Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easy Coconut Peanut Butter Balls ("Zagnut" Balls)

One treat that I eat a few times a week is the freshly-ground honey roasted peanut butter from Earth Fare or Whole Foods. I eat it plain. It's slightly sweet and so insanely satisfying it makes me want to stand up and clap. I ate some of it today and, for whatever reason, was inspired to add a little flaked coconut to it. I said to myself, "Well, this sounds like a good pairing." Indeed it was.

As I was eating it, I thought, "Boy does this taste like something familiar." I couldn't put my finger on it. Peanut butter? Coconut? Then it hit me: Zagnut bars! I hadn't had them since I was a child, but the flavor was unmistakable. For those of you who have never had a Zagnut bar, they are (ahem...sugar filled) comprised of a crisp peanut butter center like a Butterfinger or a Clark bar-- but is wrapped in toasted coconut instead of chocolate. Another similar candy is another vintage one: the Chick-O-Stick.

I decided to try baking my treat and increasing its sweetness a bit to see what I came up with. What was born was nothing short of amazing! I think you'll agree. Plus, it takes all of 30 seconds to whip up and only 10 minutes to bake. Can you beat that? I think not!

The texture is not reminiscent of the dense crunchiness of a Zagnut bar, but the flavor certainly is. These can be a bit crumbly, too-- but one bite and you will be hooked.

EDIT: You know it's a big one when you put it in bold! Make these cookies wayyyy better by leaving them out uncovered, overnight. They'll slightly dry out and become crisp-- even more reminiscent of a Zagnut. They are fantastic when left out!!!





Easy Coconut Peanut Butter Balls (Zagnut Balls)

Ingredients:


  • 3 T freshly-ground, all natural honey roasted peanut butter 
  • 1 T Swerve sweetener (or granulated erythritol or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 T shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. xanthan gum 
  • 1 egg white 
  • Extra shredded coconut for rolling

Directions:

1. Preheat 325 degrees.
2. Mix together all ingredients aside from the extra coconut for rolling in a small bowl. 
3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in extra coconut until completely covered.
4. Place the cookies on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until light golden brown at the base. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet before moving. 
5. Move to a cooling rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool, but will remain crumbly. Yum! 

Makes 10 cookies. 

Nutrition, per cookie: 40 calories, 1 net carb (2 carb, 1 g fiber = 1 net carb), 3g fat, 1g protein 


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