Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cookie #4 - Peanut Butter

In high school, our cafeteria had the best peanut butter cookies ever. They were extra peanut buttery and crumbly. They stuck to your palate making your mouth beg for cold milk.

A few years ago, my best friend gifted me with THE recipe (she has school district connections). Of course, the recipe makes about a hundred cookies. So, after quartering the recipe I tried them out. They just weren't the same. I tried and tried again, but I could never replicate the awesomeness..

So, when I knew that peanut butter cookies would be included in week one of this project, I was eager to retry the recipe.

That was until I lost it.

Somewhere between a wedding, three moves and two babies, my beloved cookie recipe disappeared. So, I consulted my trusty Joy of Cooking. While not the creamy, crumbly cookie of my high school days, they still came out pretty darn good. They do need more peanut butter, though. I think perhaps next time I'll increase the peanut butter and decrease the actual butter. I realize now, after researching various peanut butter cookie recipes that the cookie of my youth probably had little to no flour at all. I've come across a few recipes like that and perhaps I'll have to try one out in the course of this experiment.

This was also my first cookie error of the experiment. I know better and I ignored my baker's instinct.

My kitchen was insufferably hot the day I made these and I neglected to chill the dough before baking. This, of course, caused my cookies to spread to about the size of my hand making the famous crisscross marks almost nonexistent. They were still pretty tasty.

Peanut Butter Cookies (The Joy of Cooking, 1984 edition)

1/2 cup butter or shortening (I used butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 1 1/2 cups flour (sift before measuring)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat butter until soft. Add sugars gradually and beat until creamy. Beat in egg, salt, baking soda, and vanilla.
Gradually add flour.
Roll the dough into small balls and placed hem on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Press flat with a fork to form cross hatches. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they just start to change color.

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