Monday, October 22, 2007

ISO perfect peanut butter cookie recipe

Wannabe cook ISO the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe to woo the heart of a boy.

Short of stealing the Specialty's peanut butter cookie recipe, I believe this recipe may be the way to a peanut butter boy's heart. It's roommate approved (he stole one from the plate in the kitchen, and then took the time to peek in my room to announce "those cookies are pretty damn good" with that guilty look on his face). It's Boy approved. Make that Boy X 2 appproved, Lauren :)

A couple of notes regarding this recipe - watch the cookies in the oven closely. Ideally, you'd want the cookies to have golden brown, crispy edges with a chewy center, slightly sweet and tons of peanut buttery goodness flavor. My oven cooks a bit uneven, so we ended up with a range of golden brown/chewiness. To combat the uneveness a bit, be sure you use a cookie scoop to even out the size of your cookies. I use one similar to this. It's quite sturdy and seems that it will stand up to my many many batches of cookies.

Cooks Illustrated suggests commercial peanut butter instead of the natural peanut butter, which based on my previous peanut butter cookies experiments, I completely agree. This recipe also adds roasted, salted peanuts ground in a food processor, which added a level of peanut flavor that other cookies lacked.

Peanut Butter Cookies (to win a boy's heart)

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
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
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. Bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350.
3. Grind roasted salted peanuts in a food processor. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, sift or mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
5. In a separate medium to large bowl (this is the bowl that all your batter will end up in), beat the butter until creamy.
6. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. You may need to scrape down the bowl.
7. Beat in peanut butter, then eggs, and then vanilla.
8. Slowly incoporate the dry ingredients while beating.
9. Add ground peanuts and stir gently just until incoporated.

10. On a parchment paper covered cookie sheet, use 2 tablespoons of dough (two of my scoops = 1 cookie) to roll into a ball. Place approximately two inches apart.
11. Using the back of a fork dipped in cold water (to prevent sticking), make a criss-cross pattern on the cookie.

12. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Rotating the sheet after about 5-6 minutes helps the cookies bake more evenly. If you do this, you might tack on a little extra time in the oven, since opening the oven causes the temperature to drop.
13. The cookies are done when they are slightly golden brown on the top. Cool the cookies completely before eating - they'll taste much better.

Coming up next: Hershey Kisses Peanut Butter Cookies

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