Delectable Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies

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

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.

The Recipe

Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies
Yields 3
A delectable peanut butter cookie with the added goodness of oat bran, producing a crisper cookie than the traditional peanut butter cookie.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Butter, melted
  2. 1/2 cup White Sugar
  3. 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (or 1/4 cup Honey)
  4. 1 Egg (or 2 Egg Whites)
  5. 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  7. 1/2 cup Oat Bran
  8. 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  9. 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix melted butter with sugars.
  2. Add egg (or egg whites) and mix well.
  3. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients; mix well.
  5. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Criss-cross on each cookie with the tines of a fork.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Adapted from Hodgson Mills
Adapted from Hodgson Mills
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

The Methodology

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.

Parting Comments

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!

Janet

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Fast, Easy and Delicious Puma Bars

Puma Bars

What’s a Puma Bar? Puma Bars are high energy treats made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar, wheat germ, pecans and peanut butter chips. I first came across this recipe when I was learning about dehydrating foods. I checked out this book, Backpack Gourmet by LInda Frederick Yaffe, from my local library to search out recipes using dehydrated food and to discover methods for dehydrating food. It was an interesting book, even though I’ve never backpacked in my entire life!

I’ve shared two other recipes from Backpack Gourmet in a past post called “High Energy Treats – Addictive and Delicious.”  Click here if you would like to see the recipes for Sesame Oatmeal Cookies and Indian Heaven Treats. The recipes in this book are suitable for backpacking trips or for camping adventures as well as being delicious at home!

Puma is another name for cougar, a very large slender cat whose habitat includes places from an arid desert to a cold coniferous forest. Perhaps that means that these Puma Bars are great no matter where you eat them! (You may have heard of the NC version of pumas – the Carolina Panthers!)

The Recipe

Puma Bars
Yields 12
A delicious bar cookie made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, pecans, brown sugar and peanut butter morsels
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  2. 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  3. 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  7. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 cup peanut butter morsels
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8" x 11 1/2" x 2" baking pan.
  2. Heat oil and nuts in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until light brown.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until just set.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Notes
  1. Variations: Butterscotch or chocolate chips may be used in place of peanut butter morsels. Nuts other than pecans may be used, your choice.
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

The Methodology


The preparation for Puma Bars is done in one large saucepan. No mixing bowl or mixer needed! First, chopped pecans and grapeseed oil are combined in the large saucepan and heated over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat to cool.

Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, whole wheat flour, white flour, wheat germ, baking powder and peanut butter chips to the saucepan and stir until well-combined.

Pour batter into a greased 8″ x 11 1/2″ x 2″ pan.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until just set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

I find the combination of the flavor of peanut butter and wheat germ really enhance a cookie. I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps last June. If you’d like to see that recipe, Click here.  Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps have a different texture from most peanut butter cookies that are soft. 

I made several adaptations in the original recipe and I would encourage you to vary the ingredients to suit your particular preferences. The original recipe called for butterscotch morsels but I thought peanut butter morsels sounded better, perhaps due to the fact that I liked the Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps with that flavor combination.  Other chips could be used – chocolate, white chocolate or whatever you would like. I want to try the recipe next time with coconut oil in place of the original recipe’s canola oil. I find that coconut oil gives a nice flavor to just about any food to which it is added. So have fun with this recipe!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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