Tag Archives: cookies

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup CookiesUm, so, yeah. It’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies.DSC_0007DSC_0010DSC_0025It’s February. You’re probably cold. I mean, even I’m cold. It’s probably, I don’t know, 70 degrees around here lately. Which is 21 C if you were wondering. Which, is basically as frigid as it gets around these parts. So what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. DSC_0027DSC_0069DSC_0071It’s almost valentine’s day. Do you hate valentine’s day? Ugh, so many people do, it’s like you must be uncool if you like it. Unless you are sending out these valentines. But really, you should be excited about it. Want to know why? Chocolate. Duh. Also, those giant heart shaped reese’s peanut butter cups. You know the ones I’m talking about. You get Christmas tree shaped ones at Christmas, egg shaped ones at Easter, pumpkin ones on Halloween, and heart ones for Valentines. AKA: the only four holidays worth celebrating–for that exact reason. Easter is actually the best one, because See’s candy makes like four pound bordeaux eggs. But what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. DSC_0081DSC_0089It’s a Saturday. See, what I’m trying to say is, it’s probably a good idea to eat some cookies. 

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (adapted from For me, For you.. who adapted it from NYT)

So, before you freak out when you look at the ingredients list and see not one, but two types of flour plus instructions to sift..let me tell you this. These cookies are awesome. Now, they say pretty explicitly that the real secret is to chill them for at least several hours, and ideally a couple days, before baking. This is pretty key to develop flavors and also keep them from being thin, weirdo chocolate chip cookies. Let me drop some truth bombs on you. I have made this with both kinds of flour listed, and with regular ol’ all purpose. Both times were awesome. I have been impatient and chilled this for only an hour, and I’ve let it go a full day or more. Can’t go wrong, yo. Either way, so long as the dough is nice and cold when it goes in the oven. For me this made about 38 pretty hugenormous cookies. Another win.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups mini peanut butter cups–about 9 oz (we found these in a bulk bin section of I don’t remember what store. But I’m pretty sure you can find something in any grocery store; if you can’t find minis just chop up bigger ones!)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips–about 6 oz (or better yet, use some chopped dark chocolate. We just didn’t have any on hand at my mom’s house when I made these)
  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour–240g (which you can totes make yourself)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour– 240g (these two flours are different densities, the weights and measurements are both correct.)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda–7.5g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder–7.5g
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt –7.5g (the weight of salt can vary quite a bit depending on what type you are using)
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter– 280g
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar– 270g
  • 1 cup + 2tbsp white sugar– 227g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract– approx 10mL
  • Extra salt, and possibly some milk or water.

Procedure

  1. First up. Brown you butter. In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring it pretty much constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. It will melt, then it will foam like crazy, then it will become clear-ish. Soon after that, don’t look away! and don’t stop stirring! You will see little brown bits start to form on the bottom. Keep on stirring and stirring until it smells like heaven in your kitchen and the butter is browned. I let mine get reaaal brown this time, but you will know by the smell if you’ve burnt it. Don’t let it burn, as long as you keep stirring and take it off the heat once it is fragrant, you should be fine
  2. Set aside and let cool. You don’t have to let it re-solidify, but if you want to, you can stick it in the fridge to make this part faster.
  3. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl (or in your mixer with the paddle attached), cream together the browned butter and the sugars until super light a fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in vanilla and mix. 
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in your peanut butter cups and chocolate chips/chunks. Note: if your dough is super dry and crumbly, it is probably because browning the butter evaporates out some of its liquid. Add milk or water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is no longer crumbly, if needed.
  6. Press plastic wrap into the top of the dough and stick the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour, and up to 72 hours. You can totally cook it in batches if you want.
  7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the bowl from the fridge and let it soften ever so slightly.
  8. Scoop out big ol’ scoops (I used an ice cream scooper and got two per scoop. They were giant) and place 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with a bit of salt if you like, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are soft and smell so dang good you burn your mouth because you have to eat one right that second.
  9. yum. Try to let them cool before you eat them, but I don’t blame you if you can’t.
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Sugar Crisps: unveiling a family recipe


I missed the boat on Thanksgiving recipes; I don’t plan to do the same with Christmas. Now, in my family, there is one and only one sure sign that it is Christmas. No, it’s not the decorations (since those usually go up last minute and stay up far too long), or the Christmas Plates (which don’t come out until Christmas eve), or the music on the radio or the weather (hello, Southern California), no, it’s not any of those things. It’s much more simple. Sugar Crisps.

What are Sugar Crisps, you ask? Only the best and most delicious cookie you’ll ever eat. Unfortunately, you’ll only ever eat it on Christmas. I believe Angels actually partake in them around the holidays. And sadly for you, you’ve probably never had one (unless you are my family. or my friends) because this recipe has been closely guarded. Because Sugar Crisps are my grandma’s cookie. Did she invent them? For all intents and purposes, I’m going to say yes. Maybe it was her mother. Or maybe it was her grandmother. Or maybe it was an article in the paper or a recipe in a cookbook, I sure don’t know. All I know is we learned it from her, and that’s all you need to know.

  

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A quest for a Cookie

So, I know that every self-proclaimed baker in the world has a story about their personal search for the “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”. (yes, in quotes and capitalized) And, boringly enough, I am no different. My journey started my junior year of college when I finally had my very own kitchen (which I shared with three other roommates and one stowaway). I just decided one day that that was the year I would perfect the chocolate chip cookie. That was the year that I would find the missing ingredient, the lost chip, the final pinch of something-or-other to make what no one had ever made before–the ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE.

On a side note, can I just mention that fact that if you google “best chocolate chip cookies” or “ultimate chocolate chip cookies” you get over 5 million recipes claiming to be the greatest ever. How does that even work? Obviously, 4,999,999 of those recipes are lies. Right? Only one can actually be the best. And silly little naive Erin, with no baking experience whatsoever and no clue what it takes to make a chocolate chip cookie besides chocolate and sugar, decided to try her hand at it.

I don’t really think I ever succeeded. Well, I know that for awhile I thought I had. I developed my own recipe (yeah! that’s right! I made up my own recipe!) based on several  of those aforementioned recipes which called themselves The Best. But then, after a year or so, the cookies started not being the best anymore. They all started turning out flat and greasy and kind of bleh. Not that people didn’t enjoy eating them; every time I made them they practically dissapparated* off the table, but they certainly weren’t Ultimate.

  

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