Naturally sweet solar-oven baked mesquite peanut butter cookies are easy and fun! (MABurgess photo)
It’s blasting HOT outside! Dry mesquite pods are rattling and falling off the trees! It’s mesquite harvest time–so gather them quick before they take on any monsoon moisture.
Even in this heat my sweetie wants a dessert and can’t stand store-bought stuff. OK, I got the solar oven out preheating in the sun. I’ll bake some old time peanut butter cookies this time with a Southwestern twist–with mesquite! (And, we’ll keep the heat out of the kitchen.)
For mesquite peanut butter cookies, in addition to mesquite meal you’ll need: butter, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, baking soda, chunky peanut butter, and honey. Amaranth flour is a great option available at Safeway, Sprouts, WholeFoods, and NaturalGrocers.
Add crunchy peanut butter to creamed butter/honey/brown sugar, beat in egg and vanilla….Then stir in sifted flour mixture to make cookie dough….
Tia Marta here to share a quick and easy mesquite cookie recipe. No problem–If you don’t mill your own mesquite pods you can find fresh LOCAL mesquite meal at the NativeSeedsSEARCH store .
MUFF’S MESQUITE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE:
Preheat solar oven (or indoor oven) to 375 degreesF.
Beat until creamy: 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup local honey, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Beat in: 1 egg, 1/2 – 3/4 cup chunky organic peanut butter,1 tsp vanilla
Sift together: 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4-1/2 cup mesquite meal (optional–substitute 1/4 cup amaranth flour for 1/4 cup of other flour), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir dry ingredients into moist ingredients for dough. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Put on cookie sheet and press with fork. (see photo–Who knows where these traditional patterns come from? Different cultures have different patterns for peanut butter. Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking shows a linear pattern from her German tradition.)
Bake: about 12minutes in conventional oven OR about 20 minutes in solar oven–until done.
Make small balls of cookie dough and roll each in mesquite meal….
On cookie sheet, press each ball of dusted cookie dough with fork in criss-cross pattern….ready to bake….
Preheat solar oven to around 350-375 degrees, then bake about 20 minutes (depending on the sun’s intensity) or until done. The sweet bouquet of cookie-bliss will let you know they are ready! (MABurgess photo)
My “serving suggestion” is to enjoy mesquite peanut butter cookies any time–especially with GOV (good old vanilla) ice cream or an ice-cold glass of tea on a hot day! (MABurgess)
Now here’s another quickie cool and refreshing mesquite treat, if you don’t have time to bake, but using similar ingredients. It’s a Mesquite Peanut Butter Malted Milkshake— ready in a jiffy:
For a fast cool-down treat, blender up a mesquite peanut butter malted milkshake! You’ll have a meal-in-a-glass in no time–full of complex carbs, calcium, protein, and renewal! (MABurgess photo)
Muff’s Mesquite Peanut Butter Milkshake RECIPE:
In blender mix:
2 cups 1% organic milk (or optional rice, almond or soy milk OR frozen RiceDream)
1 Tbsp. mesquite meal
1/4 cup organic agave “nectar” or syrup
1/2 cup organic chunky peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 Tbsp Mexican vanilla)
1 Tbsp Carnation dry malted milk (optional)
a few chunks of ice
Blender the mix until frothy and serve in chilled glass. Enjoy the rich nutrition and sweet refreshment of this mesquite meal-in-a-glass!
Carob powder is ground from the pods of a Near-Eastern bean tree, like an Eastern “sister” of mesquite with many similar nutritional components. For a super-tasty cool shake that satisfies all the food groups (except chocolate!) and helps chill a summer day, add 1/4 cup carob powder to your blender mix.
Add carob as you blender your mesquite peanut butter shake and voila you’re transported into the gourmet snack dimension! (MABurgess photo)
Check out the Iskashitaa Refugee Network to see if they have carob available currently. And find wonderful local mesquite flour ready for cooking at NativeSeedsSEARCH, (3061 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson; 520-622-5561), along with great mesquite recipe books by DesertHarvesters.org. Find Freddie Terry, the Singing Beekeeper, with superior local honey at the Rillito Park Farmers Market Sundays. To order your own Solar Oven, check out www.flordemayoarts.com or contact 520-907-9471 to locate good used solar ovens.
Let’s adapt to heat with these low-tech tools, desert foods, and recipes. Enjoy the monsoons and happy eating with local mesquite!