Friday, January 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

If you're anything like The Sisters Fierce, you grew up with the belief that mixed nuts are a very important part of life.  "It's not a party unless there are mixed nuts!"  (Ten points to the first commenter who knows who said this, and Dad you can't play.)  Canisters upon canisters tucked away in cabinets, those little tins of scrumptious-ness were always on hand - cashews, macadamia, brazil nuts, almonds, maybe some hazelnuts - or heaven help us some pecans! - if you're feeling extra fancy.  And always, always always always, peanuts.  The lowly peanut, always the last remaining little nuts in those salty mixes.  They always get picked over, left alone after the more attractive nuts get gobbled up.

Be silent no more, little peanut!  You're the star of the Mixed Nut Brigade once we get you into these cookies.  Containing a double dose of peanutty punch, these cookies are heavenly.  The batter? Delicious.  The aroma as they're baking in the oven?  Perfumes your entire one-bedroom-apartment.  (If you have a Real House the delicious scent may be confined to your kitchen.)  The taste?  Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.  In short, these cookies make the peanut shine.
The best way to make these cookies is to enjoy a federal holiday, watching hours of HGTV reruns, and experimenting with cookie sizes with a girlfriend who happens to be an excellent Crosshatcher Of Peanut Butter Cookies.  If you can't fit all that into your schedule ... sucks to be you, I guess.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted ever-so-slightly from the America's Test Kitchen Monster Cookbook

2 ½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. extra-crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. roasted salted peanuts, finely ground in food processor

Adjust oven rack to low-center position. Heat oven to 350°. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl, set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add ground peanuts, stir gently until just incorporated.  Resist the temptation to eat the batter by the spoonful.

Working with generous 2 tablespoons each time, roll dough into 2 inch balls. Place balls on parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 ½ inches between each ball. Press each dough ball twice with dinner fork dipped in cold water to make crosshatched design. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along the edges (but not on top--they will look slightly underbaked) about 10-12 minutes.

1 comment:

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