I know I promised some healthy recipes from America's Test Kitchen, but first a cookie recipe from the regular edition of Cook's Illustrated. These cookies are amazing. I will never have to look for another peanut butter cookie recipe, ever. But, what else would I expect from a Cook's Illustrated recipe? I don't know if I've yet discussed the mini-obsession I had with these magazines awhile back. Zach and I went to an estate sale with my grandparents last Thanksgiving weekend. We found a stack of old Cook's Illustrated magazines for sale and bought them all (30-40 issues) for 5 dollars. FIVE DOLLARS! A year's subscription is almost $30 and that's for 6 issues. We hit the jackpot! We had a few already, some of the free editions they send you when you ask for a trial issue, and one of Zach's co-workers had given him a few as well. So, we knew how great and amazingly reliable the recipes are.
Soon after returning home from our holiday trip I started searching for other back issues on eBay. I figured I'd see if I could get a few cheaply to round out/fill in some gaps in what we had already bought, then we'd have a nice collection. I ended up obsessively searching for magazines until I had them all. For the record, early editions are the hardest to find. Not Issue One since they must have put that back into circulation at some point, or used that as their 'trial copy' for a bit since there are tons of Issue One's out there (try an eBay search, you'll see) but in the range of 5-20ish, those are the tough ones to find. Zach has gotten me a subscription for my birthday the past two years, so I now have the complete collection, 1-110 and counting!
But, back to the recipe. I made these to send off to a soldier for Operation Baking GALS last October. I saw Beantown Baker post about it on her blog, and I had a few cookie recipes that I couldn't stop thinking about. I had spent hours recently flipping through each one of my 110 Cook's Illustrated to create my '30 while I'm 30' list. So, while peanut butter cookies didn't make the cut, if they had, this recipe would be the only one I would need. The only changes I made were to use smooth peanut butter and omit the ground peanuts. I love peanut butter flavor, but not actual peanuts. I know, I'm weird like that; though, peanuts are starting to grow on me.
Peanut Butter Cookies
from Cook's Illustrated, March/April 1998
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter use 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 pound butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts, ground in food processor to resemble bread crumbs (I omitted.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Using your electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix gently until just incorporated.
- Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough at a time. Roll into large balls and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Fill a glass with cold water. Use a fork to make the criss-cross pattern in the top of the cookie, dipping the fork into the cold water between pressings.
- Bake cookies until they are slightly brown on the edges and puffed up, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Give the cookies about 5 minutes to set on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.