Usually when I go for a dessert, chocolate has to be a part of it. While many sweets don’t do much for me, I am a major chocolate fiend. That said, I recently went to the grocery store with chocolate chips on my shopping list and when I got home, realized that I had forgotten to pick them up. I had the other ingredients and still wanted cookies so I started thinking. One of my favorite combinations is peanut butter and ginger. I was introduced to this when I was in my 20s and a local restaurant called Logan Beach Café had Indonesian night once a month or so. Logan Beach wasn’t much from what I remember beyond your standard artsy coffee shop with a few basic sandwiches but I remember Indonesian night vividly because the food, at least this one night a month, was otherworldly, especially the ginger-y peanut butter satay sauce. This was where I first discovered how beautifully peanut butter pairs with ginger and it was this first taste experience that inspired these cookies. Spiced with cardamom, cloves and other warming spices, these cookies are not your standard peanut butter cookies and the crystallized ginger takes it to a whole different realm. These gently sweet cookies are moist on the inside with crunchy exteriors and full of complex, aromatic flavor notes. These are peanut butter cookies for grown up tastes.
1 tablespoon ground flax 3 tablespoons aquafaba or regular water
Dry ingredients 1 ¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon cardamom ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients ¾ cup smooth peanut butter 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract ½ tablespoon blackstrap molasses 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce OR neutral oil ½ cup real maple syrup
½ cup crystallized ginger, chopped small, reserving 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a cup, stir together the flax and aquafaba or water with a fork or a mini-whisk. Store in the fridge for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the wet ingredients and add the flax goop. Add to the dry and stir; add the crystallized ginger, reserving two tablespoons. It will be thick.
Roll a tablespoon or two of batter between your hands and place on your prepared cookie sheets. Flatten with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie back-of-the-fork marks to make a crisscross or just flatten with your hands. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved crystallized ginger, bake for 12 minutes, and allow to cool on the sheets for 10 minutes.