Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to the holiday baking season!  This is the one time of year when I really do a lot of baking.  Or at least I make a lot of dough.  I have some friends and neighbors who enjoy homemade baked goods (who doesn’t), but don’t do much baking of their own.  In recent years I’ve made a variety of cookie doughs, shaped them into logs or balls, frozen them, and given them as gifts.  That way anyone can have freshly baked homemade cookies any time without all the mess.  Guaranteed that these will beat any slice and bake or “break a cookie dough nugget off of the sheet” cookie that Pillsbury, Nestle or anyone else in the grocery store has to offer.

This recipe is an original that my college roommate and I came up with senior year.  I don’t think she’ll mind me sharing it with you.  We tried a bunch of recipes in the process of making this one.  They were too cakey or didn’t taste enough like peanut butter or melted flat on the pan or any variety of other difficulties.  After much trial and error we came up with these proportions.  The only change I made is in the chips.  I’ve switched to dark chocolate chips and I throw in a few peanut butter chips for good measure.  Use whatever chips or chunks you like.

A couple of notes about putting these together.  Soften the butter on the counter top.  Just set it out for a couple of hours before you’re ready to start.  You can soften it in the microwave, but most of the time you’ll end up with your butter at least partially melted and you don’t want that.  When you set out the butter set out your eggs too.  You get a better result when you use room temperature eggs.  I have no idea why, but it’s true.  Use whatever commercial peanut butter you have on hand. I use creamy Jif. Just don’t use the all natural stuff without adding some additional sugar to the batter. About the flour, I use all-purpose, unbleached flour.  It’s cheap and works for most things.  When you measure it spoon it into your measuring cup.  If you scoop it out with the cup it packs too tight and you end up with too much.  Use a measuring cup or spoon meant for dry ingredients.  I use a 1/2 C measuring spoon that just lives in the flour canister.  It’s perfect as long as I don’t get distracted while I’m counting out spoonfuls to make cups!  I do scoop the flour with the measuring spoon, but then I run a knife through it a few times to loosen it up and scrape the knife across the top to get an exact measurement.

If you’re freezing the dough you’ll need to chill it before you can shape it for freezing.  Cover the mixing bowl in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until it’s firm enough to handle.  Shape it into logs and wrap logs in wax paper.  Place the logs into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.  You can slice the whole log or just slice off one or two for a snack!

Remember that baking is kitchen chemistry so don’t monkey with the measurements unless you’re trying to change the result.

Good? The best. Just one opinion (well, two opinions).
Easy? Yep. Especially with a stand mixer.
Good for company? Who doesn’t like warm cookies?
Special shopping? Nope.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks (1C) salted butter, softened
3/4 C peanut butter (Jif Creamy is best)
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 C (or 1 bag) chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk or dark)
1/3 C peanut butter chips (optional)

Directions

Cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients together and add in thirds to butter mixture, alternating with eggs. Start and end with flour.
Stir in chips.
Bake at 350 8-11 minutes.

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