Peanut butter is, hands down, the most common type of nut butter out there and it is used in all kinds of recipes, from ice creams to cookies to cakes. Other nuts can be used to make nut butter, as well, and they are just as versatile, although they lend a completely different flavor to a recipe. Cashew butter, for instance, is a mild nut butter with a rich, buttery flavor that is popping up in more places all the time. Although it tends to be a little more expensive than peanut butter, it is easy to work with and a great option for nut lovers looking for a little something different.
Vanilla happens to go extremely well with cashews, and these Vanilla Cashew Butter Cookies showcase both elements nicely. In fact, they are delicious even if you’re not necessarily a big fan of cashew nuts on their own! The nut butter has a very mild, but nutty, flavor that really enriches the flavor of the vanilla, which stands out very well. They’re delicate and slightly crispy, a texture that brings you back for a second and a third helping. The most fun part about them is that people will have a difficult time guessing the secret ingredient. Cashews don’t have a strong or easy to identify flavor to most people, especially when you compare them to peanuts, so the chances are good that family and friends will like these cookies but won’t be able to identify exactly what is in them.
To add a little extra texture, or to highlight the cashew butter more, you can stir in a half cup or so of chopped, toasted cashews to the cookie dough before baking. To highlight the vanilla even more, you could use a half a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. I personally like them as-is, without anything fancy added, because they are very tasty on their own.
Vanilla Cashew Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cashew butter, egg and vanilla until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet, leaving room between the cookies for them to spread. Dip a fork into a little bit of water and gently press down on the top of each cookie to make a few decorative horizontal lines.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until light golden brown at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.