Cookies

Peanut, Apple & Cheese Cookies

peanut, apple & cheese cookiesYes, you read that right, there is cheese in these cookies.

No, I have not lost my marbles.

Please don’t look at me like that.

In my family the combination of apple, peanut butter and cheese (plus a little mayo) is a common one. Bowl-fuls have been eaten for breakfast or as a snack. In a way it is a (albeit) large twist on a Waldorf salad, with peanuts instead of walnuts and no celery. Or lettuce. And cheese. Okay, it’s not really anything like a Waldorf salad.

But fruit and cheese is a classic combination – a rich fruit cake will often be served along-side a cheese board. Or grapes will be draped elegantly and artistically across one corner. In fact I have moved on from mince pies for breakfast to Christmas cake and cheese for lunch. You think I am joking. I am not. It’s great because you have the tangy cheese (something like a Lancashire) against the dried fruit and then you even get a little something sweet at the end with the marzipan and fondant icing edge. And you don’t need much. I am sure nutritionists across the land are throwing their hands up in despair right now.

{ps – I will post the recipe for the Christmas cake later this year. It is yummy but it was the first time I had made it so I didn’t really know what I was dealing with. Now I do. I can not believe that I am planning Christmas 2014 recipes already. Moving on . . . }

When I stumbled across a recipe for peanut butter and apple cookies, my mind automatically made the leap to “hmm, I wonder what they would be like with cheese in?”

I am willing to admit that cheese is not a common ingredient for a cookie, but what it adds is a slight savoury note in an otherwise sweet environment. And if I haven’t mentioned it before, sweet and savoury is my favourite taste combination.

These cookies are crispy around the edges, soft in the middle. Crunchy from the peanuts and sweet from the apple (and sugar). Then you get a subtle chewy cheesy nugget. They pretty much have it all.

P1010230aI used ready grated cheese, because it is always a lot thicker / coarser than cheese you have grated yourself. I wanted that in these cookies. I didn’t want the cheese to be so finely grated that it simply melted and got lost in amongst everything else. If you don’t want to buy pre-grated cheese then I suggest cutting it up into small cubes, chocolate chip sized cubes.

For the apple, I chose a British Royal Gala which is sweet, crisp and juicy. I didn’t peel it before grating it, just removed the core, so there are dark specks of skin scattered throughout. If you wish to peel, then please do so. I also added any juice that escaped during grating to the dough. It needs the extra moisture, please don’t discard it. Feel free to use whatever variety of apple you wish – a tangy granny smith could work equally as well.

And finally – if you don’t want to add the extra peanuts, you don’t have to, although you will lose some of the texture. Some of that could be replaced by using crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth.

Give this flavour combination a try. I promise it is not as crazy as it seems!

Now, how much of that Christmas cake is left . . . ?

Peanut, Apple & Cheese Cookies

Print this recipe here.

Makes 24 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 112g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 132g (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter
  • 106g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 82g (1/2 cup) soft light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) gluten-free plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 medium-sized apple, grated (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 45g (1/3 cup) roasted, salted peanuts
  • 70g (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 celsius / 170 fan / 375 fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with non-stick paper.
  2. In a bowl combine the butter and peanut butter. Add the sugars and mix well.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the salt and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
  5. Add the peanuts and cheese. Stir again to distribute.
  6. Grate the apple and add with any juice. Stir once again.
  7. Using a small ice-cream scoop (or a heaped teaspoon), place small mounds on the dough on the baking sheets, spaced evenly apart as they will spread a little during baking.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch in the centre.
  9. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  10. Can be eaten slightly warm, or when completely cooled.

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction.

Posted as part of January’s ‘Cheese, Please!’ challenge over at Fromage Hommage.

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12 thoughts on “Peanut, Apple & Cheese Cookies”

  1. What a unique list of ingredients! I’ve definitely paired apple and peanut butter before, as well as apple and cheese, but never all three together. Sounds like a recipe worth trying!

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  2. I like thinly sliced Brie on apple slices. So I’ll be trying it… After all, I do have a peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie with my breakfast coffee every morning… And my Christmas cake is finished, but then I did have to share it with the Husband.

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  3. That’s an interest combination for a cookie but, as you say, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. Lots of people like pears or grapes and yes, Christmas cake is mighty fine with a cheese (Wensleydale’s the traditional favourite, I believe, though I haven’t tried it). I used to eat a lot of cheese, peanut butter, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches (until I had a bad experience with some subsequent Malibu…) These look lovely – thanks for sharing with this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge πŸ™‚

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