‘ You could use these as bait for any kind of trap‘.
A compliment from a grateful co-worker as he stuffed perhaps his third of what would ultimately become eight cookies by the end of his shift, into his mouth. Side note – I often pray to the high heavens for his metabolism.
I am not sure what I am trapping or maybe, who…but if you are in the market for bait. I suggest these peanut butter cookies.
Raccoon, bear, man, child, woman. None can resist the sweet seductive nutty aroma. Or the crisp buttery melt in the mouth edges (hello! Pastry flour!). Or the gentle chew of the center. They will all be under your spell, hypnotic in nature, when their lips meet the velvety smooth texture of melted gooey chocolate – planted ever so strategically throughout each cookie.
Go forth and bake. I only ask one thing…practice catch and release. It is most humane.
- 2 cups + 1 teaspoon pastry flour (240 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 grams)
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt (12 grams - NOT a typo, just trust)
- 19.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (275 grams), at room temperature
- 1+ ¼ cup packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
- ¾ cup + 2½ tablespoons sugar (170 grams)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses, full flavor (30ml)
- 1 + ½ cup natural salted creamy peanut butter (400 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (10ml)
- 8 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped (227 grams)
- In a medium bowl, combine pastry flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy - about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the edges of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the edges of the bowl.
- Add molasses, creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract and beat until all ingredients are combined well.
- With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in three batches and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stir in chopped milk chocolate with a sturdy wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Place in fridge for at least one hour to chill (this is probably not necessary however, I really like how cookies bake after a bit of a rest and a chill - I like these best with 8+ hours of rest)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie/ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet leaving plenty of room between each cookie - I would start with just 6 cookies per tray until you know how they spread and the room you will have. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just the edges are golden (they may appear undercooked, this is the promised land).
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely. DO NOT let them cool on paper towel or the like as it will suck out all the necessary fat from the cookie.
* The salt content is NOT a typo – it enhances the peanut butter and chocolate flavor. Just trust.
* The molasses, don’t fear if you aren’t a fan. See the previous note. Just trust.
* I used Peanut Butter & Co. ‘The Bees Knees” – natural peanut butter blended with honey. I have also used their Smooth Operator . I like their natural peanut butter, as it is no-stir and therefore I don’t have peanut oil on my elbows when I am done baking/making a sandwich. The point here is, use natural peanut butter. If you use, say Jif – I can not provide you with guidance.
* I recommend letting the dough rest for at least 8 hours or overnight before baking (I have waited upto 72 hours to bake because of, well, life). I think letting the dough rest results in a thicker and chewier cookie. If you, however, prefer a thinner cookie ( I know you guys exist!) then by all means, bake right away. This dough also freezes like a gem. So don’t hesitate.
* No pastry flour? 1 1/3 cup (175 grams) all purpose flour plus 2/3 cup (80 grams) cake flour should do the trick. You want a lower protein content to create the light short crumb that this cookie exhibits. Those buttery edges!
* Baking using weights is recommended – the end result will be more consistent batch after batch. Molly did all the work on breaking them down, however I retested and remeasured and she is spot on, like there was ever reason to doubt. From the original recipe on her blog, I added molasses and used light brown sugar – I like using straight up molasses versus dark brown sugar. I also added more chocolate and again, prefer chilling the dough rather than baking right away. I was just gonna point you in her direction for the recipe, however I ended up rewriting the ingredients and directions to indicate my changes. So, I just added the whole damn thing.
* Perhaps too many notes on just a cookie but these are not just any cookie. They are the best damn peanut butter cookies I have yet to enjoy.