Writing and Peanut Butter Cookies

I think I have already elaborated quite a lot on my love of peanut butter. You can read about it here. I eat it from the jar, on apples, and on toast (preferably with a cup of tea to hand.) In London, over Christmas, the princess and I found ourselves in Partridges, which is a very swanky food shop in Chelsea. I swear, we just went in to look. Well…

We found that Partridges has an amazing American goods section where you can get things like Pop Tarts and Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter M&M’s. It’s amazing. The princess worked in the States for a while and so we were a little like kids in a candy store. Hell, we could put kids in a candy store out of business. There was a lot of high pitched squealing of excitement. There may even have been some sneaky dance moves going on. It was madness. (And the cookies and cream Pop Tarts surprisingly good.) But above all the excitement at the peanut butter M&M’s was the discovery of peanut butter chips, also made by Reese’s. I’ve seen peanut butter chips in recipes and other blogs before but this is the first time I’ve actually found them. You can imagine the over-excitement that ensued. Obviously, they ended up in my Christmas stocking and they’ve been hiding out in my grocery cupboard, waiting for an excuse to be used.

I started to write again today. And, as is custom, there had to be a baking diversion. The weighing and combining of ingredients is methodical and thus soothing. Plus there’s a little work out attached because I had to do all the beating by hand. These are American cookies. There’s no getting around it. They’re super sweet and a bit oily and crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. They would probably go well with a glass of milk if you were that way inclined. I had them as a mid-afternoon sugar booster with tea. It was epic.

This recipe is adapted from The Primrose Bakery Book. If you haven’t been yet and you like cake, you need to go to this bakery. It delivers on sweet icing, good cake and the shop (the one in Covent Garden anyway) smells just amazing. They make good coffee too.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from The Primrose Bakery Book
Makes approximately 30 cookies
115g unsalted butter, soft
230g crunchy peanut butter
175g granulated sugar
120g light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
290g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarb
230g peanut butter chips

Heat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Combine the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Then add in the sugars followed by the egg, milk and vanilla.

Beat this until smooth. Add in the flour, bicarb and baking powder followed by the peanut butter chips.

I managed to mix everything together using a spatula but at the end I folded in the chips by hand because it was easier. Obviously you can make this in a standing mixer or with an electric beater. The book recommends you weigh each cookie to 40g which I did in a vague way – my cookies weighed between 38g and 42g if you want to be technical about it. Roll the cookies into balls and then place them on the baking sheets, pressing them down slightly. (If, like me, you only have a tiny oven and the baking tray needs to be in the oven whilst it is pre-heating, I recommend rolling the dough into balls and keeping them on a wooden board and then baking them off in a series. It takes longer but really, what is the alternative? No cookies?)

Bake for 10 minutes. You won’t be able to do the thumb test when you take them out so they’ll seem underdone but just leave them on the hot trays and they’ll continue cooking as the tray cools, resulting in a cookie that is soft in the middle but crunchy on the edges. The book dusts the cookies with golden caster sugar but to be honest, I didn’t feel the need to do that. They’re super sweet anyway and I didn’t have any golden caster sugar around. Allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They won’t last long.