Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies are definitely the number one favorite cookie in the United States, but I daresay that Peanut Butter Cookies aren’t too far behind in the ratings! Peanut Butter Cookies are distinguishable from all other cookies by virtue of having peanut butter as the main ingredient. The recipe for Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies adds a healthy ingredient, oat bran, to a basic recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies to produce a delicious, higher fiber, crisper cookie than the softer traditional Peanut Butter Cookie.
I like what Rachel, a recent commenter on one of my posts, said “I love recipes where you hide healthy foods in yummy foods that everyone loves.” I believe this recipe for Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies meets this requirement, too!
(There’s also a recipe for Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps on my website. Click here if you’d like to check out another recipe that has healthy ingredients hidden in a yummy cookie.)
A Brief Background
Peanut Butter Cookies were thought to originate in the United States dating back to the early 1900’s. George Washington Carver, an American botanist, scientist, inventor and educator at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, was best known for the many uses, over 100 products, that he derived from the peanut. He published a research bulletin in 1916 called How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing It for Human Consumption in which there were 3 recipes for peanut cookies calling for crushed or chopped peanuts as an ingredient. (If you’re unfamiliar with George Washington Carver, you may wish to read about his many achievements for our country.)
In the 1933 edition of Pillsbury’s Balanced Recipes there was a recipe called Peanut Butter Balls in which the baker was instructed to press the cookie dough balls down with the tines of a fork in a criss-cross pattern. This pattern readily identifies peanut butter cookies from other cookies today. Peanut Butter Cookie dough is dense and without being pressed down the cookies may not bake evenly.
Oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain. The bran of grain is normally discarded during the milling process, which is unfortunate, since it contains the bulk of the dietary fiber of the grain, along with a large amount of useful minerals. The bran is sold separately for people who wish to increase their fiber intake.
A common way to use oat bran is to add it to baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, pancakes and breads, to which it adds a distinctive texture and a nutty flavor. The high fiber content of oat bran, when eaten on a regular basis, may decrease cholesterol levels as well as enhance regularity. Oat bran should be stored in a cool, dry place and not exposed to moisture to prevent it from becoming rancid. Oat bran may be stored in the freezer.
- 1/2 cup Butter, melted
- 1/2 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (or 1/4 cup Honey)
- 1 Egg (or 2 Egg Whites)
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Oat Bran
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix melted butter with sugars.
- Add egg (or egg whites) and mix well.
- Stir in peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
- Add remaining dry ingredients; mix well.
- Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Criss-cross on each cookie with the tines of a fork.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Melted butter is mixed with both white and brown sugar in a mixer. (A mixer is not required but it’s faster than mixing by hand.)
Add egg (or egg whites), peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
Drop dough by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I used parchment paper to line my cookie sheets.)
Criss-cross each cookie with the tines of a fork.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies are golden brown.
In doing some reading in preparation for writing this post I came across some fun facts about peanut butter:
*It takes about 540 peanuts to make 1 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
*In the US, by law, peanut butter must be at least 90% peanuts.
*Women and children tend to prefer creamy peanut butter whereas men prefer crunchy peanut butter.
*People who live on the East Coast prefer creamy peanut butter whereas the West Coast prefers crunchy peanut butter!
*Peanuts are sometimes called “ground nuts” because they grow underground.
I hope you’ll try this recipe soon!
In closing I’d like to share with you George Washington Carver’s epitaph: “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.” What a great epitaph!
Remember to Savor the Flavor of Peanut Butter!
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