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I have a snoreless human pet.

It likes peanut butter.

To be fair, he likes lots of things (bacon, for example – breakfast is unbelievable), but an Englishman who likes peanut butter is a rare beast in my book, and is therefore worth applauding.

And baking for.

I’ve been wanting to have a bash at peanut butter cookies for absolutely ages, but the dilemma has been this: with flour or without.

Both ideas have their merits; I like the idea of a more  flour-butter-sugar, cookieish cookie – carbs speak to me, what can I say, but a blob of , rich, stodgy slightly sharp baked peanut butter…….. sorry, dribble moment.

The decision was made whilst mucking about in the snoreless pet’s kitchen. Actually let’s face it, pets don’t have kitchens. But boys who make killer sandwiches and like taste testing frosting and do. Yes. Let’s continue…

Anyway, not only was I deeply encouraged to go with the flourless option, it was also suggested I throw some chocolate into the mix.

I know, right?

Back off, he’s mine.

Peanut butter cookies, hold the flour.

And throw in some chocolate chips – I’m nice like that.

I found a very simple, totally classic  peanut butter cookie recipe and ran with it, I’ve printed it here, with the inclusion of the chocolate. They’re fine without but… are you a masochist or what?

Quite.

Oh! For those of us in the UK, it’s worth mentioning that two US cups of peanut butter is roughly two large jars. I didn’t twig that until I had started baking, and as I only had one cup’s worth to work with, I decided to halve the recipe. You’ll see how that went. In fact, it poses a bit of an alchemical dilemma…

Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peanut butter (dare you to try chunky… ooh…)
  • 2 cups Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsps Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of Salt (I went without – peanut butter generally contains salt already)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Milk chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, go crazy)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Grease a few cookie sheets with butter, a little vegetable oil, or, even better, stick down some greaseproof paper using a squirt of cooking spray or a smudge of butter in each corner of the cookie sheet. Trust me, you’ll see why in a mo.

In a bowl, stir the peanut butter and sugar together until they are smooth.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the baking soda, salt (if using) and vanilla extract.

Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.

Your mix may very well be cumbly like mine. See?

My theory is that halving all the ingredients may have left the dough with not enough binder (the egg component) and I’m wondering if sticking with two eggs, or perhaps an egg and a half – hey, adding some yogurt even – might have helped the mixture to stick to itself and act more like dough than like damp sand.

ANYWAY. If yours is still crumbly though you follow the above recipe to the letter, fear not, you will still have tasty cookies – two litre jars full in fact.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. They don’t spread much so don’t fret about spacing; the below pre-cookies could have been closer together.

Press a criss-cross into the top of each dough ball using the tines of a fork. Be gentle if the dough (like mine) is still a bit crumbly.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.

Allow them to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mine were tough to get off the pan, so I’d suggest letting them cool almost completely before taking a spatula to the cookies… Or use that greaseproof paper and avoid casualties.

Yes, casualties: Have a look at that character in the top right corner…

I’m afraid it wouldn’t leave the baking sheet quietly.

Good job I’ve got a six-foot-tall sidekick who is all about dealing with baking casualties.

And sharing.

Stodgy peanut butter goodness: Highly recommended for midnight chocolate ice cream accessorising, 3am (decaf) coffee (oh, shush) dunking, and 9am pre-breakfast snacking.

Yeah. A week on holiday makes the clocks and the chocolate cravings go all screwy.

That’s the current excuse, anyway.

So! Have a go.

No, really, the cookie jar is almost empty and I’m exhausted from all the (observing of) barbecuing and (sporadic) baking I’ve been doing all week. Eating the spoils of said activities was pretty tiring as well. And all that sleeping! Seriously, you have no idea how badly watching a season and a half of ‘House M.D.’ can take it out of you. Especially if you’re horizontal and balancing a Corona on your belly.

Bake these. Even if they’re not for me. And do let me know if you happen to solve the Alchemical Dilemma of the Crumbly Dough (stand aside, JK Rowling, I smell a series coming on).

Until then…

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2 thoughts on “A good excuse for peanut butter cookies

  1. Pingback: cookies for breakfast. « baking & alchemy

  2. Pingback: Sugar ‘n’ spice ‘n’ peanut butter | baking & alchemy

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