Food hugs and peanut butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes, food is like a hug (and I don’t mean a hug for your ateries. Gross.) When I bake for people, more often than not, it’s a way to say “hey, you’re cool and I like you,” “I’m sorry you had a crappy day/week/experience,” or something similarly caring sans cheesiness, awkwardness, etc. I baked these tasty peanut butter cookies last weekend when I felt like someone needed a food hug (the best way to give a food hug is to bake someone their favorite kind of cookies, in case you were wondering). I had been meaning to try out this recipe for a while, but didn’t get around to it until now…which is a damned shame, honestly, because these are probably the best peanut butter cookies I’ve had in years. YEARS, I tell you. In my opinion, it’s a rare occurrence to find a peanut butter cookie that is even a smidgen above average, but these really are some excellent/wonderful/majestic cookies. Yep, majestic. I said it.

I also attempted to add sriracha (in case you don’t know what that is, enlighten yourself because it is delicious) to half the dough, which in theory, might have been interesting and cool. “Interesting” and “cool” would not be words I would use to describe the sriracha-laden half of the cookies…bitter, weird, and tomato-y would be better adjectives. Let’s also add “slightly smelly” to that list. Epic fail. Oh well. It was worth a shot, right? Maybe cayenne next time?

The recipe is from this Dorie Greenspan book, which is one of the most solid cookbooks I own. She suggests adding peanuts to the dough, which I didn’t do, but I bet you it would make the cookies even better.

Peanut Butter Cookies 2

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
A pinch of nutmeg (or mace!)
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 c. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth is fine, but don’t use “natural”…too much oil)
1 c. brown sugar (packed)
3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. chopped salted peanuts

1/2 c. sugar in a bowl for rolling dough

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in a bowl.

Working with a stand mixer/paddle attachment or a hand mixer/large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Then, add the sugars and beat for three minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until ingredients are just combined. Mix in the chopped peanuts (if you’re using them).

Using a tablespoon-sized amount of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms to create a ball, and then roll the ball in the bowl of sugar. Then, place the cookies on the cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each dough ball. Dip the tines of a fork in the sugar, and press the tines against the top of each dough ball first in one direction, and then in a perpendicular direction.

Bake 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft when done. Cool to room temperature.

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