Monday, 4 May 2009

Wanted: the perfect peanut butter biscuit

It's quite strange: I hate peanuts, can tolerate but don't love peanut butter, but LOVE peanut butter biscuits. I discovered this when I made Heather's Santa surprise cookies for my colleagues over Christmas. It was love at first bite. I can't get enough of those cookies (even though I prefer to omit the Snickers surprise). The problem? I'm not a patient baker. This is because I often bake at night, and I don't have two hours to let the dough cool in the fridge. Therefore, ever since, I have tried to find an equally good recipe. I tried one from a cookbook I received as a gift and it was honestly the worst recipe ever. The cookies turned out like salty rocks. Then I tried Dorie Greenspan's cookies. They were good, but didn't have the soft centre that Heather's cookies have. So the floor is open to you: what is your favourite peanut butter biscuit recipe?


Dorie Greenspan: Peanut Butter Criss Crosses
makes about 40 cookies.

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
pinch of nutmeg (I threw in some cinnamon too)

Wet Ingredients:
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup of peanut butter (I used Smooth)
1 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of salted peanuts (I left these out.)

Extra 1/2 cup of sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or cooking spray. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Using a handmixer, beat the butter on medium speed in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate the sugar and eggs.

On low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappears.

Mix in chopped peanuts if you are using them.

our the 1/2 cup of rolling sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. (My hands are rather warm, so the dough got really sticky when I was making cookie dough balls so cooling my dough in the fridge for a little bit helped to make the dough easier to work with. ) Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them.

To make the criss crosses, use a fork and press down on top of the sugar crusted cookies.
Bake for about 12 minutes. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and somewhat soft. Mine puffed up alot, but then deflated once cooled. Let the cookies sit on a wire rack to cool down.

Dorie Greenspan pb cookies

pretty but disappointing peanut butter biscuits


Pearl said...

i once read this recipe that said 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and bake at 350 for 10 minutes? i can't recall the time, though, but i think that recipe is everywhere. i didn't care much for the texture (it seemed crumbly), but someone said that it was because i moved them before they cooled. hm, but that's the only pb cookie i've ever tried.

Vanessa said...

Thanks hon - will try it and add it to my peanut butter repertoire!