I'm pretty excited to be offering a recipe for nut-free ‘Peanut' Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. It was recently brought to my attention on Facebook just how many of you are actually nut-free as well. I am forced to rely heavily on nuts as I am not only grain-free, but also mostly starch-free as well. I cannot use any potato, tapioca, arrowroot, quinoa, or bean flours. I am, in a sense, worthless without my nut and coconut flours.
This recipe uses a small amount of coconut flour, but the sunflower seed butter is really the star in this cookie. I know this peanut butter substitute is widely used by people with nut allergies, but I actually don't like the taste of it all on its own. Even still, I was determined to make this cookie so I gave it a shot. Once it is baked, it really does taste like peanut butter! I had to give these nut-free ‘Peanut' Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies away to friends and family just to get them out of the house because I was eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you're unfamiliar with palm shortening, it's really not as scary as it sounds. If you're like me, “shortening” is synonymous with “Crisco,” but that's not the case. Organic Palm Shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. I use it in my cookie recipes frequently because of it's high melting point and mild flavor. It makes cookies chewy and they don't flatten out when baking like cookies often do with coconut oil. It is not hydrogenated and contains no trans fats. You can read more about it here if you're still skeptical. You can also purchase it at your health foods store instead of online. Just make sure to find one that is expeller pressed and preferably organic.
Also, sunbutter baked goods have the tendency to turn green once they've cooled. This is due to a reaction between the baking soda and the chlorophyll that lingeres in the seeds once they've been extracted from the flower. It's not harmful, actually quite the opposite. It can increase the efficiency and the quantity of your red blood cells, although there's probably not enough chlorophyll in these cookies to make much of a difference. The lemon juice in this recipe should help do the trick to keep your cookies brown and not turning bright green inside, but I assume it probably depends on what kind of sunbutter you use and how much chlorogenic acid is left in the seeds. Keeping them in the refrigerator will also help the color and the texture.