LUCY BURDETTE: I looovvvveee peanut butter cookies. So of course I made the roll-up recipe that Cleo gave us a month or two ago. And then I came across a recipe for peanut butter cookies made with Sriracha sauce, which is a hot and spicy sauce that comes from China. This sounded very appealing in a strange kind of way. However, the baker who made this mentioned that two of her taste-testers (who happened to be children), spit the cookies out.
You don't have to be a mystery writer to crack that case: too much hot sauce! I tried the recipe, reducing the hot sauce and increasing the vanilla extract. And I used the store-brand, all-natural, crunchy peanut butter from Publix, which is quite good.
• 1 cup salted Butter (softened)
• 1½ cups Crunchy Peanut Butter
• 1 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
• 2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
• 2 Eggs
• 2 tsp Vanilla extract
• 2¾ to 3 cups All-Purpose Flour (finished dough should be soft, but not sticky)
• 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
• 1½ teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Granulated sugar for topping
In one bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix with a fork.
In a larger bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter, and two kinds of sugar. On low speed, beat in the hot sauce, the vanilla, and the eggs. When the batter looks smooth, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with care. Your batter should be neither dry nor sticky!
Now lay out a piece of parchment paper and glob the batter into a log shape. Using the parchment paper, roll the dough into a real log, tucking the paper under the ends so nothing falls out.
At this point the logs of dough can be frozen in a ziplock bag, or else refrigerated for at least an hour and up to several days.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Unwrap the logs and cut them into disks, not too fat and not too thin.
Place the cookie disks on a baking sheet, dip a fork into granulated sugar and press crisscross lines into the cookies.
Bake for about 8 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown.
One more thing to try: I did freeze some of my logs. When it came time to bake, instead of cutting them into wafers, I rolled them in balls, then sugar. Then I baked as directed, and once they were out of the oven, studded them with Hershey's kisses. Voila: zippy peanut butter blossoms!
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out on February 4, but you can pre-order it now.
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