January 30, 2011
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love peanut butter in all its forms. On sandwiches, as ice cream, in cookies. I love peanut butter cookies, love their chewy sweet saltiness.
Unfortunately, my family doesn't. And, since I make cookies for my kids and not myself (I don't need to eat an entire batch of cookies), peanut butter cookies don't get made around here.
But the other day, rummaging around in my cupboard, I found an old jar of natural peanut butter and was struck with an intense desire to make peanut butter cookies. Besides, I had to do something with the jar. It was too old to eat on sandwiches, and my family hates natural peanut butter on sandwiches, anyway. (We're Jif extra-crunchy people.)
I figured I could seduce my family into the peanut-butter-cookie-loving camp by making peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies. Two great tastes and all that. We all love Reese's peanut butter cups.
I tooled around on the web and decided on this recipe. (Actually, I didn't tool around very hard, since this was the second recipe that came up when I googled "peanut butter chocolate chip cookies") The recipe was easy, which I liked, but what particularly intrigued me was the addition of two tablespoons of corn syrup to the dough. I suspected that the corn syrup helped keep the cookies chewy, since corn syrup is a moisture-retainer in baked goods. I was looking for a chewy cookie, because my kids definitely lean in the soft-baked direction. (Mr. Coffee prefers a darker, harder, crunchier, more caramelized cookie, but of course, once we had kids, what he prefers became irrelevant around here.)
So I made these cookies. And they came out pretty good. The kids loved them. Me, I didn't think they were peanut buttery enough, but perhaps that's why they were such a hit with the kids.
In the pic above, the cookies are from two different batches. The one on the left is from the first batch, the one the kids loved. The one on the right was from a second batch. In an effort to boost the peanut flavor, I added chopped peanuts to the top and baked them for a little longer, hoping to create some delicious caramelized toastiness. The peanuts on top ended up being a nice addition, but baking longer didn't really work with these cookies, because the corn syrup keeps them from getting a crisp, caramelized consistency. So they end up tasting slightly toasty but weirdly chewy. Underbaking for a soft cookie is the better way to go.
This recipe is definitely a winner with the soft-baked crowd, if that's who you're baking for. They're easy, and you'll be popular. They were devoured at my book group, too.