Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

I hope your thighs find it in their tissue to forgive me. My last three posts have been pretty darn high-sugar, high-calorie, high-fat, and high-happiness. I have had a sweet tooth lately that cannot be tamed. I feel like that horse Brego that can't be tamed in the extended Two Towers: Lord of the Rings movie. Maybe if Aragorn will come whisper Elvish to me like he did to tame that horse, I can tame this sweet tooth. Not likely though.

As I take my last bite of dinner I think, "oooh! What am I going to make for dessert- cookies, brownies, cake, pie, mousse, chocolate souffle with rasperry mint compote?" The possibilities are endless. However, I was flipping through my new America's Test Kitchen cookbook and saw their peanut butter cookie recipe. I thought I'd give it a whirl. Dude! It is awesome. I have another peanut butter oatmeal cookie post that is delicious, but it can't hold a candle to this one! Shoot-It couldn't even hold a 1 million candle power spotlight to these bad boys. I thought they were the perfect peanut butter cookie. Bust out your "Buns of Steel" DVDs because you're going to need them after eating these irresistable bites of heaven.
Peanut Butter Cookies:
source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 c extra crunchy peanut butter
2 t vanilla
2 large eggs
1 c peanuts, ground fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Plop the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 3 to 6 minutes. It should lighten in color and be fluffy.
Add in the peanut butter and mix for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla. Mix 'er up. Add the eggs, one at a time- be sure to mix well after each one.
Reduce the mixer to low and add the flour mixture. Mix for 30 seconds. If it is one second longer, the entire mixture will self-destruct and leave a blue-green residue on your kitchen cabinets that won't come off for 37 days. :)
Place the peanuts in the food processor and pulse until ground. My food processor doesn't have the skills to be as finely chopped as the recipe probably hopes, but this added a nice crunch to the cookie.

Add the chopped peanuts into the dough and mix to incorporate. This recipe only makes two dozen, so you will be dealing with a large chunk of dough for each cookie. No skimping! I had scooped mine, and I had some left-over dough, so I actually added to the cookies I had instead of making another 6 or so cookies.
It comes out to be 3-4 T of dough per cookie. Once you have the chunks of dough, roll them into a ballish shape. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Use the tines of the fork to make a crosshatch design on them. Press the tines in one direction...
then the other.
Here's the finished cookie before baking it. Notice that it is still very thick. You don't want to smash the cookies down. If you're baking these while angry, don't take anything out on the cookies. They did nothing to you. Keep them thick.
Bake them for 10-12 minutes. They should turn light brown and start to deflate.

As you can see in the picture above, they really don't get too brown. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for ten more minutes. Try to resist! I think the ten extra minutes lets them cook a little longer without getting to overdone in the oven.
Well, what I think really happens is a microscopic mythical creature flies around the cookies and sprinkles some love, happiness, and uh, optimism on the cookies. It must take ten minutes for that to work. You don't want to prevent optimistic loving happiness, do you? :)
I can't wait to make these again. They really were amazing. I think I actually shed a tear when the last one was eaten.

1 comment:

  1. I miss you! By the way, your blog is so awesome....I think I've told you that a lot already, but its true. Pure genius-ness goin on.