Saturday, August 16, 2008

Martha's Peanut Butter Cookies

From time to time I like to flip back through some of Martha's older cookbooks, some of the less hefty ones that are almost more like magazines that have really dedicated themselves to going to the gym. I'm sure they were once issued in hardback, but now they're more widely available in paperback, which is how I have them. These are mostly "Best of Martha Stewart Living" compilations, and include "What to Have for Dinner" and "Favorite Comfort Food."

In looking for a cookie recipe to make that wasn't the standard Toll House that we normally make around here, I found Martha's Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Unlike several other cookie recipes I'd been eyeing, this one required no 30+ minutes of chilling dough. I was on a deadline this day, and didn't have time to chill dough.

This recipe turned out a tender, delicately peanut butter flavored cookie. I often find peanut butter cookies too heavy on the peanut butter flavor for me (I know it sounds odd, but I prefer a more subtle flavor than a cookie that tastes like it's peanut butter with a couple of token ingredients added to keep it from being all peanut butter).

These are fast and easy, and the recipe only makes two dozen cookies, which is nice because then they don't hang around until you're sick of them. I did feel that I needed to add an additional 1/4 cup of flour to the dough; it was just a shade sticky. My kids loved helping because they could make balls of dough and play with it, then smash them flat with a fork.

Peanut Butter Cookies
from Martha Stewart's Favorite Comfort Foods
makes 2 dozen

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (crunchy may also be used)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dry-roasted, salted peanuts, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until well combined.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift 1 cup flour and baking soda together (full disclosure: I did not sift--I just added them both to the mixer and hoped for the best). Add to the butter mixture, and beat to combine. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that you can't roll it into balls. If this is the case, add the additional 1/4 cup flour and mix it in.

Scoop the dough out in tablespoons and shape into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Dip the tines of a fork in warm water and press the dough balls down lightly with the back of the fork to flatten slightly (dip the fork back in the water for each dough ball, to prevent sticking). Sprinkle with a few peanuts, if desired.

Place sheets in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden, rotating sheets between the shelves halfway through baking. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Picture from The Modern Apron

No comments: