Vegan Peanut Butter Kisses
A tender and moist peanut butter cookie with an irresistible chocolate ganache center. Vegan Peanut Butter Kisses are easy to make, and fun to share!
Servings 31 Cookies
For the Ganache:
- 3/4 C (114g) High Quality Vegan Dark Chocolate 70%-72% (*see note), chopped fine
- 1/2 C (120g) Full Fat Coconut Milk, from a can
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Cookies:
- 1 1/4 C (200g) All Purpose Flour, I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 C (114g) Coconut Oil, unrefined, virgin, melted at room temperature
- 3/4 C (210g) Natural Peanut Butter, crunchy or smooth
- 1/4 C (54g) Light or Dark Brown Sugar, packed
- 1/3 C (70g) Cane Sugar, + more for rolling the cookies in
- 1/4 C (84g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 3 Tbs Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Open the can of coconut milk and whisk to break up the fat and make the milk smooth. In a small sauce pot add the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Heat the milk mixture on medium high heat until it scalds (tip: watch for bubbles to form around the outer edge of milk, this is 180F or 82C). Watch the milk closely as you don't want it to boil or boil over. This can happen quick!
Pour the milk over the chocolate. Give the bowl a shake to make sure the chocolate is covered. Let set for 2 minutes - this is required (set a timer). Stir gently to incorporate the milk and chocolate. Be patient here. This could take a few minutes. Once all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the ganache. This will eliminate a skin forming over the top. Pop in the fridge for one hour while you make the cookies.
For the Cookies:
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, and both sugars. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture on medium speed until smooth, for about one minute. Add the apple sauce, water and vanilla. Beat again for about 20 seconds until smooth and creamy. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 45 seconds. The dough will be moist and chunky.
Have ready a medium bowl with about 1/2 a cup of cane sugar in it for rolling the cookies in. Portion the cookies to a little over 1 Tbs each (#50 cookie scoop makes portioning a snap), then using your hands, work the dough and roll individual cookies into little balls. Roll the cookie in the cane sugar then set it on a cookie sheet leaving about a cookie size space between cookies. Using your knuckle, thumb or the back of a round 1/2 tsp, gently press the center of the cookie in, making a "thumb-print." Support the cookie around the sides as you nudge the divit in the middle. Some cracking is normal, but minimizing it will help hold the ganache in.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Place the sheet pans in the refrigerator while the oven is preheating. Once preheated, bake cookies for 19-21 minutes. The cookies will be golden on the sides and bottom when done. Remove from the oven. You'll notice the centers have puffed slightly. Allow the cookies to cool for just a few minutes, then gently nudge the centers back down using the 1/2 tsp again or your knuckle (be careful not to burn yourself!) and allow cookies to cool on sheet pan for at least 10 minutes before piping on the ganache.
To Finish the Cookies:
After the cookies are done baking, remove the ganache from the refrigerator. It will continue to thicken as it sets. Scoop the ganache into a piping bag or into a Ziplock baggie. Cut a small hole in the bag or corner of a Ziplock. Hold the opening in the center of the cookie and gently squeeze the bag releasing the ganache into the center of the cookie. The ganache will set yet still remain creamy while storing the cookies. If at any time the ganache becomes too thick to pipe, gently warm it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time and stir. This isn't to melt the ganache rather, just to soften it.
Store in a lidded container, not stacked, at room temperature for up to three days. The ganache will not hold up to stacking.
*This resource lists many vegan chocolate brands. Find what's at your market and use it! Green & Black's, Theo, Endangered Species, are excellent.
Adapted from Chef Christopher Harris' Peanut Butter Kisses.
Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg