Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are more American to me than apple pie. I don't really have a lot of respect for apple pie as I think it has a very strange texture. I like the cinnamon, I like the crust, but I don't like the strangeness of the cooked apples. Maybe I've only ever tried bad apple pie. But anyway, peanut butter cookies are good. They're especially good fresh out of the oven.

I honestly think you can't go wrong with peanut butter cookies. I've never had a bad peanut butter cookie. As long as they're sweet and salty and a little soft in the middle, they're quite delicious. But I have to say, I think I found the best recipe for peanut butter cookies.

I again went to The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson (I highly recommend this book). The recipe is a classic- no extra peanuts or panache, just a straight-up peanut butter cookie. And it tastes awesome fresh off the baking sheet. So, without further ado, here is the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies
from The Grand Central Baking Book

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

15 oz all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 oz granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
7 oz packed light brown sugar
9.5 oz peanut butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and cream for another minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl several times during this process.

While the mixer is running, crack the eggs into a liquid measuring cup and add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, then slowly pour in the eggs, letting them fall in one at a time and incorporating the first egg completely before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl several times during this process.

Gradually add the dry ingredients (in 2 to 3 additions) with the mixer on low speed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once, to fully incorporate the butter and sugar.

Scoop the dough into balls the size of ping pong balls. Arrange the dough on the prepared baking sheets, 6 per pan. Lightly dust with granulated sugar before pressing with a fork to make a crisscross pattern and press the cookies into 1/2-inch thick disks.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. The tops of the fork marks and the edges of the cookies should be brown and crisp and the middle should be soft. Let the cookies cool on the sheets.


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