Classic peanut butter blossoms go vegan! Each of these tender little cookies is topped with a dollop of rich coconut ganache, for a burst of chocolaty goodness in every bite.
I love peanut butter blossoms. They were always one of my favorite holiday cookies. Maybe my absolute favorite, but every time I say that about something I find myself writing a post for something else a week later and then declaring that as my all-time favorite.
So let's just say I'm a big fan of peanut butter blossoms and leave it at that. So this year, I decided it was time to make a vegan version. I thought it would be easy. But nope!
I almost didn't even name these "peanut butter blossoms." Chocolate peanut butter thumbprint cookies might be more accurate. Classic peanut butter blossoms are topped with Hershey Kisses, and as you can see from the photos, only one cookie is topped with anything resembling a kiss. I ended up with a single perfect cookie, and yeah, you got me — I totally used it for my photos. Because how could I let that beauty go to waste?
My thinking was this: I'd veganize the cookies by swapping out butter for vegan butter and eggs for flax eggs. Easy! And that worked. The cookie making part is easy — whip up some peanut butter, vegan butter, sugar, and flax egg with an electric mixer. Stir in your dry ingredients, shape into balls, roll in sugar, and bake away.
But instead of pressing a Kiss into each cookie, I'd make a little thumbprint dent, and then pipe some ganache in the dent, in the shape of a Kiss.
Brilliant, right? The problem is this: the temperature of the ganache is super critical! Too warm and it'll just settle into a chocolate puddle. Too cool, and it'll be too solid to pipe. I got it to that happy semi-solid temperature, but then it cooled in the pastry bag.
First it clogged up the tip, then it burst the whole bag (which was, admittedly, a piece of junk I got at the dollar store). It made a huge mess and seeing all that chocolate go to waste was rather painful.
So, if you've got mad piping skills, feel free to squirt some perfect Kisses on your blossoms. The rest of us will just spoon ours on top, and it'll taste just as good.
My husband pointed out why these suckers are better that regular old kiss cookies. With classic peanut butter blossoms, you take a bite and the whole Kiss comes out at once. With these, you the ganache stays put, so you get chocolate and cookie in every bite.
FAQ & Tips for Making Awesome Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Why does the recipe call for organic sugar? Do I have to use organic? In the United States at least, most granulated sugar is processed with animal bone char. Not so with organic sugar, so using it will keep the cookies vegan.
- What's vegan butter? Is it just margarine? Basically, yes. But lots of margarine is actually processed with dairy. Look for products specifically labeled as "vegan butter," like Earth Balance, Melt and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (It's Vegan!).
- Where can I find vegan chocolate chips? My regular grocery store carries them, but if you's doesn't, try places like Whole Foods or Amazon. Enjoy Life is the brand I usually use.
- Can I make these gluten-free? I think an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend such as those made by Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur would work, but I haven't tested the recipe with anything but wheat flour.
Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms
Classic peanut butter blossoms go vegan! Each of these tender little peanut butter cookies is topped with a dollop of rich coconut ganache, for a burst of chocolaty goodness in every bite.
For the Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup organic granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup organic brown sugar
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup vegan butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Ganache
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1 cup coconut cream*
Preheat the oven to 375° and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the water and flaxseed together in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to gel while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
Place ½ cup of sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Add the flax mixture, and beat everything together with an electric mixer on high-speed for about 1 minute, until creamy.
Add the flour to the bowl, and sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top of the flour. Stir everything together until uniformly blended.
Place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar into a small bowl.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, then roll the balls in the sugar. Place them on the baking sheets, separated by about 2-inches.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove the baking sheets from the oven, and transfer them to a cooling rack.
Wait about 1 to 2 minutes, just until the cookies are cool enough to handle, then use your thumb for form an indentation in the top of each one.
Allow the cookies to cool completely.
When the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or by placing them into a bowl and microwaving in 30 second increments, stirring in between.
Stir the coconut cream into the melted chips. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit, to thicken.
Spoon a dollop of ganache on top of each cookie. Allow the ganache to set at room temperature (about 1 hour), or chill to speed up the process.
You can buy cans of coconut cream at most grocery stores. Thai Kitchen is a popular brand. You can also extract the cream from a couple cans of coconut milk. Chill the can for at least 12 hours. The coconut milk should separate into cream (the solid portion) and coconut water (the cloudy liquid). Just use the cream. You'll probably need 2 cans of coconut milk to get 1 cup of cream.
Adapted from Betty Crocker.