Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lunch Box Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Lunch Box Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies - made dough September 14, 2013 from One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Funny thing happened to me on the way to making this recipe.  In the baking book, it turns out the volume and weight measurements for the flour didn't match; the weight measurement of 10 2/3 ounces called for double the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons volume measure listed. By the time I discovered it, the dough was almost made and I had no way of knowing which was the right measurement.  Since the author had talked about the importance of and her preference for weight measurement, I gambled that the weight measurement would be the correct one.  Plus I spot checked the other cookie recipes in the book and they all seemed consistent with the weight measurement being the one to go with. Lastly, when I only had the volume measurement of flour added, the dough still seemed too soft and I didn't want cookies that spread so, again, that seemed to indicated the weight measurement was the right one.
Um, turns out I was wrong.  By the time I weighed the last of the flour in there and finished incorporating it, the dough was dry and crumbly. Ack.  What to do, what to do.  I needed this as part of Zoe's bake sale in my carefully time-managed schedule of cookie dough making all week and I couldn't afford the lost time in making up the right version of these cookies.  So I did what any good baker would do - I rolled with it and improvised.  I doctored in more peanut butter to make the dough less dry and come together more easily.  I added chopped up chunks of peanut butter cups (which I had planned to do anyway even if I had made the dough correctly). I formed the dough into thick discs rather than dough balls as I was afraid with a disproportionate amount of flour, the cookies wouldn't spread.  I chilled the dough discs first as is my habit with all cookie doughs.  When I baked off the taste test cookie, I drastically underbaked the cookie.  The disc remained in pretty much the same shape as when I put it in the oven as when I took it out.  It was also worrisomely fragile.  But it tasted great.  The texture was like baked peanut butter fudge.  With peanut butter cups.  Whew - cookie crisis averted.

Later on, Yvonne Ruperti confirmed the volume measurement was the correct one and the weight measurement unfortunately wasn't caught (she has the correction up on her website). So I made the recipe again, using the correct volume measurement for flour instead of the weight measurement listed. The dough still seemed soft so I didn't imprint it with the pointy end of the meat mallet like I normally do for peanut butter cookies and instead just made them into normal dough balls and froze them before I baked them.
The correct version
I was pleasantly surprised that, despite the softness of the dough, the cookies didn't spread very much and instead stayed chubby. I still underbaked them although they weren't quite the baked peanut butter fudge that the first batch was.  They're also fragile because I underbaked them but they weren't crumbly. Another good recipe from this book.
The correct version

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (12 ounces) creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter cups, chopped, optional
  1. Place oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.  Preheat the oven to 375⁰F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the butter, sugar and salt until creamy.  Stir in the peanut butter and then the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour and baking soda to the bowl, then stir until combined. Add chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.
  4. Scoop the dough into 18 balls, spacing evenly on the sheet pan (9 per pan).  Using a fork, press a crosshatch onto each cookie, pressing to about 1-inch thick.
  5. Bake until light golden, puffed and just beginning to crack, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. 
  6. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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