Exploring the New — Peanut Butter Cookies

Wednesday is my day which breaks up the week.  Instead of being on campus or at home writing, I spend my morning downtown at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Research Center.  I am a part of a fellows seminar there focusing on a brand new text which had not even come out when we first began meeting back in August,  Clinical Ethics in Pediatrics (it is now available in paperback or for Kindle).  This is a great group of people who meet weekly, and I am really fortunate to get to work with them.

The seminar takes up much of my morning, but I generally choose to schedule some other appointments or meetings on Wednesdays knowing that I will already be running around and certainly not on campus.  This week I followed the seminar with a hair appointment and then a nice walk to Trader Joe’s for a few things and a nice walk home in the chilly afternoon air.  One of the reasons I hit up TJs was that we were out of desserts.  Yup, in this house we do like something sweet to finish off our dinners from time to time.  And just when there is absolutely nothing of the goodie sort in the house, that precisely when I will want something. In an attempt to thwart that, I figured I would find something a bit sweet, but nothing was calling to me.  Also, I am pretty conscious of reading labels and get wary of things with too many ingredients.  I am trying to do more cooking so that I know exactly what goes into what we are eating.

I am not really a big fan of cookies.  There are only a few types that I like, but I figured that I probably had most of the ingredients for peanut butter cookies already in the house.  So I quickly googled a recipe, picked up a new thing of PB, and walked home.

Indeed we certainly had the ingredients so it was time to see what I could pull off before Partner got home.

I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen with a few modifications.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen – adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chunky peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For sprinkling: 1/4 cup sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. 
Add the sugars and beat until smooth. 
Add the egg and mix well. 
Add the milk and the vanilla extract. 
Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and beat thoroughly.  
Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent, but do not overly flatten cookies. 
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

I am not 100% pleased with how they turned out.  Initially they were excellent, but overnight, even in a sealed container, they lost some of their chewiness in the center.  I baked this batch for 12 minutes, but I think next time I may take it down to 10.  For the first sheet, I only did 10 minutes, but when I tried to remove them from the cookie sheet to transfer them to the cooling rack the first one nearly fell apart, so back into the oven for another two minutes they went.  The next time I will drop it to 10 minutes and leave them on the sheet for an extra minute before trying to place them on the cooling rack. 

About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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