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April 2017

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Amico del Signore bought a jar of Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter. It's a delicious alternative to peanut butter on a cracker with a little honey, on a stick of celery, or as a filling in a PB&J for those allergic to peanuts or who would just like something a little different. M. de Joie thought it might also work in peanut butter cookie recipes. She fiddled around with a recipe from The Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson & Elaine Hanna, and came up with a basic recipe plus several variations.

Notes: Because the sunflower seed butter contains evaporated cane juice, the normal amount of sugar in the recipe was cut in half. You can, of course, add another cup of white sugar if you wish, but to A. del Signore's and M. de Joie's minds, these are quite sweet enough. To measure the sunflower seed butter, have it at room temperature, insert a butter knife into the butter and stir until the oil becomes emulsified with the solids. And preheat oven thoroughly.


Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter (see note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat the sunflower seed butter into the butter mixture. Chill the mixture until firm but still pliable.

Shape dough into 1" balls and place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Flatter with the tines of a fork into a criss-cross pattern (dip the tines into water between cookies). Bake at 375 degrees 10-12 minutes or until bottom of cookie is golden. Cool on rack. This dough will freeze well.


Shape dough into 1" balls but do not flatten. Roll each ball in a mixture of 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon before baking (this will slightly melt and caramelize the sugar) or after baking (more like a snickerdoodle).

Sprinkle criss-crossed cookies with cinnamon-sugar before or after baking.

Add to dough:

- 1 teaspoon real maple extract (Green Mountain Flavors at www.greenmountainflavors.com makes a very good product). This makes a cookie that tastes very much like a peanut butter cookie.

- 3 cups rolled oats and 1 cup chopped nuts (roasted pecans are especially delicious).

- up to 2 cups Guittard's Butterscotch chips.

Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter, $3.99 for 16 ounces. Contains sunflower seeds, evaporated cane juice, salt.