Mini Throwdown: Peanut Butter Cookies (Part 1)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesThere’s only about 2 weeks left before I have to enter my cookies into the fair. For the most part, I think I’ve got my recipes figured out. (For the cookies at least. I’ve still got a long way to go for cupcakes. And a whole extra week to work on them.) I’ve used my recipe for the Molasses category time and time again, and I absolutely love it. As for Oatmeal? I’m going with the one I took to work that had everyone stopping me all night to rave about them. That only leaves Peanut Butter to narrow down. I’ve got a recipe that I like, that I could use in a pinch, but nothing that I absolutely LOVE. Time to start testing some alternatives. Time to have my own little version of a Throwdown!

First up—Baked's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love the chocolate/peanut butter combination so I thought these would be great! And easy to bake up on a whim because I already have all the ingredients on hand! Or not. The side note on the recipe says to use only milk chocolate, not semi-sweet. After digging through the nearly 10 pounds of chocolate chips I have stashed in the pantry, I realized I had only semi-sweet. Not a single milk chocolate chip in sight. *sigh* Story of my life. With a grocery store run behind me, I started baking. I had a good feeling about these. These could be the one!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesIn the moments before pulling them out of the oven, I had the vision of beautiful, thick, perfect peanut butter cookies, studded with delicious gooey chocolate chips. Very reminiscent of my chocolate chip cookies that brought home a blue ribbon last year. What I pulled out? Not quite what I pictured. They were studded with gooey chocolate chips alright. But they looked more like the chocolate cookies my brother used to bake that we affectionately called “cow pies” because they spread to an almost wafer thin dark brown puddle barely clinging to the peanut butter chips he used to throw in. While mine weren’t quite that flat (or as dark), they weren’t at all what I had imagined. Or even how many I thought I’d be making! In the perfect Baked world, I would be pulling out 2 dozen of these cookies from the oven. In my world? Try close to 40! I had enough to share with both my coworkers AND Boyfriend’s. (Sort of. More on that in a second.) But appearance isn’t everything—the taste is what matters. Would they be fair worthy? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, they were good. Just not that good. Not the "OMG These are amazing" good. A bit chewy.. but not completely the good kind. (There was a bit of an "al dente" bite to them..) But good enough for me to eat so many of my half of the batch, that I didn’t actually have enough to bring to work to share… But not good enough that I felt comfortable entering them in the fair. Oh well.. Back to the drawing board.

Stay tuned for the Throwdown competitor—David Lebovitz’s Peanut Butter Cookies!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Bakingby Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Makes about 3 dozen

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces milk chocolate, chips or coarsely chopped

1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
3. Add half the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight. Let come to room temperature before baking.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
5. Using a cookie scoop or a rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Using the palm of your hand, press the cookie down slightly, forming a tall disk shape. Don’t press flat.
6. Sprinkle tops of cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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sarahe said...

these sounds really yummy! i am lusting after the baked cookbook right now...if you're still looking for the perfect peanut butter cookie, i have a peanut butter cookie recipe w/peanut butter frosting that people go crazy for! you can add a chocolate drizzle on the top, but i leave them pure peanut butter:

good luck w/the fair!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Good luck! Our local newspaper held a pie competition and said they would sponsor the local winners to go on to the state fair. I was too chicken to enter! :(

Chef Bee said...

I'm wishing you luck. I have yet to obtain the perfect peanut butter cookie. I'm a soft cookie girl and peanut butter cookies tend to be too crunchy for me.

Plan B

oneordinaryday said...

Good luck!! My sister and her kids are huge fair-goers and have entries of one kind or another every year. I always wish I could enter cookies or pies at their fair. : ) Sounds like so much fun.

Hey, have you considered jazzing up the peanut butter by using one of those flavored pbs from Peanut Butter & Co.? I've used them in cookies before and been really pleased with the results. Looking forward to seeing your final recipe.

Ingrid said...

I've always liked the look pb cookies with the fork indentions in them. (make sense?) I like that they are sorta thick, which means the edges are just slighly crisp, a bit chewy, but the middle is still a little soft when warm. MMmmmm, wish I had one now.

Good luck!

Maureen said...

Nothing better than a peanut butter cookie (or 12) after smelling the aroma of them baking in the oven. Yum.

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