Saturday, May 17, 2008
This is a new book for me and I've been itching to do something, anything from this cookbook. I thought I would start out easy and do one of Dorie Greenspan's recipes that would be very familiar to me. I have my own peanut butter cookie recipe and figured I'd be able to critique the difference. Dorie Greenspan wins the throwdown. Her recipe for this classic favourite is wonderful. The only variation I made was with the peanut addition - I didn't use salted peanuts and the recipe didn't feel at all like it missed anything. This is what Dorie's cookies look like -albeit food styled by a professional but aren't they gorgeous.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter - crunchy or smooth (not natural)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts (I used unsalted)
Approximately 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats
3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy.
4. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute.
5. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more
6. Add the eggs one at a time beating for 1 minute after each addition.
7. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear.
8. Mix in the chopped peanuts. You'll have a soft, pliable (mushable, actually) dough.
9. Pour the 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl.
10. 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.
11 Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them.
12. Dip the tines of a fork in the sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction - you should have a flattened round of dough with crisscross indentations.
13. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly coloured and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Cool to room temperature.
14. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.
This was my version.
Note to self:
1. Following a recipe is sometimes the right thing to do - duh
2. I should have paid attention to the "leave 2 inches between cookies" because when I put them too close they ended up as square ass cookies instead of round cookies. Patience is a virtue.
3. When the recipe said to turn them in mid bake, I did that the first batch but not the second. The first batch was superior to the second.
4. If when you take them out of the oven they appear a little underdone - don't worry - they keep on baking for a bit and become just right.
** Not wanting to keep too many of these around the house, I gave a care package to my gardener and his helper. They gave these cookies a huge thumbs up and I think my grass is going to get cut twice a week from now on.