Sunday, October 16, 2011

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

For some reason, after listening to me whine all day yesterday (I do NOT recommend kidney infections with migraines!), the boy mentioned he was in the mood to make peanut butter cookies. One of the blogs I followed had posted a peanut butter cookie recipe that had intrigued me just a week or two before, so I pointed him to that one (it seems even if I'm not well enough to cook and he's been stuck doing more than his fair share of cooking that I am at least well enough to find recipes and direct!). Shortly afterwards, we had some pretty amazing cookies. The salt may seem like a crazy amount, but it works. The blogger is also right, they do taste even better after they've fully cooled, so be patient! The original recommends natural peanut butter, but that's not what we had, so we just used what was there. I'm sure natural would be even better, but this was still excellent! Warning: this recipe makes a lot of cookies.

One year ago: Kung Pao Chicken

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies (from Orangette, originally Autumn Martin and Hot Cakes Confections)

240 grams (2 cups plus 1 tsp.) pastry flour
5 grams (1 tsp.) baking soda
12 grams (1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.) kosher salt (if you only have regular salt, use 1T)
275 grams (2 sticks plus 3.5 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 grams (about 1 ¼ cup, packed) dark brown sugar
170 grams (¾ cup plus 2.5 Tbsp.) sugar
2 large eggs
400 grams (1 ½ cup) natural salted creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
170 grams chopped milk chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the pastry flour, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (You can also do this by hand, with a sturdy spoon.)
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
5. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat on medium-low speed to blend.
6. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
7. Add the chocolate, and beat briefly on low speed, just until evenly incorporated.
8. Using an ice cream scoop – Orangette's has a capacity of about ¼ cup - scoop the batter onto the prepared sheet pan, taking care to leave plenty of space between cookies. (We also limited it to six cookies per pan; if you add more, they run together.)
9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and pale golden around the edges, but their tops have no color. (The cookies will not look fully baked, and this is important! The chewy texture of these cookies depends on it. They’re not nearly as good when baked until golden and crisp.)
10. Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan. They will firm up as they cool. (Also, they taste better when fully cooled. Promise.)

Repeat with remaining dough.

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