Food is memories, or at least it is for me. It also has the ability to not only remind you of a moment in time but also of a specific person. Whenever I eat a banana, I can't help but think of my friend Shahla, who despises bananas (I secretly think she must be allergic and her body is rejecting them by telling her they taste bad because who really hates bananas--no one in their right mind) and I can hear her telling me how gross they are. And every time I take a bite of a really great eggs benedict, I immediately think of my grandfather, who made the best benedict, ever, and am immediately taken to the first time I had his benedict in his Glendale home, filled with my aunties, uncles, and cousins. So, in that same vein, I'd like to dedicate a few of these twelve days of cookies to some of my favorite people, in the hope that every time they make it or have a cookie that's reminiscent of that cookie, they'll think of all the lovely memories we've made together.
More often than not, I find myself asking the people in my life some variation of the same question, which is "What's your favorite ____________." I love food for more reasons than anyone would care to hear, and one of those reasons is because with just one bite a bad day can turn into a good one, that bite can put a smile on your face without a single word being uttered, and the memory of it can stay with you forever. Now, I'm not deluded and I do not think I make the best food in the world but I am confident in my ability to make a pretty good this or better than decent that. And I love making something that makes someone smile because making someone's day, even if only for a fraction of a minute, is a beautiful thing.
These Peanutiest Peanut Butter Cookies are meant to be just that: the peanutiest of all peanut butter cookies. And that's because my friend Jen, who happens to have left me and moved clear across the country and up into another (to be fair, I did leave SF first, so I may have left her first but I'm still crushed we can't grab a coffee every other day), is a huge fan of peanut butter cookies, so I had to try to make her the peanutiest version possible. This recipe is my gift to her, and I'm hoping that every time she makes these, she's reminded of the moments we've shared in SF and all the laughter that accompanied them. I definitely thought of her when I was baking them. Perhaps as you make these cookies, you'll think of someone in your life who loves (or maybe even hates) peanut butter and will think of a memory attached to that, or perhaps a flood of memories will come in. Either way, I'd say any excuse to bake some peanut butter cookies is a good one and with that I give you Day 03 of 12 Days of Cookies: The Peanutiest Peanut Butter Cookies!
Peanutiest Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from The Model Bakery Cookbook
Makes around 3 1/2 dozen cookies
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
- 1 c. granulated sugar (I used baker's/fine but regular works just fine)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. chunky peanut butter
- 1 c. peanut butter chips
- 1 c. peanuts, roughly chopped
- Turbinado, for sprinkling
- Baking sheets
- Silpat mat or parchment paper
- Stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Silicone spatula
- Wire cooling racks
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cookie scoop
Preheat oven to 350°F and position oven racks to center and top third of oven. Line baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together into a mixing bowl and set aside. Combine butter and both sugars in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high until pale yellow, about one to two minutes. Scrape down edges with silicone spatula. Add in eggs, one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract and peanut butter. Scrape down edges. Reduce to low speed and gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Remove bowl from mixer and mix in peanut butter ships with spatula. This will also help to incorporate any flour you may have missed.
Using the 1 1/2 Tbsp. cookie scoop, scoop rounds of dough and roll tops in roughly chopped peanuts then drop onto your pre-lined pans leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie, as they will spread while baking. Feel free to press down tops slightly to make sure your peanuts are secure but this step is not necessary.
Bake about 13-15 minutes, rotating the trays, top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let cookies set on pans for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all dough has been used.
Serve and enjoy or package and gift!
Note: Cookies can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.