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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An American's love for peanut butter ( peanut butter chocolate cookie )

As American as peanut butter cookie
When I think of American snacks, 2 things come to mind : peanut butter and cookie. I used to know an American friend who ate homemade peanut butter, neat. It had been many years but I simply cannot forget this incident.

Recently with things going as they are, I am beginning to miss the good old friends who have come and gone. Yet ,they leave a part of themselves behind: eating habits, jokes or anecdotes ( sigh ) before heading elsewhere for more adventures. I have no idea which corner of the world Camille is right now, but I hope she can still recall the strange but wonderful times she spent with a group of very straight-laced friends in tiny Singapore.

Back to peanut butter. What's not to like ? It is both sweet and savoury, perfect for someone who straddles between taste zones and agonizes over choices. Peanut butter is choice free, even liberating. I can go on with peanut butter on toast for months on end. But since breakfast is a once a day thing, I have to make something so that I can have my favourite spread anytime of the day. So here it is - a time insensitive snack - peanut butter and chocolate cookie, the chocolate being there for 'balance'. Life doesn't get better than this when you are in control !

 Soft and crumbly cookies
Makes about 40 cookies.

Butter mix :
140 g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup g peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry ingredients :
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Line two baking tray with parchment paper.

In the first bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes).

Beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract , beating to combine in between ingredients.

In a second bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour into to the peanut butter mixture and mix well. Do this in batches for even incorporation of flour and butter.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill dough for  about an hour or until firm. It makes handling easier. Let dough warm up a little if it gets too crackly.

Roll the batter into balls, about the length of 1 phalange of your thumb. Dip one side of the cookie in granulated sugar.

Transfer the cookies to the baking tray, sugared side up, placing about 5 cm  apart.

Use the tines to make crisscross patterns on the sugared surface of  the balls. The sugar gives crunch and is needed because the sugar content of the dough has been  tweaked downwards.

Chill the tray of cookies. You do not want to risk making peanut butter Frisbees with warm dough.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C.

Put the prepared cookies into the preheated oven. Now reduce the oven temperature to 180 C.

Bake the cookies for about 11-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. 

Remove cookies from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 min. Remove parchment and continue to let cool cookies.

Store cookies  at room temperature, in an airtight container. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 40 cookies or more, depending on the size of the dough balls.

Cookie autopsy :
The cookies turn out cracked, which I suspect is because the dough is a bit too cold to start baking with. Anyone the wiser may wish to explain the craters to me ?

( Adapted from joyofcooking )

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