These peanut butter shortbread maca cookies made with a blend of creamy peanut butter and sweet butterscotchy maca, dipped in vegan dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt for a decadent and flavor-packed holiday treat.
I thought I had a full set of Christmas cookie cutters, then I went to make these cookies and discovered that what I actually had was a single Christmas tree cutter, and a full set of what appears to be Lucky Charms cookie cutters. By that time I had the dough mixed and ready to go, so I decided to roll with most holiday appropriate of the Lucky Charms, hearts, moons, stars and spades. Spades kind of look like Christmas trees. Oh, and in about four months you might just be seeing some Saint Patrick's trees 'round these parts.
On to cookies! They're insane. Really, really good. And they've got maca in them. Normally I might be inclined to put maca in a recipe for health benefits, but these aren't exactly health food cookies. They're probably not terrible, in comparison to your conventional shortbread cookies, with whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and (not too much) maple syrup as the source of sweetness, but they are decadent. They certainly don't taste like healthy cookies.
Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Maca Cookies
For the Maca Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, see note
- 2 tbsp. powdered maca
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. cold water
For the Salted Chocolate Coating
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
- coarse ground or flaked sea salt
Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment.
In large mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until well mixed. Add flour, maca and salt to bowl and continue to work into a thick dough, using a large spoon, then your hands. Add chilled water and continue to mix dough, adding a bit more water if dough seems too crumbly.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (a drinking glass works if you don't have cookie cutters) and arrange shapes on baking sheets, leaving about ½ inch between them. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
While cookies cool, melt chocolate chips over the stove or by microwaving in 30 second increments. Stir in coconut oil.
Dip half of each cookie into chocolate mixture, then set on parchment covered surface and sprinkle chocolate coating with salt. Allow to sit until chocolate has firmed completely.
After making these cookies a few times, I realized that different brands of flour will yield slightly different results. My initial batch used Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour. Slightly more flour may be required when using different brands, so have a bit extra on hand and add as needed until your dough is the right consistency.
Yield of 24 cookies is based on the use of large cookie cutters. Smaller cookie cutters will yield 3-4 dozen cookies.
If you aren't into maca or just don't have any on hand, you could probably get away with leaving it out. Add more flour as needed to get the right dough consistency.
Deryn | Running on Real Food says
Oooh, these sound soo good!! Thanks for the tips on flour, I'm not the best baker so can use all the help I can get!
Alissa Saenz says
Thank you! And yeah, flours can be funny like that! It was a big eye opener when I figured that out!