Friday, December 14, 2012

Master Cookie Recipe

For Thanksgiving in Wisconsin, the theme was local and sustainable food, so we brought some artisan bourbon from Asheville, and I made peanut brittle with local groundnuts. It was my first time, and it went pretty well, although cutting it up did yield a small container of bits and pieces too small for serving, I saved them, thinking that they would mix well with vanilla ice cream (they did), but last week I had the idea of making peanut butter cookies with brittle chips.

I've never made a peanut butter cookie with any "wow" factor--they have always been solid but unspectacular. In leafing through my beloved Joy, I came across their "Master Cookie Recipe," which included a peanut butter variety, so I decided to try it, replacing half of the flour with whole wheat product from Lonesome Stone.

As I was stirring in the brittle, I realized that I had overlooked any baking powder or soda. I went back to the recipe, and to my great surprise, neither was called for. This made me nervous, but I decided to trust the Beckers and proceed as directed.

The results were incredible; a a chewiness from the wheat flour balanced against a peanutty taste and a nice crunch from the brittle. Even the OG--nigh impossible to impress--weighed in positively.

I made the version with chocolate and cinnamon this week, and after Worldwide tasted the first batch, her faint praise spurred me to stir in some chocolate chips, which produced the cookie I'd hoped for.

I'm not sure about the other versions (marble, lemon butter, lemon poppy seed, orange butter, orange-nut, coconut, ginger, butterscotch, spice and raisin)). but I think I may try the peanut version with chopped up peanut butter cups, which we usually have on hand. But try it. You'll be amazed at the toothsome result.

Master Cookie Recipe
Beat on medium speed until well blended: 2 sticks butter, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 cup of superfine sugar (or regular sugar processed for 30 seconds in a food processor). Add and beat until blended 1 egg yolk; then 1 whole egg and 2 tsp. vanilla. Add  1 1/4 cups all purpose flour and 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour and beat on low until just combined.

Refrigerate dough for an hour, then roll tablespoonfuls into balls and press onto parchment lined sheets into 1/4 inch thick disks with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in flour. Bake 6-8 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Note: The peanut butter version includes 2/3 cup of peanut butter with the butter, sugar and salt, and I stirred in about a cup of brittle bits at the very end. The Chocolate cinnamon variation adds 1 ounce of melted unsweetened chocolate to the butter and 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon to the flour. I then stirred about a cup of chocolate chips in at the end.

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