I wasn’t necessarily intending to feature these here. I made them on a whim yesterday because I had a friend coming over for tea and found my cupboards sadly lacking in biscuits but fortuitously full of jars of peanut butter (three to be exact). I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut butter – how I ended up with such a stash is a bit of a mystery – but baking it into cookies elevated it beyond all expectations.
The recipe below was simply the first one I came across. I did an evening course at Leiths School of Food and Wine a few years ago and have found their methods to be pretty foolproof…it’s no coincidence that their professional courses turn out so many famous names. I can also very highly recommend their tastings and demonstrations – the Champagne tasting in particular is fabulous dahhhling. (Anyone want to lend/give me £17,000 for the Diploma course…? I honestly think it would be well worth it.)
They reckon this recipe makes about 40 cookies. I only got 12 from my mixture, and they took longer than the specified 10-15 minutes to cook, so I’m guessing that they’re actually intended to be rather dainty morsels. However for those of you who, like me, prefer your snackage to be of ample proportions, if you make each uncooked dough ball about the size of a golf ball, you’ll be on the right track.
Peanut Butter Cookies, adapted from Leiths Cookery Bible
110g caster sugar
110g soft light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
110g crunchy peanut butter
0.5 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (the original recipe calls for vanilla essence, but this is what I had to hand)
200g plain flour
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Cream the butter and both sugars together until they are smooth and soft. Beat in the egg, the peanut butter and the vanilla. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the mixture and stir until smooth – be careful not to over-beat or the dough will become oily.
Roll the mixture into small balls with your fingers and place well apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with the prongs of a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are an even golden brown.
Ease the cookies off the baking sheet while they are still hot using a fish slice or palette knife and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once they are completely cold and crisp, store them in an airtight container.