Firstly, that old caveat – I never promised you a clean-living blog… I did really want to like sunbutter which, if you didn’t know, is butter made from sunflower seeds like peanut butter is made of peanuts. Whereas I do love the love nut butters: peanut, almond, hazelnut, etc. and I’m a big fan of tahini, which is just sesame seed butter in all but name, I’m just not feeling it with sunbutter. I like sunflower seeds well enough, but the butter has a background flavour I just don’t care for. It’s a bit, oh I don’t know, grassy… And when all the nut butters are so delicious I actually crave them, why would I choose something I don’t like so much? C, however, thinks sunbutter is marvellous and is happy eating it straight off a spoon. I’m not convinced though she can make it all the way through a jar by herself without some assistance from my good self. She is only two after all. I tell you what I do like, and that’s marshmallow fluff. I do realise it’s made out of sugar, sugar, and more sugar and you probably shouldn’t make fluffernutters every day for breakfast but did I mention that it is gluten-free?? So, here is my theory. Yes it isn’t very good for you in vast quantities but if you sandwich it between two cookies made of the good stuff every once in a while why not enjoy it occasionally?
As for why I bought the sunbutter, I hear you ask? Well I bought some because as C comes to an age where she’ll go to pre-school and then school, and all nuts are banned from entering school premises, I’m looking for alternatives. Yes I know it’s almost impossible to suit all of the people all of the time and undoubtedly there will be some who can’t eat sunflower seeds, but I do appreciate the ramifications for those with an allergy are completely different for those with an intolerance or sensitivity. Not that I’m playing down the unpleasant and possibly health-altering consequences of say, eating gluten when one shouldn’t. Be no one is going to stab me, at least, with an EpiPen if I eat the wrong brownie. Anyway, since my house is rammed FULL of nut products, I’d like to be armed with substitutes that aren’t going to kill anyone going near my child. So I bought sunbutter and now I know I don’t like it. What’s a girl to do then but make cookies! Cooking does indeed change the flavour I’m not keen on for the better and both cookies ended up quite delicious. They are very soft in texture – I wonder if I subbed out golden syrup for the maple that would make them chewier? Well I’ve got half a jar of sunbutter left, so we shall perhaps see.
Sunbutter cookies with marshmallow fluff
Prep time 10 minutes Cook time 10 minutes Makes 8 sandwiched cookies
You can, of course, make all one flavour if you prefer, so don’t divide the cookie dough when it’s mixed and add either double the raisins or double the cocoa depending on which you have chosen
Preheat oven to 160ºC fan-assisted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 250g sunbutter (I used Eskal Freenut Butter Smooth)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60ml maple syrup (honey or golden syrup may also work here)
- 25g gluten-free oat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 30g raisins (or 60g if making all raisin cookies)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (or 2 tbsp if making all chocolate cookies)
- marshmallow fluff for filling (or alternative – buttercream, or ice cream if you doubled your cookie size would probably work)
In a large bowl lightly beat the egg, and then add the sunbutter, vanilla, and maple syrup. Mix together well and sprinkle over the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Stir again and then divide your mixture into two bowls if making the two flavours (I did this by weighing the total dough in another bowl, and then transferring half back to the original bowl). Sprinkle the raisins into one bowl and mix together. Sprinkle the cocoa into the other bowl and mix together. Taking two baking trays, roll your cookies into 8 a walnut-sized balls per flavour in your hand and space out evenly on the trays. Use a fork to flatten the balls into a biscuit shape as they do not spread much on cooking. Bake for 10 minutes, allow to cool on the trays for another 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cold. Take spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff and cover the underneath of each cookie. Then sandwich them together in pairs and serve. Do this right before you serve them because the fluff will run out, and only stays between the cookies for a relatively short time. Eat up quick then!