July 10, 2009
Here are the straight goods on how I feel about baking cookies: it bores me.
You get all revved up about a great recipe only to spend forever dropping 48 little balls of dough onto half a dozen cookie sheets. Don’t even get me started about the rotating and the cooling and the transferring to a wire rack. By the time you can actually eat a cookie cool enough you won’t burn your tongue you’ve had quite enough of the whole ordeal. Chances are you’ve burned your tongue on a cookie that wasn’t cool enough to eat yet and if you’re anything like me, you’ve given yourself a stomach ache from eating too much raw dough.
The second reason I don’t bother with cookies is because I live but half a block from Le Gourmand, a Parisian style cafe that makes Toronto’s best. Check out this photo to get a glimpse for yourself. All that stands between me and the best cookies ever is 45 seconds and $2.36 each and every single day. Although this blog does a really good job of hiding how lazy I really am, time and time again convenience wins this battle.
Also, I think my friend Tania makes the best homemade cookies ever, but I can hardly count that as a reason not to bake because it’s a rare, rare treat when she brings them in to the office. If she gave me the recipe maybe I’d make them more often because they are SO worth it (hint, hint, Tania).
Anyway, there was something about this recipe that I found in Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone that I just couldn’t resist. Maybe I was so relaxed the usual fuss that comes with cookie baking didn’t even faze me. Or maybe I just had the foresight to know these would simply be the best cookies I’ve ever baked. They turned out to be huge, half-the-size-of-your-head cookies that stayed nice and soft even after a couple of days in an air-tight container. Peanut butter keeps them pliable and the chocolate chunks take them from good to heavenly.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone
Makes about 15-20 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, paked
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, mix (or, if you have an electric mixer, beat) the peanut butter, sugars, butter, honey, egg and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the dry ingredients in two additions. Add chocolate.
3. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies puff and begin to brown. Make sure the cookies are still soft to the touch.
4. Let cookies cool for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
5. Just try and resist a nibble until they’re warm, I dare ya.