This recipe is an interesting one, and the Pie pointed it out to me. He loves peanut butter, but isn’t a huge fan of the peanut butter cookie, finding it too crumbly and dry. So he found me this recipe in Baked’s first cookbook, and I thought I would try it out for one of my research participants. The participant in question, poor fellow, just broke his collarbone in two places. I got a one-armed hug for my cookie efforts. It helped that I also brought along some of the ever-popular peanut butter cups.
And, because my lovely Baked book is back in St. John’s, I used the instructions of Laura over at Kitchen Illiterate — thanks Laura!
I doubled my recipe and am going to attempt to freeze half this dough and see how it turns out. As always, I left out the salt, because my butter is salted.
So get your mis en place all set up:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, whisked or sifted together with 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter (I used all-natural crunchy)
6 ounces chocolate, chopped (I used dark chocolate)
If you’re not sure how fine to chop your chocolate, remember that, unlike chocolate chips, bar and slab chocolate does not retain its shape when it’s melted, so think carefully about the size of chocolate goo you want wandering around in your cookie and you’ll be fine.
First, beat the butter and the sugars together until they’re totally fluffy. If you find your mixture is too dry and crumbly, your butter needs to be softer. You can chuck your mixing bowl into the oven at 250°F for a few minutes and that will do the trick nicely.
Add each egg one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.
Then you can plop in your peanut butter and the vanilla. I found it mixed easier if I softened the peanut butter as well, but it depends on the type of peanut butter you use. Beat that until it’s just mixed.
Add about half the flour mixture and beat for 15 seconds (just following the recipe here, folks). Add the second half and beat until just incorporated, though you want to make sure you don’t have any pockets of flour anywhere.
Now you can add in your chocolate.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I am a bad person, and only had time to do it for 2 hours, but I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference. The dough might be a little harder to handle, but you get used to it.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and use a tablespoon measure or small scoop to drop rounded balls of dough onto the sheet.
The secret is in the roundness of your implement.
Make sure they’re at least 2″ apart, because these babies will spread like the Dickens. (Incidentally, does anyone know where that particular turn of phrase comes from?)
Flatten the balls with your fingers, but just a little bit. They’ll do the rest on their own.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating your sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies have just started to brown on top. You may find that your oven is hotter or more efficient than this and your cookies end up a bit darker or slightly burnt on the bottom. I always burn my first batch anyway. My dad loves it because it means more cookies for him.
I ended up cutting the baking time down to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. It might even be better to cook them at 350°F instead, but I guess it depends on how thick your pan is. I used two kinds of baking sheets, one rimmed and one not, and the ones on the rimmed sheet did not turn out as dark.
Remove them from the oven and allow them to sit on the baking sheets for a few minutes to firm up before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Then you can stuff your face. Go ahead. You know you want to.