Friday, February 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies: More from Flour Cookbook

So far, I've only made two recipes from Joanne Chang's Flour Cookbook, but both have been a success. Not only are the flavors spot on and well-balanced, the texture comes out perfectly (something I thought was not possible with my crappy oven) and I really like how there's just the right amount of sweetness. Like Joanne, I grew up in a Taiwanese-American household where we were unaccustomed to having sweets / desserts. Many things that I've baked before have turned out to be too sweet for my parents' palates. I love how her recipes are just right; can't wait to make my way through her book as I've developed a bit of a sweet tooth lately. Plus, baking makes the house smell so good!

I chose to make the peanut butter cookies because the recipe was quite straightforward with really only one big step, plus the ingredients are all pantry staples and K. loves his peanut butter. They are great; quite substantial with a nice chewy firmness on the outside but quite light and crumbly on the inside with a good sweet and salty, rich and smooth peanut butter flavor.

Flour's Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:
  • Cream together 2 sticks of room temp butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 cup of light brown sugar in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes on medium
  • Add in two room temp eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla on medium and mix for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and make sure everything is well combined
  • Add 1 3/4 cups of chunky peanut butter (I like Whole Food's organic 365 brand) and beat over medium-low for another 2 minutes
  • In a separate bowl, sift together 2 2/3 cups of AP flour, 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of baking soda. Add slowly to the stand mixer over low speed until the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined
  • Remove the stand mixer bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight
  • Preheat oven to 350 with a rack in the center of the oven
  • Scoop and roll 1/4 cup balls of dough and place them on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. I was able to fit 12 cookies onto my baking sheet. Flatten them halfway with your palm and use a fork to draw an "x" on top
  • Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan once. Meanwhile, assemble 1 more sheet of 12 cookies, using up the remaining dough. When the first sheet is done, cookies should be light brown on the edges and still soft in the center. Let the sheet cool on top of a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then transfer onto the rack.

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