When I think of the smell of Christmas I think cinnamon. Others think of the smell of pine and fresh Christmas trees, but for me, it’s cinnamon.
I was having a challenge this year getting into the Christmas spirit. The only snow Chicago has seen so far this season happened when I was out of town and was melted before I returned. I love a good snowstorm.
The temperature has been hovering almost 20 degrees above normal. I didn’t even need gloves to put up the outdoor decorations. I finally put up our indoor Christmas tree, about 2 weeks later than normal. I am leaving most of the Christmas decorations in storage. We are not doing any big parties this year so why do all that decorating for just the two of us? I’m calling my decorating this year “Essence of Christmas.” I’m not going all out.
Don’t worry. I’m not going all Grinch.
I think this is one of those years my mother talked about. It feels like I just did Christmas. It has come back around too fast for me this year. So I got out my saucepan...
Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies are SOOOO good. And no flour! Just be careful what peanut butter you buy and be sure to order the sweetener ahead so you are prepared to bake and eat.
1 cup of unsweetened peanut butter*
1/2 cup of sweetener**
1 large egg
*There’s a trick here. You CANNOT use an oily peanut butter with this. You want unsweetened and emulsified (that means it’s whizzed so it stays together). FIRST option is to go to (or order from) Whole Foods. They make their house brand called 365. You want the UNSWEETENED PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD. If you cannot order or don’t have a store near you, my fall back is Skippy Natural but that definitely has sugar so you’ll have to control the number of cookies with more discipline.
**This is an easy trick too, but you have to order one of these brands. I have only once seen them in a store. They are called ZSweet or Swerve. They can be ordered from Amazon. They are not cheap but worth it. Get the granulated version. You can also order the powdered sugar if you want to make frosting for a cake or cupcakes. These both bake just like sugar. Truvia is not a good option and Splenda is not good for you.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper if you can, or lightly spray with oil.
Mix the peanut butter, sweetener, and egg until smooth. I do this with a wooden spoon. Get it all thoroughly mixed.
Drop spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. I roll them in my hands a bit to a size a little smaller than golf balls. I gently put them on the cookie sheet. This way they are perfectly round. Then I do the cross-hatch thing with a fork so they get the grid. Don’t push hard. They will sink down as they bake.
Bake for six to eight minutes. Do not over bake! These taste best when they still have some give to them. Barely browning. I call them “medium rare.” You can bake them to your taste as you choose.
For some people, there will be an aftertaste of a “coolness.” It’s the sweetener. Doesn’t bother me but some folks to notice it.