Monday, November 1, 2010

Baking with Sunbutter

J is allergic to peanuts. We haven't had trouble avoiding foods that could cause him trouble, but I do sometimes feel bad that he won't get to have a classic PB&J or a delicious Monster cookie (peanut butter, oats, M&Ms, and more...)

We purchased a jar of Sunbutter hoping it would give us more lunch options. Neither he nor I really liked it. It isn't bad, but it does taste very strongly like sunflower seeds.

I had been meaning to try baking with it. Maybe we'd be able to keep a few of those family favorite cookie recipes alive for him.

A friend of mine from my college days posts every year on her blog about one of her family cookie traditions - owl cookies!

You can find her post with the recipe on her blog: Owl Cookies by Saroy

Her cookies always look so cute and I did have that sunbutter waiting in the fridge, so I gave it a try. I replaced the cup of peanut butter with a cup of sunbutter. I cut the baking powder in half so that my cookies wouldn't turn green. I also replaced the yummy cashew nose with melted butterscotch chips to avoid any nut cross contamination.

The end result wasn't a failure. My husband really likes PB cookies and said that these were a good substitute. Fresh out of the oven I found the sunflower taste overpowering, but I had another today and it had better balance. The kids both ate their cookie yesterday, but haven't asked for seconds. This might be partially because the Halloween candy influx has already started.

The texture of the baked cookies is a little dry and rough. I wonder if the dough needs some other modifications due to the Sunbutter.

I'm definitely going to try this substitution in a few more recipes and I can see owl cookies becoming a tradition here too. They were easy, the kids helped out, and the cookies are so cute!

*Additional notes*
I stored our owl cookies in an air tight container and it has improved them! They are not as dry or crumbly now and the flavors have really mellowed nicely. Instead chalking it up to an interesting experiment, I now totally would make them again.

I'm very excited to try monster cookies with sunbutter now. I think the oatmeal and sunflower taste will go well together.


saroy said...

I'd never even HEARD of sunbutter before, so I had to look it up. :) That's awesome that it worked out well!

Elizabeth, blogging for SunButter said...

Cute edible owls! Glad you found SunButter. Now to find a recipe that it fits better for your family. As a SunButter blogger, I'm happy you tried it. It's not peanut butter, which is what's bittersweet about it for families like yours. Spoonful-to-spoonful, it's definitely different. But in cooking and especially baking, it can be great for families dealing with nut allergies. As a fellow mom (also to 3 little bugs), I've had luck in the kitchen with it. If you're interested, our online recipe box is here: All these are adapted for SunButter. I'd love to hear what you create in the kitchen with it. Thanks for a great post!