There’s a secret ingredient in these cookies and it’s up to you whether or not you choose to share this information with your Valentine.
It’s sweet potatoes. (Or sweetpotatoes if they are from California – yep, the Cali ones are one word). I’ve been wanting to try a dessert recipe with mashed sweet potatoes since seeing recipes all over the blogosphere using a variety of mashed veggies, fruits, and beans in baked goods as a way to cut down on calories and up the nutrients. But I’ve been hesitant.
Even though I’m a dietitian, I’m still a believer in indulging every once in awhile (hello, Girl Scout Thin Mints) or even daily (hello Dove Dark Chocolate Minis.) So, tweaking the ingredients to my husband’s favorite peanut butter cookies and making them for Valentine’s Day might not sound all that romantic.
But the thing is, I actually think it is (mainly because these turned out to be pretty delish.) By adding in some mashed sweet potatoes along with some whole wheat pastry flour, reducing some of the sugar, and eliminating the Crisco, I’ve improved the nutrition content of the cookie without sacrificing taste. And considering the hubs eats these by the dozen, I figure I’m saving him a few unnecessary calories. So, in a way, I’m giving the gift of health this February 14th through a cookie (sort of . . . ) but in the case of my sweetie’s diet, it really is.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar
1 (4-ounce) white chocolate bar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 cookie trays with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter, sweet potatoes, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
- In separate bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture; mix until well incorporated.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 2 3/4- or 3-inch heart cookie cutter. Arrange on cookie trays coated with cooking spray. Take scraps of dough, form a new dough ball, and repeat process until all the dough is used up (will make about 40 cookies.)
- Bake for 10 -12 minutes until the edges just start to turn lightly brown. Transfer to cooling racks.
- To decorate with chocolate, place each chocolate bar (if using two different types of chocolate) in separate bowls and heat in microwave (one at a time)m until they start to melt (about 60 – 75 seconds). Stir until melted and pour into plastic bags. Make a tiny hole at edge of each bag with scissors and use to pipe or drizzle chocolate over cookies. Let cookies rest on cooling racks until chocolate hardens.