Alisa from One Frugal Foodie is hosting this week's Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) challenge and she chose sunflower seeds!
She said in the rules that you could use sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter, but I decided to use both! Sunflower seed butter is amazing. If you haven't tried it yet, you need to. Hands down, it is my favorite item at Trader Joe's and that is saying a lot if you've ever seen me tackle their roasted plaintains.
This was inspired by a recipe I found online. The contributor said she originally got it from a Trader Joe's publication. A few ratings mentioned the centers of the cookies might turn greenish from the baking. (Something about the heat and sunflowers' makeup?) Mine did not do this, but if it bothers you a suggestion was to add a splash of lemon juice.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sunflower seed butter, chilled
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
sunflower seeds, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Beat butter, sunflower seed butter, and both sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing well. Gradually add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, beating until fully incorporated to a stiff cookie dough.
Roll into 1 1/2" balls and place a couple inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Using a fork, mush down on the ball in a criss cross pattern. Add a pinch of sunflower seeds to the top and push into the dough a little so they do not fall off during baking.
Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two before removing to a wire rack. Yields about thirty 3" cookies.
Although these look almost exactly like peanut butter cookies, there were subtle differences! These were not nearly as sweet, which I really liked. Also, they had a bit more of a bite to them and were firmer, not as airy and crumbly as my peanut butter cookies usually are. I especially loved the extra sunflower seeds on top. They got toasted to a nutty crunch in the oven and added a salty/sweet dimension.
And we weren't the only ones who enjoyed a sunflower seed butter treat! Ally from Sweet & Savory shared a photo of her two pups having fun with a peanut butter jar a little while ago. I'm way too cheap to get Corky a Kong toy and it never occurred to me to give him an empty jar to enjoy in the same manner! Thanks for sharing, Ally - he was out there for half an hour in pure heaven! (Doesn't his shadow look exactly like Yoda, or is it just me?)