Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peanut Butter CrissCrosses

I'm always looking for a good PB cookie. Well....I finally found "the one" thanks my Baking book by Dorie Greenspan.
These are super easy...and totally yummy. They are even softer the next day after spending the night in an airtight container.

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
pinch of grated nutmeg
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) (I used smooth)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups chopped salted peanuts (I left them out..and it turned out fine)
about ½ cup sugar, for rolling

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chopped peanuts. You’ll have a soft, pliable (mushable, actually) dough.

Pour the ½ cup of sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Dip the tines of a fork in sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction – you should have a flattened round of dough with crisscross indentations.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

The cookies will keep for at least 5 days in the cookie jar. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Playing Around:
For a chocolate version, reduce the flour to 2 cups and sift 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder into the dry ingredients. Use 1 cup chopped salted peanuts and add 1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips, preferably minis) along with the nuts.

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