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!
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.