Cashew Butter Cookies – Who Needs Peanuts?!
Becoming a peanut free house because my daughter is allergic to peanuts was not an easy task. Turns out I ate peanut butter on and in so many things – because it’s delicious! Thanks to my discovery of cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, and almond butter, though, I have been able to replace almost all of my peanut butter needs. All except one. I missed peanut butter cookies! It just so happens that they were one of my favorite cookies with their nutty flavor and rich buttery chewiness. Well thanks to these Cashew Butter Cookies – my nut butter cookie void has been filled!
Peanut Free Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies have everything you want and need for a delicious nut butter cookie. The nuttiness is there with the cashew flavor coming through to get the deep notes, but not too overpoweringly cashew flavored (who knows how that works). The texture of a delicious nut butter cookie is still achieved as I love a soft cookie with a slight chew, and this is it. The slight crunchiness from the granulated sugar they are rolled in gives a nice contrasting texture.
The rich buttery taste and texture of a good nut butter cookie can still be achieved without using peanut butter – and the world rejoices – at least our household. These Cashew Butter Cookies hit all the marks and we have a peanut free peanut butter cookie winner!
Nut butter comparison in cookies
As I mentioned, I have tried baking with various nut butters, and I like them all for different purposes.
Almond butter has a great flavor, but it is definitely an almond flavor. That isn’t bad unless you are wanting a more mellow taste like in these Cashew Butter Cookies. The almond butter texture is also not quite the same: there is always a slight amount of grittiness because almonds are a harder nut than peanuts and cashews. It is absolutely fantastic in this ice cream as an almost almond caramel swirl, though.
Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter (sunflower butter) is delicious, and I ate it in and on everything when I had taken all nuts out of my diet when nursing my daughter. However, fun fact, there is an oxidizing reaction that occurs thanks to chlorogenic acid when baking with sunflower butter, so after a day or two the baked goods start turning green – yes, green. They are still okay to eat, but the appearance is slightly off-putting for me, even though I know why. Do you blame me? “Here daughter, have this green cookie that wasn’t green yesterday. No, it’s okay, it’s not mold.” You shouldn’t have to explain a cookie.
Peanut Butter is absolutely delicious, but we can’t eat it in our home – sad.
Cashew butter is the win! It is smooth and creamy like peanut butter without any grit. It has a more subtle flavor than almond butter and sunflower butter. Great for baking but, depending on the brand of cashew butter you can find, may only be unsweetened. Stay tuned, I’ll address this.
What Cashew Butter to Use
Cashew butter isn’t as difficult to find as it used to be, however, it still isn’t as readily available at all stores as almond butter. I found two common stores that carry cashew butter, one sweetened and one unsweetened. Because I want you to be able to make this recipe with either option, I will provide information for both.
Because I am, as many of our parents said, “not made of money” I will not be testing the many fancy brands of cashew butter that are well beyond what I want to spend on cookie ingredients. You are welcome to try those brands if you wish, just follow the “sweetened” vs “unsweetened and unsalted” guide and you should be just fine.
Sweetened Cashew Butter
The least expensive cashew butter I have found is the Sam’s Choice brand at Walmart (not sponsored, just one we use). It is a no stir variety and sweetened, so it most closely resembles the brand of peanut butter I used to bake with. This is one of the few sweetened cashew butters I have been able to find in our area that isn’t $1,000 a jar. Although, let me say that sometimes you do have to stir it the first time you open it, even though it says no stir. Use a butter knife and power through, it just needs to be stirred the one time and then it stays together after that, which allows it to be used in baking easily with most recipes.
I spread this cashew butter on top of my baked oatmeal in the morning before heating it up and it melts a little and becomes like a frosting on top – delicious!
Unsweetened Cashew Butter
The other readily available cashew butter that I have found is the Good & Gather cashew butter found at Target (also not sponsored). This is another cashew butter that doesn’t require a second mortgage to purchase. The Good & Gather cashew butter is unsweetened and unsalted, so you do need to adjust the cashew butter cookies recipe a bit to use this cashew butter. Don’t worry though! I did the work for you and provide what you need to know to use either cashew butter option – easy peasy. Or you can just use it as is and just have slightly less sweet cashew butter cookies. I’ll admit, I really enjoy these, but the rest of my family prefers the small amount of added sugar.
The Target cashew butter also for some (I’m sure scientific) reason bakes a slightly different-looking cookie from the Sam’s Choice brand. I made multiple batches using both cashew butters and you can see the slight difference. However, the taste and texture is very similar. Though the unsweetened cashew butter from Target does seem make a slightly more oily dough when mixed and is a touch more crumbly when baked. It still bakes a delicious cookie and no one will complain, unless you only offer one cookie and not two.
Baking with unsweetened and unsalted cashew butter just requires a little adjusting to the recipe. I added an extra tablespoon of sugar and an extra ¼ tsp of sea salt. If you prefer less salt in your cookie, just stick with the ½ tsp salt total for the cookies, although don’t skip it completely. Salt brings out flavor, not just saltiness! Oh, you’ve heard that before from me? Huh, who would have guessed. 😉
For this recipe I included the measurement for flour by weight and the corresponding cup measurement (this also works if you sift the flour, spoon it into your cup, and level with a knife – so much work). However, if you are a scoop, shake or level, and dump – you only need to do 1 ½ cups to get the weight of 1 ¾ cups of flour. Although good news, this cookie recipe is more forgiving than some. If you get a bit too much flour, your cookies will still be delicious!
Baking Cashew Butter Cookies
Roll cookie dough balls into a generous 1.5 oz ball, which is about 3 Tbs or the size of a ping pong ball. No need to refrigerate the dough which makes these super quick and easy to make.
Roll cookie balls in sugar for the delicious sugar crunch on these Cashew Butter Cookies. Then place cookie balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dip a “grown-up” fork (you know, the big tines, not the little ones, I believe these are called the dinner fork or something proper like that) into the granulated sugar you are using for rolling the cookie balls. Make crossed marks on the cookie ball with the fork tines. Press down with the fork slightly so cookie ball is almost half the height. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes depending on the size of your cookie balls.
Bake cookies until the tops are no longer shiny and appear set. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet 10 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week, although these are best within the first few days.
Don’t like the taste of cashews?
There are some people who don’t like the taste of cashews. I know, it surprised me, too. I had a couple people try these who do not really enjoy cashews themselves, but they really enjoyed the cookies and thought they were just peanut butter cookies. So, if you don’t like cashews but need some delicious peanut free cookies – try these!!
As my older daughter starts school this fall, I will send these delicious Cashew Butter Cookies in her lunch box as the schools here don’t allow peanuts (which works great for our family). However, for those of you who are packing lunches and the schools are completely nut free (eek!) try this recipe with some Sunflower butter and let me know how they turn out. When those cookies turn green just send the book, “Green Eggs and Ham” along with the cookies. 😉
More delicious cookies to Enjoy
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup cashew butter sweetened* (see notes for using unsweetened)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg (slightly beaten)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Granulated sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl mix your butter until smooth. Add cashew butter a bit at a time and mix between additions. This allows your butter and cashew butter to more easily be incorporated together. Beat butters until smooth.
- Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and then add to the butter mixture. Mix until just incorporated and streaks of flour are no longer seen.
- Roll cookie dough balls into a generous 1.5 oz ball, which is about 3 Tbs or the size of a ping pong ball. No need to refrigerate the dough which makes these super quick and easy to make.
- Roll cookie balls in sugar for the delicious sugar crunch. Then place cookie balls on your prepared baking sheet. Dip a “grown-up” fork (you know, the big tines, not the little ones, I believe these are called the dinner fork or something proper like that) into the granulated sugar you are using for rolling the cookie balls. Make
crossed marks on the cookie ball with the fork tines. Press down with the fork slightly so cookie ball is almost half the height.
- Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes depending on the size of your cookie balls. Remove cookies from oven when the tops are no longer shiny and appear set. Allow cookies to cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.**
*To use unsweetend and unsalted cashew butter add an additional 1 Tbs of sugar and an extra 1/4 tsp of salt, unless you don't like salt, then just stick with the 1/2 tsp of sea salt. See post for more information on using different cashew butters and suggestions for brands tested in this recipe.
**These cookies also freeze well if stacked and rolled in cling film and then stored in a freezer bag. To thaw place frozen cookies on a cooling rack in a single layer until thawed and then place in a closed container for up to a week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g
This information was obtained using an ingredient calculator to provide an idea of nutritional value. To obtain the most accurate numbers for nutrition information of any recipe, you should figure the nutritional information with the ingredients you used in the recipe. Each individual user is responsible for making sure that any nutritional information used is correct.