Saturday, May 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

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. StumbleUpon


Bellini Valli said...

I LOVE peanut butter I am in craving motion and no peanut butter in sight:D

Pilar - Lechuza said...

Love your blog!! And these cookies are so delicious!!
I'll be coming around more often to see what's cooking...
Regards from Spain

Elle said...

Please come and make those for me!!!!! I want cookies, but have zero "get up and go" today.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I LOVE the look of these, they're so yummy looking.
This combination of flavours just can't be bad.

Ben said...

They are call instructions for a reason. Hehehehe. They might be square cookies, but they still look delicious. I need to make some cookies :-\

Kevin said...

Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies and yours look great!

Ruth Elkin said...

This is a book that I see loads of people blogging about! I keep moving it up my list of "what cook book to get next" each time I do.... I should have it in no time!

Great looking cookies! I'm sure they've been devoured by now!

Jenny said...

Peanut butter cookies have got to be one of the greatest cookies with a tall glass of milk! These look fantastic!

That Girl said...

This is exactly what mine look like. But at least they taste good.

Pixie said...

:) Yea, I should just offer some delicious bakes to my landlord so he'll allow me to start planting in the little patch downstairs in the parking area.

I so want that book. grrr!

Grace said...

if you ask me (not that anyone did), as long as a peanut butter cookie has the criss-cross pattern on the top, it can be called a peanut butter cookie. even if it's square. :)

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - these look great!

Katie said...

Those look so delicious and tender! Yum!

noble pig said...

I love how they are all spread apart and touching each other. They look perfect.

Vicarious Foodie said...

I haven't had peanut butter cookies in forever. These look awesome.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those look delicious. I love peanut butter in all shapes and forms, and square or not, I'd happily eat more than my fair share.

Lori Lynn said...

"Following the recipe..." this is where I struggle, so I rarely bake 'cause in baking it is crucial! I say, "oh, I am sure I can improve upon this." NOT!!

I appreciate your "Note to Self" section.

kittie said...

I think baking is pretty much the only time I would follow a recipe - even then I've been known to stray... oh well!

These do look gorgeous!

Rosie said...

I just love peanut butter and even better in cookies!! They look great :D

Rosie x

Lori said...

Okay so now you need to join Tuesdays with Dorie!