Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Peanut Butter Cookies
So, I received a request...ok, maybe not so much a request as a complaint. I volunteer at a homeless shelter one to two days a month and during the holidays, one of the patrons looked at the holiday cookie dessert display and remarked that they he could never find good peanut butter cookies. This was a guy who was already clearly down on his luck and among the hard knocks in life, would it be so much to ask to have a decent peanut butter cookie? I think not. I told him that I would be back on New Year's and that I would bring him the best Peanut Butter Cookies that I could find a recipe for.
Despite my promise to the gentleman at the shelter, I am not usually a fan of peanut butter cookies but I think that's because I never had a homemade version before I made these. Tragic I know but I have to say that these cookies seriously made up for the lack of homemade in my life. These gems pack some serious peanut punch; they were soft in the middle with a light crunch on the outside and they melt like butter in your mouth. Once again, it is a miracle that these even made it into the oven. Along those lines let me just say that I consider my myself a batter (cake, cookies, cupcakes, etc.) connoisseur and among all of the wonderful batters of the world, this one ranks near the top. xoxo - AJ
Recipe adapted from "The New Best Recipe", from the Editors of Cook's Illustrated
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Skippy extra-crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts, ground in a food processor to resemble bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the peanut butter until fully incorporated, then the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Add the ground peanuts and stir gently until incorporated.
Roll tablespoon size pieces of batter into balls and place them on the cookie sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart. Press each dough down with a fork to make a crisscross design. Be sure to dip the fork into cold water before pressing on the dough to prevent sticking.
Bake 10-12 minutes until puffed and slightly browned around the edges but not on top. Cool on sheet for about a few minutes and transfer to newspaper or wire rack to cool completely.