Peanut butter in the pantry has been an essential in the American way of life. Moms rely on its convenience, and know the easy meal will make their kids full and happy. As they grow older, kids make their own PB&J sandwiches as after-school snacks, and as adults learn to love it as a special treat. I know I do. It seems ingrained in my way of life.
A lot is changing, however; peanuts are no longer the only nut butter on the shelf. With the rise of healthy and natural lifestyles, as well as the profound increase of peanut allergies in children, almond butter is being touted as a better alternative. While almond butter is the healthiest nut butter you can eat, many people are reluctant to try it. The truth is most almond butters look unappetizing compared to peanut butter and in many households, ‘healthy’ snacks seldom get eaten.
In my family, I knew that even though I could buy almond butter, if no one actually ate it, it wasn’t healthier. So I started making my own almond butter with fresh almonds grown in my neighbor’s farm. I experimented hoping to make a delicious spread just like the peanut butter I grew up with. The result was a nut butter with all the right qualities: the rich flavor, nutrition and versatility of almonds and a texture just like peanut butter. Friends and family started calling it ‘Barney Butter’, so the name stuck.
Here is an easy recipe that makes the perfect cookie every time- crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside:
Barney Butter Cookies
- Sift 2 c oat flour, 2 t baking soda, 1 t each cinnamon & nutmeg.
- Separately cream 1 ½ c brown sugar, 1 c sugar w 3/4 c softened butter.
- Add to creamed mixture 3 eggs,1 16 oz jar Barney Butter, 1T light corn syrup, ½ t each vanilla & almond extracts.
- Add dry ingredients to make dough.
- Stir in 2 c oats & 2 c dried cranberries.
- Drop onto ungreased baking sheet 10 min @ 350F.
- Cool slightly. Transfer to racks.
- Makes 4-5 doz.
(BTW, they’re gluten free)