Thursday, June 18, 2009
The great food search is a personal one, and the pot at the end of the rainbow is filled with something different for most of us: the perfect chocolate chip cookie, the perfect brownie, the perfect marinara or maybe the perfect homemade sandwich bread. For me it's the search for the perfect peanut butter cookie.
And I think I may have found it.
I am and always will be a peanut-butter junkie. A junkie to the point that I can't have it in the house or I consume it in a ridiculously quick period of time. My husband shares this affinity - PB&J sandwiches are one of his favorite snacks, and Cash is already attuned to this love. He will eat every piece of a peanut-butter sandwich if one is offered to him - something he doesn't do with every food he's given.
When I was a kid I loved to get cookies at the mall. Some kids want ice cream, and some kids want to hit the candy store, but I knew a good thing when I smelled it. Those cookies smelled fabulous, and I swear they piped that fresh-baked cookie smell into the floor of every store it was so consuming. (Come to think of it I think they still do this, though I have to admit my trips to the mall are much more few and far between as an adult than when I was a teenager.)
My perfect peanut-butter cookie is shatteringly crisp on the edges, with a slight give in the center when you bite into it. It doesn't have anything extra, like pieces of crushed peanuts (but perhaps a few miniature Reese's Pieces thrown in wouldn't exactly hurt it.) It has to be big enough to fill my hand, and thick enough that one or two will do at a time, but it shouldn't fall apart in my hand, and it shouldn't leave a slick feeling on my tongue. This recipe is everything it should be and nothing it shouldn't.
I've made these twice to rave reviews; the first time as little cookies for a party and the second time as big, snack-size, kid-approved cookies to keep at home. (I used my cookie-dough scoop to get a uniform shape. They were the perfect size.) You've gotta make these. You just gotta. They leave the mall cookies in. the. dust. You will not be disappointed.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat shortening, butter, sugars and peanut butter until smooth, about three minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and mix well. Fold in oats, stirring until just combined.
4. Drop by teaspoon-fulls onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are just brown on the edges. Cool for a couple of minutes on sheets before moving to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.