Friday, February 19, 2010

Cleo Coyle's Peanut Butter Cookies

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
In Italy the hazelnut is king. In America, it is the humble but much beloved peanut; and while Chef Thomas Keller isn’t going to be hiring me for his French Laundry brigade based on a peanut butter cookie recipe, this one has done right by me for years.

You may notice that I do not make these using the old fashioned method (rolling the dough into little balls and smushing each down with a crisscrossing of fork prongs). No worries if you want to stick to this traditional method. This recipe can be made that way, too. But...if you’re up for a walk on the wild side…

I find this “refrigerator log” method offers several advantages...

Advantage #1: By letting the dough rest in the refrigerator, you are allowing the flavors to develop, which will give you a better tasting cookie.

Advantage #2: The log gives you the convenience of only slicing off and baking as many cookies as you need at the time. So you can serve up a warm pan of them, freshly baked, every afternoon or evening until the dough is gone, instead of being forced to bake all the dough at once.




Advantage #3: Yes, you can buy pre-made PB dough logs in your grocery store aisle, but the dough you make fresh will not only taste far better, it will be filled with stuff you can pronounce. No preservatives or ingredients that look like they came out of a Princeton lab filled with mice in cages.

Certainly, you don’t NEED to use fork prongs to make a crisscross design on each slice, as I do. Like hot cross buns, however, I find the traditional “look” of a peanut butter cookie just isn’t complete without those cute little X’s. (You can even dip the fork in a bit of water then granulated sugar before dragging them lightly across each slice.)


Cleo Coyle’s Peanut Butter
Refrigerator Cookies


Yields: About 4 dozen cookies (when sliced ½-inch in thickness)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten with fork
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt


Using an electric mixer, cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Using hands, shape dough into 2 or 3 logs of about 2-inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight. The flavors will develop and the log will firm up. You can now slice as many or as few cookies as you like before re-wrapping the log and returning to the fridge for storage. Bake at 350 degrees F. 12 - 17 minutes. Time depends on your oven and the thickness of your cookie slices. Do not over bake. Peanut butter cookies with scorched bottoms are pretty much inedible, so be careful. The cookies should be lightly golden brown and not dark brown. Remove from pan promptly, cool on a rack, and…









Eat with joy!


 
~ Cleo Coyle, author of 


To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


19 comments:

  1. This recipe sounds perfect for the cold days we've been having. I can see these going so well with a cup of hot chocolate. Thanks.

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  2. Hi, Mason! Thank you for dropping by. As for me, I just love dunking a warm peanut butter cookie in a cold glass of milk.

    ~Cleo

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  3. Oh, milk and cookies! The BEST comfort food around!

    I loved your comment about the Princeton lab ingredients! So true. Sometimes I look at the backs of things I'm about to feed my kids and do a "Whoa!" I try not to have too many "whoa" moments. This sounds absolutely perfect and I love the idea of making my own log. I haven't done that.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  4. Sophie Winston always has homemade chocolate chip cookies in her freezer, ready to bake. She (and I) will have to add these peanut butter cookies. Looks like a terrific recipe, Cleo!

    And I totally agree about the scary ingredients in foods.

    ~ Krista

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  5. These look yummy! I haven't had a peanut butter cookie in forever. Time to remedy that!

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  6. Elizabeth - Good point about comfort food - winter is such a great time for those good, old American comfort food cookies. Peanut butter, chocolate chip...And a cold cookie from a box just cannot hold a candle to a fresh baked batch. (Not to mention the lack of Princeton lab ingredients, lol!) Have a great weekend.

    ~Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  7. Krista - Your amazing Domestic Diva (Sophie Winston) is filled with all kinds of great tips (and recipes!). I could not agree more!

    ~Cleo

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  8. Ingrid - I am laughing at your comment because that's exactly how I felt a short time ago. I had not thought of making PB cookies in quite some time, and then I came across a new no-stir, "natural" aka low-sugar peanut butter in the grocery, and I thought: Let me try this in a PB cookie. And then I thought: Why not do the cookie post?

    I know everyone has a favorite PB recipe -- it's just nice to offer one with some slight variations. Or simply remind folks how satisfying a basic, American peanut butter cookie can be.

    Thanks for dropping by, Ingrid!

    ~Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  9. Peanutbutter cookies are my weakness, Cleo.
    I never thought about the possibility of
    a chilled log. Very handy! Drool-worthy pics, seriously!

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  10. Jenn - thank you! Too bad I can't make those pictures scratch-n-sniff. The cookies just came out of the oven.

    Taste-o-vision would be a nice feature on this website, too. Now there's a project for those Princeton grad students. :-) Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

    ~Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

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  11. Oh, Cleo! I want these NOW!! And since I have all the ingredients in the house I could put these together in a flash. Great recipe. Thanks for reminding us of the joy of homemade cookies ;-)

    Julie

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  12. I love the idea of doing them refrigerator log style, because I think otherwise you usually end up with too many cookies (there is in fact such a thing!!) and then they either go stale or you eat them all and feel not-so-good. And I totally agree - they need the fork pattern! I bet this dough is SO good raw. I know, raw egg ... worth the risk I say.

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  13. I love peanut butter cookies, and these look fabulous. Thanks.

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  14. Sorry to chime in so late, but Cleo, these cookies look fabulous!

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  15. Julie - The joy of homemade cookies - could not have said it any better.

    Trix - Hilarious point about not making them all so I don't EAT them all. Too true. (And I also have a weakness for raw cookie dough-- chocolate chip is my fave, like most of the country, right?! :-)

    Carol and Avery - thank you for dropping by.
    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    ~Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  16. Peanut butter cookies are among my favorite favorites. This recipe is a keeper.

    thanks so much! Sure to be enjoyed.

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  17. This PB Cookie recipe sounds yummy! I will try it and let you know how they come out :-) Thanks!

    Sarah

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  18. I'm not a PB fan per se but PB cookies are another story! These look gorgeous Cleo and I love the idea of a PB dough log in my freezer, anytime I want to slice off some cookies. Way, way better than anything you find in supermarkets/grocery stores!

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  19. These are really yummy! I made the dough after work one night and let the cookie "logs" sit in the 'fridge until after work the next day when I sliced and baked.
    The cookies have a nice flavor and the texture is good - not too crumbly.
    This recipe is definitely going in my permanent files!!

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