Friday, March 14, 2008

THE VERY BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES EVER!

This morning I awoke at 4am with gobs of mucous coming out my nose and down my throat. Luckily, I'm stocked up on tissues because I went through quite a bit in about a half hour and then gave up trying to sleep. There's not much to do before 5am, so I searched the internet for peanut butter cookie recipes. On the Cooking Light blog, there are tons of peanut butter cookie recipes, and notes to help you decide. I halved this recipe and changed it up a bit. These cookies are deadly delicious. The only mistake I made was to add the peanut butter cups too soon. The mixer chopped them up too much. So I made a note on the recipe directions to fold them in last. Other than that, this recipe is a keeper. These cookies are crispy on the edges but soft and somewhat delicately chewy on the inside, not crumby at all. They have a very peanut-buttery taste, and the cream de cocoa and cinnamon really are perfect flavorings. My landscaper declared these the best cookies he ever put into his mouth. His helper said they were "the bomb." For me, these were the absolute best peanut butter cookies I have ever eaten; and I am rating them 10 out of 10!

Lalee's Peanut Butter Cookies, Adapted
INGREDIENTS: 1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar (you can really cut it to 1/2 cup if you want, these were sweet)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg, 1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. cream de cocoa (if you don't have it, substitute 1 Tbsp. strong coffee)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour (Pillsbury)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. cinnamon (I used McCormick Saigon Cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts (the mixer will chop them)
8 (.55 oz.) (or 4.4 oz. total) Reese's peanut butter cups, or equivalent yield, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS: In bowl of stand mixer, using paddle attachment, briefly combine first 3 ingredients. Don't get it smooth. Just mix it for about 30 seconds to combine. Ingredients can be a little cold, it doesn't matter. Add eggs, cream de docoa and vanilla and mix again on low for about a minute. Again, don't get it totally smooth and don't beat it on medium or high. Add the flour, peanuts, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix on low for another minute or so till combined. Scrape down sides as necessary. Carefully fold in chips and peanut butter cups. Mixture will be just very very slightly sticky, and it will be soft. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, or overnight if preferred.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop about 2 Tbsp. dough onto cookie sheets, leaving 3-4 inches between cookies. Dough should be like a golf ball, but don't make it smooth. See photo below.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or till edges start to brown. I like to test mine like a cake, with a toothpick inserted about 1" from center. When it returns with just a few crumbs, they are done. These cookies are really good when just slightly underbaked. Here they are when they first went into the oven:
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. They are very soft when they first come out of the oven, so don't try to move them until they've cooled 5 minutes. Here they are on the rack, cooled:
You'll get 14 3-1/2" cookies from this recipe. My nose is still dripping and my throat is sore, but I had a happy day after eating two of these. Now I'm off to spread the love in the neighborhood with these dandies.

3 comments:

Anna said...

Oh no! Now I can't decide whether to make these or Baking Blonde's.

Also, I am sorry you had to wake up so early :(. Hopefully you'll get some sleep tonight.

Anna said...

Have fun at your reunion. I'm going to give these a try! I'll put them to the test and see if they are as good as the Criss-Cross/Teri's Kitchen cookies (same recipe -- that's where I found it too!). All I did was add peanut butter chips.

Cricket said...

I must make these! They sound amazing. If only I had a batch in front of me right now.
Thank you Judy, And thanks for the Ad. :)