What to do with leftover chopped peanuts? Well, make peanut butter cookies of course. This version from Dorie Greenspan has the perfect consistency: crisp, light and tender, not overly crunchy or sandy. One thing I've learned by baking entirely too much, is that the key to a fantastic cookie is making sure you thoroughly cream your butter and sugar. I'm not talking one minute with a hand mixer. It's more like three minutes of beating until the mixture is light and smooth.
Tailoring the recipe to my own taste, I chopped up and tossed in semi-sweet morsels and peanut butter chips. They add the perfect contrast in texture without being too large that the classic crisscross adornment is indistinguishable. Definitely a cookie jar staple.
PEANUT BUTTER CRISSCROSSES
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter (I use Skippy)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup finely chopped semi-sweet morsels
1/2 cup finely chopped peanut butter morsels (I use Reese's)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand-mixer or hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for one to two minutes until creamy. Add peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add sugars and beat for three minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the chopped nuts and morsels. The dough should be light, soft and easily mush-able.
Working with approximately a tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and drop into a bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of sugar. Roll balls around in the sugar to coat, then place on cookie sheet two inches apart. Flatten slightly with your palm, then create the crisscross indentation with the tines of a fork dipped in sugar to prevent sticking.
Bake for 12 minutes, roatating sheet half way, until the cookies lightly colored and still a little soft. Let cool for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack for to cool to room temperature. Makes about 40 cookies