There can NEVER be too much peanut butter.

Yeah, those cookies I mentioned? Made ’em Monday night. It’s now Saturday (well, late Friday night…). Let’s just chalk up the lack of posting to me coming down with a case of God of War III (protip: It’s damn entertaining).

So, I’ve always been well-aware that the actual process of baking is far more about perfecting your craft than being artistic about it-recipe tweaks are fine, but once you’re comitted to baking something, follow your instructions closely, and your product will turn out well (barring crappy ovens, unforseen circumstances etc). Conceptually, really easy to grasp, in practice (for me), not so much.

A while back, Jess made cookies from the same recipe she handed me, and while they were good, they weren’t PEANUT BUTTER cookies (though apparently this recipe was meant to emulate good ol’ fashioned peanut butter cookies, but have a more subtle flavour, and emulate traditional drop cookies or somesuch-would’ve been helpful to know this before embarking on the journey). Sure, there was an element of the flavour that was peanut buttery, but it was kind of timid and probably would’ve flinched if you noticed it.

Peanut Butter is one of my favourite sweets in this world, be it in cookies, pared with chocolate, or eaten a la carte (gross, I know). That in mind, I decided I needed some cookies that really showcased this. With recipe in hand (dutifully scaled down by jess-baking school recipes seem to expect that I’m providing for a bakery or something, pfft), I began carefully electronically scaling ingredients with utter precision, down to the gram. I was utterly convinced this would be my shining hour as an amateur baker, producing top notch cookies I could happily charge for.

I began the mixing process (made easier by a KitchenAid stand mixer-it’s seriously helpful, albeit noisy. If they come knocking, I’ll happily shill for them), and preheated the oven. Things were going well. Batter mixed, I decided it was time for a taste test…and remembered my previous complaints about the lack of peanut butter in the cookies. Cursing under my breath, I did the only logical thing-add more peanut butter. A lot more peanut butter. Peanut butter to such a degree, that I probably tripled the initial amount, completely throwing the recipe out of wack. That said, it now tasted very peanut buttery, so I was content.

I then began the process of creating little balls of peanut butter, and depositing them on a baking sheet. I noticed how pliable and squishy they were, and was concerned, but was more focused on potential Future Cookies than anything as immediate as the consistency of my product. I also forgot to flatten them with a fork.

In minutes, I was aghast to discover that my cookies were beginning to resemble the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and with alarming alacrity, grabbed a discloth, got the things out of the oven and flattened them down somewhat (though they seemed to deflate-highly disconcerting). They also were starting to get really big. And taking a long time to bake, much longer than recipes usually call for. I noticed them browning, and gave up and took them out.

Not the most glorious batch of cookies ever, but they fulfilled the whole PEANUT BUTTER aspect pretty well. The bottoms were slightly crisp, and would’ve been burnt within another minute or so. Once cooled, the consistency was decent, albeit slightly overdone; I was concerned due to their spread, so I let them overbake.

This was mainly meant to be a test batch, though, as I’m intending to make some tweaks to it (and it shall also partially feature into a challenge I’m gearing towards-doing a blind taste test of various baked goods baked with regular all-purpose flour, and King Arthur flour that my aunt got me as a gift/souvenir from the states-Practically every book related to cooking that I have invariably mentions it as the defacto flour). If I meet with some success the next time I hit the baking battlefield, I’ll probably do a follow up to this-I’d like to leave you with more than a single photo of some large, malformed cookies.

This sends me in hunt of a more appropriate recipe though, as I clearly am wanting something as peanut buttery as possible, with a nice crumb, and an affinity for 2% milk-not too soft and crumbly, not too crisp. Now, I clearly have to Jeffrey Steingarten this project, and test out dozens of recipes, and try and come up with my own recipe that is a culmination of other good ones. Or something.

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8 Responses to “There can NEVER be too much peanut butter.”

  1. They spread because of the fat in the peanut butter. Fats and even too much sugar can cause undesireable spread and also make for inferior product, but we’ll see if we can’t still come up with something to satisfy your unholy love of peanut butter.

    • I know why it happened, I’m just mad that an uncompromising love of Peanut Butter (note the caps) can’t transcend such base limitations. Kinda defeats the idea that love conquers all.

  2. The best recipes for peanut butter cookies seem to call for startlingly little else in the way of ingredients. I have one that’s pleased your similarly peanut-butter-obssessed uncle in the passed & will forward it. They come out very peanut butter-y, though very dry — the better to go with a tall glass of milk, of course.

    — The Aforementioned Aunt

  3. keirensmith Says:

    What if you use a natural peanut butter (ie, one not filled with extra oil)? would that help (as well as having Aunt E’s recipe, of course).

  4. Ty Templeton Says:

    and was there still butter in your recipe or did you replace it with the pb? (not Dad, but your mum, can’t be bothered to sign out of WordPress everytime…)

  5. What if you try to make something akin to “Pirate Peanut Butter” cookies.

    Essentially take the old recipe and make a peanut butter sandwich icing for the middle. It will satisfy the need for peanut buttery goodness, and it is a great idea for another blog.

    Mayhaps to make it even better, make the outside cookie an oatmeal peanut butter hybrid cookie. That way, the oil from the pb doesn’t destroy the outside cookie, and it will stay crisp.

    Yay!

    I really want peanut butter cookies now. :S

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