I’ve been working on perfecting Peanut Butter Cookies since around the age of eight. Not the taste, which is nearly always great, but the texture. I love these All-American cookies super-crispy or super-chewy–but not in-between.
You can get a chewy peanut butter cookie with nearly any recipe, if you seriously under bake the cookie and eat it warm. But then, as the cookie cools and sets, it loses that magical chewiness. At least, that’s my experience.
So I searched high and low for the answer. I even tested an idea I got from ChristinaTosi’s Momofuko Milk Bar cookbook, which required ordering glucose from the web and waiting several days for it to arrive. After doing some research on the various brands, I bought Caullet Glucose Syrup. The stuff is WIERD—stickier than anything I have ever encountered, including corn syrup, honey, and caramel. It’s scary-sticky. I’ve only used it a couple of times–so I will keep you posted on continuing adventures–but for now I haven’t seen enough of a difference to make it mandatory in these cookies. Corn syrup works just fine.
So are you ready for SECRET TIPS (don’t tell anyone) to making truly chewy, fabulously tasty peanut butter cookies? Here goes:
Secret Tips for the Chewiest, Tastiest Peanut Butter Cookies Ever
- Use fresh, unsalted butter (can’t beat the flavor)
- With a high-butter ratio, it is imperative to bind the butter to the sugars and egg with lengthy beating–5 minutes for recipes specifying butter and peanut butter and 10 minutes for recipes specifying butter alone.
- Use low-egg ratio (too much contributes to cakey texture)
- Use bread flour, especially with high-butter ratio cookies (contains more protein which helps bind the cookies)
- Don’t use too much flour (contributes to cakey, dry cookies)
- Don’t over mix after the flour is added; 1 minute tops. (contributes to tenderness)
- Use corn syrup or glucose syrup (hydroscopic; contributes to chewy texture)
- Use some powdered milk (contributes to chewy texture and depth of flavor)
- Use some brown sugar (hydroscopic)
- Use baking soda (increases browning)
- Don’t use baking powder (contributes to cakey texture)
- Chill shaped dough balls for at least 24 hours before baking (develops texture and flavor)
- Dough should be cold (not frozen) when it goes into the oven (prevents spreading)
- Under bake slightly (promotes moistness and chewy texture)
Chewy Peanut Butter, Roasted Peanut & Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These super chewy peanut butter cookies have amazing depth of flavor and an irresistible texture. No one can eat just one. In fact, it’s hard to stop eating even after three or four cookies. To accompany the just baked, warm cookies, cold milk is a must.
NOTE These cookies may disappoint if you don’t follow the directions to the letter. Because this is a high-butter formula, you must use bread flour and beat the ingredients the full length of time specified. This binds the butter to the sugars and egg, which then prevents the butter from melting out while baking, leaving you with greasy cookies that have spread way too much.
2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached, bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1 cup creamy-style, natural peanut butter (peanuts and salt only)
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) packed golden brown sugar
¼ cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 large egg, cool room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6-7 ounces) premium-quality semi-sweet (56% cacao) or bittersweet (70%-72% cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (5 ounces) roasted, skinned, lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the bread flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, at medium speed, mix the cool room temperature butter, peanut butter, and sugars together until smooth, at least 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and powdered milk, and mix for another 1 minute.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix at medium speed for 5 full minutes.
- On low speed, slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Mix for no longer than 1 minute.
- Stir in peanuts and chocolate. Dough will be very soft.
- Use a 2-tablespoon, release-style scoop to portion dough balls close together onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
- If you want to bake right away, proceed to Step 9.
- Otherwise, chill, covered, for at least 2 hours; or freeze and then put into freezer bags for storage in the freezer.
- Arrange 6-9 freshly made or thawed, chilled cookie balls on each edged baking sheet, spacing balls 2-inches apart.
- Position a rack in the upper center of the oven (not too high). Heat conventional oven to 325º. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom of the cookies, checking cookies after 8 and 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet once for even browning.
NOTE Cookies will not appear done at 11-12 minutes, but they will be nicely browned on the bottom. THAT’S IT! PULL THEM FROM THE OVEN. If you over bake, the cookies will not be fabulously chewy.
- Remove from the oven, let rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, and then use a thin, flexible metal spatula to remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 42, three-inch diameter cookies.
More Chewy Cookie Recipes from LunaCafe
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Copyright 2012 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.