Suzi's Blog

Colossal Peanut Butter Cookies

Last month I posted a recipe for Subtle and Smooth Peanut Butter Cookies: http://www.cookingbythebook.com/blog/recipes/sublte-smooth-…butter-cookies/. Some of you have written back to say they are lovely and could I recommend other peanut butter cookies. After all, one recipe is never enough. Here’s a superior one from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle.

I’m happy to say that this recipe is colossal in pleasure as well as size. This recipe, too, has some ingredient secrets: lots of egg and lots of butter. The batter is smooth and soft. The baked cookies are tender, yet do not crumble away. This recipe calls for adding chopped unsalted peanuts. I skipped the chopping part, enjoying the look of big half peanuts poking through a golden cookie. Or, you substitute milk chocolate chips for that chocolate-peanut fix that we all crave.

I made a batch of these for a relative in the hospital and we gave the cookies to her family for delivery. It’s a nice family but Suzen just spoke with our relative and it seems that mysteriously in transit all the cookies disappeared. The relative is out of the hospital and we are seeing her tomorrow. I’ve just baked a new batch of these and I will personally deliver them.

I’m not saying if you bake these cookies you will have to guard them, but you might just carry the canister of them around with you as safety precaution.


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Colossal Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ½ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark born sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped unsalted peanuts

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter at medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the granulated and brown sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract. At low speed, gradually beat in the dry ingredients then the chopped peanuts until blended. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to45 minutes, until the dough has firmed up.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease an insulated cookie sheet or line one with parchment paper.

Using a ¼-cup ice cream scoop or cup measure, scoop 6 portions of the dough on the cookie sheet, spacing them evenly. Moisten your palm to prevent sticking, and flatten each scoop into a 2 1/2 –disk. Using a fork, make a crosshatch indentation in the center of each cookie, sliding the fork across the cookie to continue the indentation all the way to the edges.

Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, until golden around the edges but still soft in the center. They will firm up as they cool. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle

Subtle and Smooth Peanut Butter Cookies

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In the world of nuts, peanuts get treated like Rodney Dangerfield. Think about that cutting expression: “I got it for peanuts.” Put a bowl of mixed nuts on the table and do people forage for the peanuts or the cashews? The peanuts are the last to go.

And now we have the whole allergy thing. Walk down a street eating a bag of peanuts in Tribeca and mothers start to scream. “Keep that away from my baby,” they shout as they bundle off their little ones. When did eating a peanut become equivalent to spraying anthrax?

What is the source of this peanut prejudice? Below the surface is there peanut envy?

I think one cause of the problem is the peanut butter cookie. I like them, don’t get me wrong, but there are obvious problems. The flavor is often too intense, a monotone assault on your tongue. They often are too big, too dry, and, yes, crumbly. At the first bite, there immediately are cookie fragments. You don’t dare bring one to bed at night to comfort you while reading. You risk having your spouse mutter “divorce” as they roll over, crunch the crumbs, and awaken.

Peanut rehabilitation must begin with a better peanut butter cookie. One that is subtle, one that does not disintegrate in your mouth, or threaten your marriage.

Here is that recipe, from Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten. Published in 1992, the book is out of print but available on Amazon. I found my forgotten copy while hunting my bookshelves for something entirely else. Instantly I recalled the wonderful recipes Cookie Time contains.

I wanted something for Suzen. Not that I had sinned, but occasionally I will fashion a treat that is not chocolate just to make her feel wanted. She likes peanut butter. She loves dried fruit: dates and figs and .. Well, things I normally do not put in cookies. This recipe is one for Suzi: peanut butter AND dried dates.

It’s delicious. The batter is sensational. Yes, you should taste all cookie batter because over time you will develop an instinct for knowing if the cookies to come out of the oven are going to be good or great. You can seriously tell from the batter. This batter has a mild peanut flavor and an incredible silky smoothness. So do the baked cookies which are delicately soft and do not crumble.

This recipe has several secrets compared to the “standard” peanut butter recipe. A little less peanut butter, a little more regular butter. An extra egg. Double the usual flour. And, most importantly, milk. All these changes together create a lovely cookie.

I did make this with the dried dates. You could, certainly, add chocolate chips or nuts. Pecans would be delicious here.

Please help restore the peanut to its rightful place. Bake and enjoy.

 

 

Lucy’s Date [and Peanut Butter] Delights

 

Ingredients:

½ cup shortening or butter
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dates, chopped
2 cups flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk

 

Preparation:

Cream the shortening or butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and dates.

Mix dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Blend well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets [or lined with parchment paper]/

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

[Brian notes: baking these is a bit tricky. At 12 minutes you may be under baking, and at 15 they may be too hard and approaching the crumbly state you want to avoid. So monitor them carefully.]

Source: Cookie Time  Marilyn Miller Wasbotten