Tag Archives: cookie

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

30 May

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I think I am finally, after two long years, settling into Kansas City. I don’t know how, when, or why, but when I was driving home last night and saw the lights of the city, I was suddenly overtaken by this giddiness and excitement for my locale. My relationship with the city has been a lot of work–plenty of mileage on my car since everything is in the suburbs, buckets of barbecue sauce, and a fair share of awkward coffee dates.  But the spirit of Kansas City is relentless.  People enjoy the dining experience in droves. The sidewalks are filled with joggers, bikers, cafe-dwellers whenever the sun is peaking out of the clouds.  Do not even get my started on the swoon-worthy farmer’s market.  This place has just quietly grown on me.

Peanut butter cookies have had the same trajectory in my life.  I shied away from peanut butter in general as a kid.  I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the jelly alone.  Peanut butter cookies were always leftover at parties.  As I’ve gotten old enough to use an oven and bake my own cookies, I have begun to appreciate the comfort that peanut butter cookies provide.  They will never shock and awe like more showy cookies–double chocolate chip ones, namely–but a bite of these cookies will bring to mind sunshine and simpler, fun times.  I really like this recipe.  It is easy to make and most of the ingredients can be found in the pantry, which is a plus.  I think that these cookies taste wonderful when the dough is left to rest and develop in the refrigerator overnight.  The overnight time allows the peanut butter flavor to mature and shine-through the sweetness.

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
From Cook’s Country, October/November 2010
Makes 2.5 dozen cookies

  • 1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped finely

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, granulated sugar, egg, yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Divide dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll 2 tablespoons chilled dough into 1½-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using greased measuring cup, gently press each ball to ¾-inch thickness and top with chopped peanuts, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake cookies until puffed and edges are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve. (Cookies can be stored in airtight container for 3 days.)

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Comfort

3 May

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This is not okay. Snow after May 1, long after the first day of Spring, is unacceptable.  I’m supposed to be retiring my boots for the year, not planning work outfits to include them and black tights.  I’m ready to hang out with my friend–the sun–and get some more Vitamin D running through my blood.  Seriously, this is messing with my mind.

I am consoling myself with a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I spent so long debating yesterday whether or not I wanted to brave the flurries to walk to my gym that I actually made cookies while deciding.  When the weather outside is frightful, fire up the oven.  Not only do you warm up the house, you end up with little rounds of delight and comfort.

These cookies are from the pages of Cook’s Illustrated and are pretty darn good.  They are not the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had, that honor belongs to Levain Bakery in New York City, but they are still good.  Definitely worthy to share with the people who brighten up your life.  Perhaps the next time I make these cookies, I will aim for monstrous portions and add walnuts.  That’ll get me a little closer to Levain-level of perfection.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Cook’s Illustrated (May/Jun 2009)
Makes 16 medium-sized cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar (fresh, moist brown sugar is ideal)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large (18 x 12 inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.  Add and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.  Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop).  Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.  (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.