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Monday, May 7, 2012

ijj's Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies

Can you believe that there existed a time when I didn't like peanut butter?


I always liked peanut butter cookies, though.  People use to wonder why... but to me they're quite different.  Guess which one has a $#!)load of sugar in it?  I'll give you a hint - it's the one in cookie form.


Anyway, as I got older, and discovered better uses for peanut butter than 'ants on a friggin log', I eventually did develop a liking for it, but that is neither here nor there.


This is about my mom's awesome peanut butter cookie recipe.




Basically follow this recipe exactly as it is printed on the recipe card, but being mindful of a few things:  

  • Firstly, you can substitute butter or margarine for the shortening, just make sure it is softened and at room temperature.  
  • Secondly, the sugars are exact... I've tried tweaking them before, but believe it or not, altering (or substituting) the sugars can have surprisingly significant effects on the end product.  
  • Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the flour measurement is, unfortunately, kind of subjective... I'd say between 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of flour... the 1 3/4 cups is approximate.  This, of course, depends on your environment, so if you live in a particularly humid area like I do, alter this accordingly.  
  • Fourthly, (and this should go without saying, but I didn't know this myself until recently) make sure that your baking powder is still active.  To do this, just put a pinch in some hot water and see if it bubbles crazily.  If nothing really happens, time to get new baking powder.
Other than that, feel free to follow this recipe as-is.

Here is a visual chronology of my own adventure in following the card; you'll see that it follows it almost exactly all the way along.

:D

Stage I - Mix all wet:









Remember to beat that egg in last.

Stage II - Mix all dry and then combine with wet:






This dough is surprisingly crumbly.  So don't be alarmed during the mixing stage when your bits don't seem to want to stick together a whole lot.  In fact, if you find your dough is sticking together nicely, you may want to add a bit more flour.  You want the dough to stick together when "forced" to (i.e. with your hands), but still crumble apart at the slightest touch.

Stage III - Chill dough and prep baking:





The dough should chill for at least a half-hour, so that give us lots of time to pre-heat the oven to 350°, line our baking sheets with parchment paper, and set up our cooling rack.

After that, it's on to:

Stage IV - Baking the muthafrikken cookies:






You'll note that the characteristic 'double-fork-press' for PB cookies, is indeed exerted on these dough balls before going into the oven.  While I believe that at one point in time, for one person's PB cookie recipe, this was needed in order to ensure even baking, I can tell you for these it is purely aesthetic, and is not needed for them to turn out OK.  


But, you should do it anyway, cause it looks cooler.  You do want to be cool, don't you?


So... these bake for between 10 and 15 minutes - again depending on your climate.  So keep an eye on them after 10 minutes.  When in doubt, just take them out and carefully lift them up to peek at their bottoms (tee hee!)  - Better safe than sorry, and if they're not done you can always just put them back in to the oven for another couple of minutes.


When they're done, we proceed to the next (and my personal favourite) stage:

Stage V - EATING the muthafrikkin cookies dude.



(OM NOM NOM)

:D

1 comment:

  1. The double fork press was my favorite part because "little helpers" could always feel like they had the most important job of all!! I do think this recipe was your introduction to the world of baking. It continues to delight a second generation of little helpers.

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