HO CUCINATO AL FORNO… Peanut Butter Mini Chip Cookies!
This recipe was both for my mother and myself. I have been DYING to make something with peanut butter ever since I got home for summer. Both my mother and I are peanut butter lovers (my father… well, we’ll just say that he’s a little weird), and there’s nothing more classic for peanut butter girls than peanut butter cookies! I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for peanut butter cookies, adding my own preferred twists and substitutions. I call these Peanut Butter Mini Chip Cookies!
First off, I loved working with this dough. There’s something about dough that’s made with peanut butter that make it easy to work with your hands, and really scrape clean from the bowl in which it was mixed. I was able to form cute, little balls of dough with my hands and roll them in sprinkling sugar with little to no hassle. So, preparation-wise, this recipe was a piece of cake… piece of cookie… piece of cookie-cake 🙂
Now, in hindsight, there’s one thing I would have done differently – I would have tried a cookie straight out of the oven! Damn me for practicing self-control all afternoon! I had my first taste after dinner and boy, they’re delicious! Even after cooling completely, the cookies were chewy on the inside, and had a nice, slightly crisp bite on the edges. I loved biting into the dry-roasted peanuts (which I used instead of peanut butter chips). The nuts gave the cookie an even more authentic, deep peanut butter flavor – something I don’t think peanut butter chips could do.
I also think I made a good decision substituting regular-size chocolate chips with mini chips because, at least for me, when I made a peanut butter cookie, I want the peanut butter to be the star. In theatre terms, peanut butter’s got a huge solo, with chocolate chips just as the backup dancers. All the chocolate is supposed to do is compliment the peanut butter and enhance it’s flavor, which is what the mini chips do perfectly! You get the slight sweetness and chocolate flavor, but the peanut butter is still singin’ strong and shining bright.
Peanut Butter Mini Chip Cookies (makes about 24)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (I used smooth, but you could use chunky for an even more meaty cookie)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
*Reserve 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine, for rolling and/or sprinkling.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a mixer, beat butter, applesauce, and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. Add egg and mix until well incorporated. Add milk and vanilla extract and mix.
3. Add flour mixture to the sugar-butter mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips. Place the remaining sprinkling sugar on a plate. Roll dough into balls, and then roll in sugar. Alternatively, you could place dough balls on ungreased cookie sheets, flatten with a fork in a cross-hatched pattern, and sprinkle the sugar on top. Once the dough balls are placed on the ungreased cookie sheets (make sure to leave several inches between for expansion) bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do NOT overbake. I would not bake these more than 12 minutes – even if they seem to be undercooked. Trust me, they’re not.
4. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely