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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fill 'Er Up!

The perfect peanut butter cookie
One of the most obvious victims of the kitchen construction was the cookie jar.  There's no baking if there's no oven and as a result, for the last couple of weeks we've had to resort to store bought cookies around here.  Kate has been unhappy.  I have been unhappy.  Ted doesn't care because he's not really a cookie person.

But we are back online as it were and I can fire up the oven and get down to some serious baking.  Or not so serious, depending on how you feel about peanut butter cookies.

I love a good peanut butter cookie.  To me,  peanut butter cookie perfection is soft and chewy with just a little crispness around the edges.  I have tried a million different recipes, some better than others, but I believe I have finally hit peanut butter cookie pay dirt with this recipe from my current favorite cookbook Cook This Now.

The log rolled in Demerara sugar
Ready to be baked
At first glance this is just a standard peanut butter cookie.  But look closer and you'll see that instead of all purpose flour, this recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour.  The whole wheat flour gives the cookie an earthier taste that blends well with the peanut butter.  The recipe also calls for Demerara or raw sugar which adds just the slightest crunch to the cookie.  The cookie dough is rolled into a log, refrigerated, and then rolled in more Demerara sugar just for good measure.  Those simple little changes to the standard peanut butter cookie recipe make a huge difference in the final product.

So now the cookie jar is full but I'm not sure for how long.  I just may have to make another batch.

Recipe:  Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Sandies
( Melissa Clark, Cook This Now, 2011)


1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural salted peanut butter
1 cup Demerara or raw sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Beat in the peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated. Stop and scrape down the bowl. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Shape the dough into a 12-inch-long log. Wrap the dough in the plastic, using the wrap to help form the most uniform-size log possible. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and chill at least two hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies until lightly colored and semi-firm, about 15 minutes; rotate the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you can’t get salted peanut butter (and I feel sorry for you if you can’t, because unsalted peanut butter tastes like paste), use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt, or even 3/4 teaspoon salt, in these cookies. They need the salt.

If you can’t get coarse raw sugar, use regular brown sugar here. The texture of the cookie will be slightly denser and chewier but still highly delectable.

For added texture and sugar content, roll the logs in more Demerara sugar before slicing and baking.

I’ve never done it, but I’ll bet almond butter would make a great substitute for the peanut butter here. If you try it, let me know how it goes.


  1. I've never cooked with raw sugar, will have to try this, thanks for sharing!

  2. I love a good peanut butter cookie too. This is a great recipe and the cookies look delicious.