OhNuts! sent me candy-coated almonds and I didn’t want to bake with them because I was fearful that the pink, blue, orange, and green pastel-colored candy shells would bleed and run during baking, creating a big ugly mess on whatever I made.
So I decided to go the no-bake route and I stuffed them into no-bake peanut butter cookie dough.
A 10 minute project which results in great little peanut butter cookie dough bites.
Creamy peanut butter, slightly sweet, and a hint of cinnamon and vanilla make for perfect cookie dough.
I thought these were fun for Easter. You know, “Easter eggs”, the nests, the pastel spring colors. I tried anyway.
If you don’t want to color real eggs for Easter, you could do this little project instead. Less mess, a one-bowl, mix-it-by-hand special, rather than boiling water, boiling eggs, and red dye #40 staining your hands.
Plus these candy-coated almonds taste better than hard-boiled eggs and don’t stink up your house.
“Egg”-in-a-Nest Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten Free)
Makes 12 to 14 small cookie nests
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used store-brand, inexpensive, non-”natural”, creamy peanut butter*)
1/8 cup butter or margarine, softened (2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (to make gluten free, use a gluten free flour blend of your choice)
pinch salt, optional
1/4 cup pastel Jordan Almonds (or use plain almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, Peanut M&Ms, Whoppers, ball-shaped candy, diced candy bar pieces)
In a small bowl, whip the peanut butter and butter until creamy. I did this by hand but you can do it in a mixer if desired. Tip: microwave the peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 seconds, taking care not to melt them but just soften them, and they will combine easier. Add the sugars and whip until smooth. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, flour (add the flour slowly in case you need slightly less than recipe indicates) and stir until combined.
The dough should be easy to work with and form into balls at this point, but if the dough is dry or crumbly and is not coming together, add a touch more peanut butter and mix until desired consistency is achieved. Conversely, it dough is too wet or sticky, add slightly more flour. Also, chilling the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes or refrigerator for 20-30 minutes prior to shaping it into balls can be helpful if the dough is a little wet or sticky.
After appropriate dough consistency is reached, roll the dough into 1 inch golf ball-sized shapes. After the balls are rolled, gently push in and insert an almond or candy. After inserting the almond, I raised the sides of the cookie up by “pulling” the dough up a bit, creating more of a nest appearance. Treat the dough like clay and form the shapes and sides as you see fit. Store extras in the refrigerator for weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months for longer term storage. I have successfully stored batches of no-bake cookies and cookie dough balls for many months in the freezer but do as you see fit and use common sense.
Notes: I recommend using non-natural peanut butter. Something like Jif, Skippy, or similar. Peanut butter that separates into a solid and oil is not recommended for these cookies.You could likely make these with almond butter, cookie butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or alternate nut butter or spread but you may need to play around with the ratio of dry ingredients (increase them) since most other nut butters tend to be runnier than peanut butter and you will need more dry ingredients in order to get the dough to come together.
You don’t have to stuff candy-coated almonds into the cookie dough.
You could use plain run-of-the-mill almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, Peanut M&Ms, Whoppers, ball-shaped candy, diced Snickers bars, diced candy bar pieces, the skies the limit.
Or just use jelly.
I’m a fan of peanut butter recipes in general…
cookie dough in general
and any dessert that has something stuffed into it…
…So these were a natural progression.
1. I was nominated to The Kitchn’s Best Food Photography on a Blog list.
If you want to vote for me, I’d love it. You can sign in with your Facebook or Twitter name to register and voting is anonymous. Takes about 1.18 seconds to do. Wait for the page to load (it’s a bit slow and you may need to scroll “up” to see the names). Click to Vote and of course, Vote for anyone who’s work you love. There are so many extremely talented photographers, professional photographers, and fabulous bloggers on the list, so to even make the list and be nominated, I was honored.
2. I was nominated to Fitness Magazine’s Blogs We Love: Best Healthy Eating Blogs list. I’m the first to admit, my blog’s focus has changed from where it was three years ago and I’ve moved from posting about raw vegan food and yoga and onto decadent desserts and comfort food, but I’m still honored to be nominated. If you want to vote for me, I’d be grateful.
3. Thanks for the Yoga Mat Giveaway entries. Winner announced tomorrow.
Do you have memories of coloring Easter eggs as a child or plans to color eggs this year? Participating in Easter Egg hunts?
Are you prone to losing things in your own kitchen and having to hunt them down?
These cookie dough bites are my kind of “Easter Egg hunt”. As in, go into the kitchen and “hunt” for one of these. Hide them just well enough that the family doesn’t know where they’re at but not so well that I can’t find them in a peanut butter-craving “emergency”. Yes, I have lots of those.
I’ve been known to stash sprinkles, cupcake liners, a small jar of vanilla, or small packages of things in random places in my kitchen cupboards and then weeks later, I’m unable remember exactly which drawer, cupboard, or overstuffed cabinet I put it and have to tear apart my own kitchen on a sprinkles hunt or a cupcake liner hunt. Whoops.
Have a great week!