Thursday, June 12, 2008
Peanut Butter Cookies
I love peanut butter, I love it so much that I eat it by the spoonful everyday so when I found out about Cook's Illustrated's peanut butter recipe, I had to try it. The first time I ever made peanut butter cookies, the recipe was off the back of the jar, which was good, but I wanted a cookie with flour in it. Soon enough I was trying various recipes, but all of them seemed to taste like peanut butter flavoured dough.
Now that I've made CI's version, they are definitely the best peanut butter cookies ever. The processed peanutes give it that extra peanut butter flavour and texture. I have to admit that CI recipes are usually a little sweet for me so I reduced the white and brown sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup, reducing 1/2 cup of sugar overall. The only mistake I made was being a little heavy handed with the salt, which normally is ok, but I reduced the sugar, and used salted butter, which in combination with the salted peanuts left a saltier aftertaste than I would like. The overall result was still great and better than any other peanut butter cookie I've ever tasted. If anyone asks, I'll just say that they're supposed to be savoury cookies! I also left the cookies on the tray for 2 minutes instead of 4 so I could have crispier peanut butter cookies.
Big, Super-Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), salted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (my changes)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (my changes)
1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter , preferably Jif
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts , ground in food processor to resemble bread crumbs, about 14 pulses (about 1 cup, packed)
1. Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
2. In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add ground peanuts; stir gently until just incorporated.
3. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time (see illustration 1 below), roll into large balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Following illustration 2, press each dough ball with back of dinner fork dipped in cold water to make crisscross design. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not top, 10 to 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes (2 minutes for cookies with more crisp) , then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 7 days.