I live a very food-centric life. I cook. I bake. I work for a food and cooking website. I write a food blog. I photograph food. I eat with gusto.
This means that I am usually elbow deep in decadence. On any given day, I am tearing buttery flakes from a freshly baked pastry, nursing a warm, homemade cookie, or at the very least, perfecting my pie crust. I’m at restaurants that are worth reading, writing, raving about. I’m focusing on cookbooks like the Times Sunday crossword.
Two days ago I was asked, out of all the food in the world, all the delicacies I’ve dipped my fork into, which is my favorite?
And the honest to Oprah truth?
The peanut butter and fluff sandwich.
I try to pinpoint the date when peanut butter and I went from casually dating to, “Can’t live without you. Are we exclusive? I want you to meet my parents.” How did we meet and when did we become so close that I can mention, without hesitation, that I think Mr. Peanut is sinking our savings?
Too hard to tell. I suspect it’s been a lifetime of loving Reese’s, Pieces, anything nut buttery. If peanut butter is in the description, it will make my heart skip a beat. And I already have a heart murmur.
It’s the salty sweet. The thickness. The satiny smooth slick between my tongue and the roof of my mouth. The fact that fat, by nature, tastes rich. The incarnation of decadence. It’s the only food I’d say I don’t want to live without.
These four inch, tanned rounds are doubly peanutty. They have that salted, sandy crumble act down pat. Their centers, smooth and chewy, with a pleasant nut crunch every second bite or so.
You know by now my policy on a chewy cookie. Soft and slightly underbaked or bust. Let’s risk salmonella if we can.
Chewy Peanut Peanut Butter Cookies
(adapted from SevenSpoons)
(makes 18 large cookies)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted)
- sea salt for sprinkling
Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat melted butter and sugar together in a large bowl until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Form roughly 2 tablespoonful portions of dough into balls, 18 in all, and place on a cookie sheet (no more than 9 balls on one sheet). Flatten with your fingers or using the tines of a fork if you desire that classic look. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for about 15-18 minutes, until the cookies are beginning to turn a golden brown on the edges. It’s best to pull them out early if you can. Simply let them rest on your hot cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack. This gives them a chance to set up, rather than overbaking them.