“I would really like to make some peanut butter cookies. What’s a good recipe?”
My siren call to Twitter one afternoon, after a morning spent stressing over job applications. A few kind followers stepped forward with their recommendations, and in the interests of keeping it in the blogging family, I opted for a recipe from Why I Am Not Skinny. Well, wouldn’t you with a blog title as good as that?! The recipe was in cups, but with a little bit of help from Delia I managed to convert it into measurements I am more familiar with.
225g flour – 75g butter – 115g white sugar – 90g brown sugar – 1 egg – 150g peanut butter - half a tsp baking powder – half a tsp salt – half a tsp vanilla*
The instructions are pretty simple: beat the butter and sugar together, add the egg and keep beating, add the peanut butter and vanilla and keep beating, sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until it all comes together. I found that I had the tiniest splash of milk to help it along. Break off chunks of the mixture, roll into little balls and place on a lined baking tray. Press down gently with the back of a fork and bake for around 10-15 minutes.
Due to the size of my oven I had to bake mine in three separate batches, but in retrospect this turned out to be a good thing. The oven I used likes to burn things, so the first batch came out completely black on the bottom.
These are all the burnt bits after I managed to cut them off with a bread knife. There was an awful moment while I was doing this when the incessant wind rattling the windows and doors convinced my paranoid mind that there was an intruder in the house, and I began to wonder what more pathetic situation a person could be found in than attempting to dissect a burnt biscuit. Thankfully there was nobody in the house, but the cookies chose to collapse after being deprived of their burnt bottoms. In a moment of genius, my sister and I decided to break them into small pieces and save them for sprinkling on ice cream. Now that is
absolute gluttony good thinking.
While we’re talking about horrendous things happening to me while baking these cookies, I have another story. After measuring out the vanilla extract, I found myself tempted to lick the residue off the spoon before I put it to be washed. Mmm, vanilla was my thought process. What I had forgotten was that I had just used the same spoon to measure out the baking powder moments before. So the flavour was less mmm vanilla than it was a slight hint of vanilla overpowered by baking powder disgustingness. I ran to the sink to drink some water, and the water that came out of the tap was so bloody cold that I thought my mouth was going to seize up.
It’s a good job the finished product tastes good enough to be worth it. The second batch were probably the best, and they came out a lovely un-burnt golden colour, smelling delicious and, most importantly, tasting fantastic. I used Whole Earth Organic crunchy peanut butter for these, which means there are delicious chunks of slightly salty peanut scattered throughout the biscuit. If I had planned in advance, I would have probably bought a cheaper brand of peanut butter in order to use half a jar in one recipe, but I made these on a whim and that was the only brand I had in the house.
Never one to be consistent, here are a comparison of the second and third batches. They barely even look like the same sort of biscuit, let alone as though they came from the same recipe. The lighter ones remain the winners, but let’s be honest, they all taste good: it’s a cookie made out of peanut butter, for crying out loud.
* Whether or not I converted these measurements correctly is up for debate. The mixture came together as it was supposed to, so I suspect they’re somewhere about right.