Anytime I ask John for suggestions about food or baked goods his answer is always the same: peanut butter. The man is a peanut butter fiend (as evidenced by my leagues of peanut butter based recipes). So I fully expected the peanut butter response when I asked what I should whip up for our annual friends camping trip this year. This was a good thing though because after consulting my new America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, I came up with a might fine peanut butter cookie recipe.
Domestocrat’s Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Chip Cookies (yields roughly 4 dozen cookies – adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: The Complete TV Show Cookbook)
2.5 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter (16 tbsp. total), browned (see below)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1.5 cup peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. coconut oil
12 oz. (1 bag) white chocolate chips
Start by making the brown butter. Brown butter is, literally, butter that has been browned like you would brown meat or vegetables. By browning it, the butter releases all of its’ water, the flavor intensifies, and the milk solids toast to perfection. The first step is to melt the butter over low heat in a saucepot. After a few minutes it will begin to foam. As the foam dies down (which is the water cooking out), the melted butter will turn a pale gold and almost look clear (at this point it’s technically clarified butter). This is when the milk solids begin to brown. Stir often and do not take your eyes off the pot!
The brown butter is done when the brown bits are a deep brown color (the color of milk chocolate). Set the brown butter aside to cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Browning the butter first adds such a great depth of flavor to these cookies. You can skip it and add the butter as is, but I wouldn’t.
On to the cookie dough. First, mix the brown butter and sugar together. I let my stand mixer go for 2-3 minutes just to make sure it was fully incorporated. Slowly add in the dry ingredients then slowly add in the wet ingredients. As the dough starts to come together keep an eye or wet or dry it’s looking.
When my cookie dough had come together I noticed it was a little dryer/crumblier than I would have liked. It was at this point that I added the coconut oil (my new favorite thing). Not only did it moisten the dough it also imparted a very subtle coconut aroma. A very nice compliment to the peanut butter.
When the cookie dough is done, roll into small balls and set aside. Since this recipe makes a pretty big batch it was very handy to have my cookie dough balls rolled up and waiting to go.
Place 12 cookies at a time on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press down with a fork to create that quintessential peanut butter cookie trademark look.
Bake on 350 degrees for 13 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through.
Let the cookies fully cool and then enjoy!