I’m pretty sure these are my favourite thing I’ve baked so far this year. It’s been ages since I’ve eaten peanut butter. When I was younger it was always my first choice for spreading on toast and in sandwiches, because it was the best – crunchy obviously, cos who wants smooth? (I was going to call peanut butter a condiment, but it didn’t feel right, so I Googled it, and on Google’s predictions for what I was typing, under “is peanut butter a condiment?” came “is peanut butter a constipating food?” – in case you’re wondering, I didn’t click to find out, but if you want to know some answers to questions, watch this). These cookies filled my kitchen with the joyous smell of peanut butter, which alone would make them my favourite thing so far this year, but they also taste amazing too, so double points to you peanut butter cookies. You win.
This recipe comes with a test of willpower though. I got up early in the morning and made the dough for these because you have to refrigerate them for FOUR HOURS before you bake them. A lot of the time I was just thinking to myself “it probably doesn’t make any difference, right?” – but I stuck it out just in case. I will tell you now, that waiting those four hours, whilst tedious, is totally worth it, because never before have I had cookies turn out looking like they came from a supermarket or a magic bakery. But they do – they’re all round and perfect and now I’m wondering if I should refrigerate ALL cookie dough for 4 hours. The recipe also claims to make 24 cookies, or 8 large ones. I did a half batch, and it made 12. My cookies were about 10-12cm in diameter, which I can only assume would mean that if I’d made “large” ones, they would be the size of my head. No joke.
Next week is the ultimate challenge of the CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CREPE CAKE.
As a final note, by the time this posts I will be in Southwold, drinking beer (or possibly not because I’ve queued this to post at 9:45am) and it will be lovely. I hope you are having as lovely a Sunday as future me is definitely having.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (from The Outsider Tart’s ‘Baked in America’)
11oz plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
8oz unsalted butter
8oz smooth peanut butter (chunky is okay too)
8oz caster sugar
8oz dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4oz roasted peanuts, chopped or not
caster sugar, for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarb and salt. In an electric mixer (or just another bowl), cream the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla, and beat until smooth.
3. On a low speed, add a quarter of the flour at a time, mixing only until just combined. You can either add the nuts on a low speed, or fold them in with a rubber spatula.
4. Using a large ice cream scoop, place 6 scoops of dough on each baking sheet, leaving at least 5cm between cookies. Each ball will be approx 4-5oz. Using a fork, press the dough to flatten slightly, then make a cross-hatch pattern by turning the fork 90 degrees and pressing down again.
5. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Refrigerate for about 4 hours before baking, this will make them puffier as opposed to flatter. Bake the cookies for 12-15mins until they are golden around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 mins before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.