because it contained heavy whipping cream — for which there isn’t a great substitute. The other ingredients are pretty sustainable and all vegan: peanut butter, oatmeal and sugar. They’re also healthy for you — well, except the sugar.
Peanut butter has a good amount of protein, but also a good amount of fat to counter-balance that. But who wouldn’t expect fat in a cookie? Then there’s oatmeal, which has an enormous amount of fiber, which is good for, ahem, cleansing. There’s also a healthy amount of iron in oatmeal, which is always something for vegetarians or vegans to look out for.
Who says you can’t be blissfully ignorant and sensitive at the same time? Obviously not me, since I ate these cookies up all by myself in two short days. Well… I always have a little help from my friends.
●3/4 cup all-purpose flour
●1/2 teaspoon baking soda
●1/4 teaspoon baking powder
●1/2 teaspoon salt
●1/2 cup butter, softened
●1/2 cup peanut butter
●1/2 cup white sugar
●1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
●1 teaspoon vanilla extract
●1 cup quick cooking oats
●3 tablespoons butter, softened
●1 cup confectioners’ sugar
●1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
●2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1.In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
2.In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder,and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
3.Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
4.To make filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.