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Sunflower Seed Cookies

Sunflower Seed Cookies

Chances are you know someone who has a food allergy. You might even be one of those people yourself.  Whether it be shellfish, wheat, dairy or peanuts, food allergies can be a real nuisance and are not easy to deal with.  First of all, you have to constantly ask questions about what you are about to eat and second, you have to always read the food labels.  I know what it’s like because I personally know from experience…  It’s not fun  and depending on the ingredient or level of allergy, it can be down right dangerous.

Many of you may have noticed by now, I don’t prepare dishes with almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, or even pecans.  I like really like them but they don’t like me. I can’t eat them let alone touch them.  Big, big, big, bummer…  But on the bright side, I have learned to cook with substitutions and have adapted many of my favorite recipes.  And fortunately, I am still okay with peanuts.  I just need to be careful.

Over the years I have learned to adapt.  For example, I like to use sunflower seed butter instead of almond or peanut butter on toast or in cookies.  I’ll use toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a nutty crunch in pesto and in homemade granola.  The more I learn about using these ingredients the less I miss tree nuts.  It used to be a big obstacle but now I consider my tree nut allergy just a speed bump in my life.  As my sister says, “It is what it is…”  And quite frankly, she’s 100% correct.

My Sunflower Seed Cookies are a riff on Betty Crocker’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe from my circa 1950’s first edition Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook.  I found my cookbook in a used bookstore a few years ago and I just love it!  It’s 62 years old and is full of amazingly nostalgic recipes.  I adapted the peanut butter cookie recipe from this cookbook by swapping the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter.  I also added a half cup of crunchy sunflower seeds and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  They look just like a traditional peanut butter cookie but with a subtle sunflower seed flavor.  They’re simply delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsalted shelled sunflower seeds

In a medium sized mixing bowl cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, sunflower seed butter, egg, and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until blended.  Add the sunflower seeds.  Place cookie dough covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator and chill for about 2 hours or until the cookie dough is firm.

15 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Using a small scoop roll the dough into 1 1/4 inch sized balls.  Place dough balls on silpat lined cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Press top of dough with a fork to flatten slightly.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden in color.  Remove cookies from cookie sheet with a spatula and place on wire racks to cool.  Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.