Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sweet Melissa Sundays Rewind: Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Posting 2 SMS recipes this week. My Bosc Pear and Blue Cheese savory muffins just came out of the oven and I will be posting about them later this evening. But in the meantime, I wanted to share a rewind recipe that I recently made....Melissa Murphy's Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies.
I have mentioned on the blog that cookies are my all time favorite sweet treat to make. I love that cookies are individual little packages of goodness (not like a big pie or cake). Peanut Butter is high on my list of cookies to eat....but it's low on my list to execute. Why? For some reason I can never get them right. These are such simple cookies in theory, but that simplicity eludes me. My past attempts resulted in cookies that are too hard, too crumbly, too soft or too dense and some having an unbalanced ratio of salty and sweet. Quite frankly I had given up on making successful peanut butter cookies. But after looking at Melissa's recipe, I decided to give them a shot.
I wish I could report these were a home run. I would say they were more like a base hit. I got on first...tried to steal second, but at the last moment dove back to safety of first base. The flavor of these cookies was great! The balance of salty and sweet was just right. But I will note one minor change to the recipe...I rolled the peanut butter balls of dough in sugar before stamping in the classic criss cross pattern on the top with the tines of a fork and baking them.
Where these cookies went wrong was in the baking time. These bake on a low heat...325 F. I was scared to death of overcooking them so at 8 minutes I was checking them every minute or so. I pulled them out around 9.5 with zero confidence they were done properly. Guess what? They weren't...Hubby went to test one out after about 10 minutes of being out of the oven....and the cookie fell apart. So I shoved them back in the oven (that had cooled down a bit at this point) and another 3.5 minutes took them out. They didn't crumble. They held their shape...at least initially. They were still quite delicate.
So...I think I've found a good base recipe but just need to work on the baking time. Hubby really likes peanut butter cookies so hopefully with a little patience and practice I will be able to knock these cookies out of the park! A little mix in of crushed up butterfinger or peanut cup might help. ;)
Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
by Melissa Murphy
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg which may or may not be optional :)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Before you start: Position a rack in the top and bottom thirds of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Beat in the egg.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is combined evenly.
4. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoons and roll into balls. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets, and press down slightly. Using a fork dipped in flour, press down on the cookies first one way and then the other to form an "X" pattern, creating the crosshatch effect. (The cookies should now measure approx. 2 inches in diameter.) Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Overbaking will cause these chewy cookies to become crunchy so try to avoid it.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, they can be frozen wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to 1 month. Do not unwrap before defrosting.