Baking can be fun; many of us know this and many of us know this all too well. But baking can also be a way of being creative and producing nutritious food which can provide us with protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and trace minerals. Cookies and other baked goods don’t have to be junk foods; when eaten slowly and in moderation they can be an integral and wholesome part of a highly nutritional diet.

I’d like to share my peanut butter cookie recipe with you this week. Now mind you, these are not ordinary peanut butter cookies! They are the type that are flaky but not crumbly, crunchy but not stale, and chewy without being moist. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
Regular whole wheat flour will not produce the desired texture for these morsels of goodness. Make sure to use stone ground whole wheat flour which has been grown organically and which has not been treated with preservatives. (Some of the commercial whole wheat flour sold in supermarkets has been treated to insure “shelf life,” so it is best to purchase a brand such as Deaf Smith from one of the local natural food stores or buying coops.)

½ cup wheat germ — for added protein — and a more flaky cookie.

1 tablespoon Pero (optional)
Pero is a delicious beverage made out of rye and barley.

1 teaspoon sea salt or granular kelp

½-¾ cup corn germ oil
Look for cold pressed oil which has not been treated with any chemical additives. I prefer the Erewhon brand. Corn oil is important for the crumbly texture of this cookie.

½ cup molasses
Find molasses which is not too bitter and which has not been sulphured. I prefer Plantation Barbados myself. Molasses contains a fair number of vitamins and minerals.

¼ cup dark honey
Try to get honey which has been minimally processed (heated) and where the bees have not been fed on white sugar. Most natural food stores carry this type of honey.

¾ cup organic peanut butter
Commercial peanuts (and rice) grown in the U.S. are exposed to an unusually large amount of pesticides and other chemicals. Most peanut butters sold in grocery stores contain commercial peanuts (and occasionally degermed peanuts) as well as a host of emulsifiers, stabilizers, coloring agents, etc. Your grandparents would not have approved.

3 - 7 tablespoons water

Cream honey, molasses, and peanut butter. Add rest of ingredients according to your intuition and form into 1 ½ oz. balls with your hands, continually dipping your hands in water. Place the balls on a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal and flatten with the bottom of a glass jar, dipping the bottom of the jar in water if necessary. Add some additional love and bake at 325°F for 20 - 25 minutes. You should have about 25 yummy cookies. Make sure to let the cookies cool before you eat them to bring out the peanut butter flavor. OM SHANTI