Salted peanut butter cookies (paleo)

I realized that I haven't posted since the snow melted (literally), but not for lack of cooking nor taking pictures of food! I'm still an avid chef, it's just that grad school has a way of getting in the way of posts, amongst many other things.

Speaking of which, I've been trying to avoid food with added refined sugars (not too strict, when a labmate brought some pineapple cakes from Taiwan how could I say no?) during the weekday to help me deal with work stress. When pressure amps up I tend to let my sugar and caffeine addiction go out the window, leading to massive 4pm slumps and general grumpiness. The office M&Ms machine (automated, since we were formerly a robotics lab) does not help. This is surprisingly harder than it should be, mostly because someone who's spent the past 4+ years obsessed with baking things decadent and delightful will just not accept a "healthy-ish" tasting agave-sweetened quinoa-flour-sprouted gluten free mumbo-jumbo dessert.

Eating without sugar and flour does wonders for my energy but is torture for my sweet tooth. This is, hands-down, the only dessert recipe I’ve found (so far!) that seriously satisfies real cravings, for Wednesday nights when you just need a cookie or a treat in the lunchbox. It’s a cookie first, and clean eating second :) The only (tiny!) roadbump is that I haven’t tried it with natural (unstabilized/no sugar) nut butter yet, so I can’t attest to that. I used Skippy “Natural”.
  
Salted Honey Peanut Butter Cookies (Makes 18) 

[Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen]
These cookies seriously satisfy cravings. Not at all dry or cloying, very moist while still holding its own shape. With or without health intentions, one of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes :)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup (I used wildflower organic honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tbs Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar coarsely chopped and divided (use your favorite dark chocolate bar and chop it, I used Ghiardehlli 60% Dark as it was on sale. You can omit and it will still be wonderfully rich, it doesn’t need the chocolate chips in case you are really being healthy.)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with buttered foil or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together peanut butter, honey (or maple syrup), egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt until smooth and creamy; about 2 minutes. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chunks.
  4. Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto prepared sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies turn a slight golden brown underneath; do not overbake.
  6. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 18 cookies.