These 3-Ingredient Cookies Can Be Made With Any Nut Butter

These 3-Ingredient Cookies Can Be Made With Any Nut Butter
Photo: Claire Lower

“I should make a bust cake of Mick Jagger,” I told my boyfriend as we watched the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show. “I just have to make the lips really big. It would be easy.” “OK, well I don’t want to be here for that,” he replied, no doubt recalling the very dramatic Cinnamon Roll Incident of 2017.

Every time The Great British Baking Show (aka Bake Off aka GBBO) returns to Netflix, I get the baking bug and plan all sorts of GBBO-inspired projects that never come to fruition. I do not particularly enjoy baking (the effort-to-payoff ratio skews too heavily towards “effort”), but I do like eating cookies, cakes, and pies, and GBBO makes baking look like a pleasant activity.

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What usually happens is I’ll start with a very big baking plan (like a cake bust), then I’ll decide that one of the smaller projects from that week is more my speed, then spend an hour or so looking at recipes for said project before finally settling on something completely different and very easy (or nothing at all).

This week, while perusing recipes for Battenberg — one of those British cakes that sounds made up — I stumbled upon a recipe for three-ingredient peanut butter cookies. All you need to make them is a cup of peanut butter, a cup of sugar, and a single egg, and they bake up in 10 minutes. The next morning, while browsing Food52, I found an almond butter version. Aha.

As a woman of science, I immediately deduced that these cookies could probably be made with any nut butter. So I tried making them with peanut butter, then Nutella, then an almond-hazelnut-cocoa blend.

The Nutella experiment was unsuccessful, which was not surprising, but I had to try it (for science). The batter was too oily, and the cookies baked up into hard, sugary shards that fused to the pan. But the other two were fantastic: sweet, chewy, crisp around the edges, and honestly pretty astounding in relation to the amount of effort involved.

You can add things to the batter if you want — chocolate chips, nuts — but a little salt is a must if you’re using a sweetened nut butter. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt into the batter or sprinkle some of the flakey stuff on top. These cookies are also fairly prone to spreading, so pop ‘em in the freezer (on the baking sheet) for five minutes before baking. Almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and even tahini would all work as a base — just make sure that any separated oil is completely incorporated into the nut butter before adding to the batter, or choose brands that do not separate.

3-Ingredient Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon fine salt of flakey salt to finish

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C. Mix all ingredients (except flakey salt) together in a bowl with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth batter with no visible streaks of egg. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

(If you want flatter, crispier cookies, make a criss-cross pattern on the tops of the cookies by pressing down with a fork; if you want them fudgier, leave them in little blobs.)

Sprinkle on the flakey salt if you’re using it, then pop the baking sheet in the freezer for five minutes. Once the cookies are chilled, bake them for 10 minutes (if they’re flat) or 14 minutes (if they’re blobs), then remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.

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