Peanut Butter Cookies

Good grief. 
It's been over a month?  Is anyone even still out there?  If I've lost you in my absence, I clearly deserve it. 

Alright, alright, back to why I came here in the first place.

Guys, we made THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES yesterday.

Here's the recipe:
(Thanks to Cooks Illustrated, as usual)

Super-Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.   Published March 1, 1998. 
Bringing the butter, peanut butter, and eggs to room temperature makes it easier to blend the ingredients. Be sure to grind the peanuts, since whole, and even chopped peanuts tend to slip out of the dough. If using unsalted butter, increase salt to 1 teaspoon. Keep finished cookies refrigerated in airtight container. To restore just-baked chewiness, wrap a cookie in a sheet of paper towel and microwave for approximately 25 seconds. Cool before serving.

Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, 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.

  3. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time (see illustration 1 below), roll into large balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Following illustration 2, press each dough ball with back of dinner fork dipped in cold water to make crisscross design. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not top, 10 to 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 7 days.  
  4.  
    Tips for excellent cookies (from me):
    1. Set out butter from fridge as soon as you start, to soften it.
    2. Creaming butter before adding sugars is important.
    3. Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter is recommended, as well as Planters lightly salted Dry Roasted peanuts.
    4. Cookies will not look done when you pull them out, they will finish cooking on the sheet when cooling, and on the wire rack.  
     
    Seriously, these are really really good.

    Cook's Illustrated 2009 Hardbound Annual

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