Being a good baker is one thing, but being a baker worthy of stalking is completely another.
Shortly after my first book came out, my phone rang one night a little after 10:30 p.m. A reader had tracked me down to let me know, with urgency, that she loved these cookies, but that they took 10 minutes to bake in her oven instead of the 9 minutes indicated in the recipe.
When in doubt, err on the side of underbaking so your peanut butter cookies remain moist. Take them out when they are still a bit soft, as they'll continue to firm up a bit after cooling. This time, I've given a bit more latitude to the timing so as to avoid any late-night baking-related emergency phone calls.
Though he never quite says it, the message is pretty clear: this baking rock star has serious stalkers--er, groupies.
But were these cookies really stalker-worthy? I had to see for myself.
I've only made one change from the recipe as printed in the book: instead of using regular creamy peanut butter, I've used Peanut Butter and Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams, figuring that if anything, chocolate will make the recipe even better.
The result? A cookie that is very much the dictionary definition of what a peanut butter cookie should be: moist at the center, lightly crumbly just around the edges, with every bite rich in peanut buttery (accent on the butter) goodness.
These cookies will disappear quickly. Worthy of the worship? Well, let's just say you're gonna need the sugar-and-protein burst of energy to stand outside of Mr. Lebovitz's Parisian pad, clutching boombox a la Lloyd Dobler. Just remember whose idea it was to add the chocolate, sweeties.
Peanut Butter Cookies Worth Stalking
Adapted from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
Makes about 30 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, or to take my variation, 1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. It will be a thick, solid mass of dough.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, but up to overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Break off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls (the recipe calls for rolling them in granulated sugar, but I didn't do that. They were fine without this step, in my opinion, especially considering the added sweetness from the chocolate peanut butter).
- Place on prepared (parchment-lined) baking sheets. Leave 3 inches between cookies. Lightly flatten and make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie using the tines of a fork (a spork doesn't work--no follow up questions).
- Bake, rotating the sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are dull and lightly browned around the edges but still lightly glossy/undercooked-looking in the middle (as they cool on the sheet they'll finish up). The bake time will be between 9-10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet (they will crumble if you try to remove them right away) and then transfer to a wire rack using a spatula. These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container, if they last that long.