Wow. Has it really been seven whole weeks since I last wrote anything here?
It certainly wasn’t for the lack of wanting. But between the insane project I’ve been tackling at work and the bout of kitchen disasters that descended upon me (wonky recipes, bad flour, missshapen drop cookies- believe me, everything that could go wrong in the kitchen went wrong in mine the last few weeks), I spent the last couple weeks either clocking in long nights at work or knee deep in flour and sugar late at night after work, baking up the latest culinary mishap.
So when it seemed like the last days of my project were finally approaching after three long, horrendous months and several delays in deadlines, it called for a sweet little something to celebrate- something preferably classic and simple, given my track record in the kitchen lately.
And I knew of nothing simpler, more classic or comforting than some peanut butter crisscrosses.
And comforting these peanut butter crisscrosses sure were.
Crisp with a burst of saltiness and crunchiness from the salted peanuts, these cookies had all the flavour of a creamy, rich spoonful of peanut butter- without all the stickiness.
All it took was one cookie, still warm, off the baking tray and all my long hours at work and frustrations at my recent baking disasters were all long forgotten.
And it is a rather good thing that this recipe made a lot of cookies, for I got news the following day at work that my project was gonna be extended by yet another week.
So while I might not quite be celebrating my end of my project just yet with these cookies, I definitely know what I’ll be seeking comfort in to help me get through this last week. And I sure don’t need another reason to whip up another batch of these peanut butter cookies when the project finally gets done for good.
Peanut Butter Crisscrosses [Slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours]Note: The only adaptation I made to the recipe was to reduce the amount of caster sugar slightly, which I thought made for cookies that had just the right amount of sweetness. But that aside, there are a couple of simple tips to making this recipe that I think are worth sharing. Firstly, greasing your measuring cup slightly with oil or butter will help the peanut butter slide right out (I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I first discovered this tip- no more sticky peanut butter everything!). Also, I find the easier way to stop the tines of the fork from sticking to the cookie dough as you imprint them is to dip the fork in water, imprint the cookies and re-dip the fork in water every two or three cookies, which is how I’ve written the instructions below. Alternatively, Dorie Greenspan gives instructions to roll the balls of dough in caster sugar, then dips the fork in more sugar before imprinting them. Whichever way you choose, I have no doubt you will have some delicious, comforting peanut butter cookies on your hands.
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 175C. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt together and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute till smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute, till smooth. Add the light brown sugar and caster sugar and mix for 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold the flour mixture in in two batches, till just combined. Fold in the chopped salted peanuts.
- Working with half a tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms to form a ball and place each dollop of dough about 4 cm apart on the prepared baking trays. Dip the tines of a fork in water and press the tines against each ball of dough twice, in perpendicular directions. You should get a flattened round of dough with crisscross indentations.
- Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for 14 to 16 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your cookies and till the cookies are lightly coloured but still a little soft. Let the cookies cool for a bit before transferring them from the baking tray to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 40 medium-sized cookies