Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

If you don't want to run to the kitchen to start making irresistible desserts, you should stop reading. Honestly, I consider that I've given you fair warning, and if you make these cookies and complain about how wonderful they are and how your defenses are immune to their pull, please don't say that I didn't warn you.

There are few cookies that rise to the level of the classic chocolate chip in my esteem. These do. Sometimes, they are even better. I guess it's not shocking, the combination of peanut butter and milk chocolate has always been a favorite. These will satisfy on many different levels- salty and sweet, ooey-gooey and crispy, sandy crust, melty chocolate. Yea, they are beyond a triple threat. Obviously you're feeling pretty confident about yourself if you haven't clicked away at this point, so we might as well dive in. I am going to do this a little differently just to see how it feels, I'm going to list the recipe first, then go through my steps. If you've been playing along, you know that I bought the Baked cookbook in a moment of weakness after buying two other cookbooks that month. Of those three, it's the best. It might be the best baking cookbook that I own. Wow. Yea, I said it.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

From Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Costco's organic which does not have stabilizers or sugar)

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla (I use 2)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour

8 ounces milk chocolate, broken into chunks

First things first. Butter and sugars into the mixer. Cream until light and fluffy for a few minutes.Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated each time. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. It's considered appropriate to sift together the dry ingredients to ensure that the salt and baking soda are evenly distributed. It works best to me to add them to the wet ingredients before adding the flour. I hate dirtying another bowl if you don't have to. Proceed with either method you like.
After incorporating the dry ingredients, stir in the chocolate. I had a bar and a half bag of chips, so I used both. Either way will be good. The authors caution not to swap semi-sweet for the milk chocolate, and they are absolutely right. It won't be the same, trust them.Roll into teaspoon size balls and roll in sugar. Place 2-3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.Bake at 360 for 10-12 minutes. Cool immediately on racks. Don't cool on the baking sheet as the chocolate might burn.Enjoy. Again and again.

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