Tuesday, February 14, 2012

chocolate & peanut cookies

peanuts! chocolate! delicious salty salt! i like to bake and i can sometimes be in the mood for sweet things, but for the most part, my tastes tend toward the more saline end of the spectrum.* these cookies hit it right on both levels - dark chocolate for sweet and roasted salted peanuts for a savory kick.

*although mike did buy me a gigantic thing of twizzlers for valentine's day and even opened them ahead of time so they kind of dried out a little in the way that i find most pleasing. i never said i had perfect taste. i like quality chocolate and terrible artificial waxcandy. it's an illness. if i had to pick two candies to be the only ones i could ever have again, they would probably be gummy bears and dried-out twizzlers. it's gross. sorry.

oh, but these cookies are for-real good. i don't much care for peanut butter cookies (peanut butter chocolate meta-cookies aside) because i feel like they have a weird texture. these have more of a traditional chocolate chip cookie base but they end up tasting something like peanut butter cookies, without the strange sandiness.

i based the recipe on the New York Times's perfect chocolate chip cookies, but obviously made some significant changes. if you want a really good regular chocolate chip cookie, though, i heartily recommend those. they are aces. but so are these!

the NYT recipe calls for picky things like 2 kinds of sugar, 2 kinds of flour and chocolate fèves. i KNOW! what the h is a fève? apparently it is just a fancy-people word for disc. still, i don't necessarily want to have to go to a fancy-people store every time i want to make delicious cookies. so i just chopped up a giant dark chocolate bar. i liked it better that way anyway, because when you chop chocolate you end up with some largish chunks and some tiny bits, which makes for great texture and flavor throughout.

i also cut down on the salt a little, since the peanuts i used were already quite salty. i did use two kinds of flour, but they were just regular all purpose and whole wheat flours, not fancypants cake and bread flours. i like using a little whole wheat flour in cookies, because it makes them a little more nutty-tasting and it gives one a (false!) sense of health when eating them. also i used just one kind of sugar, because i was out of brown sugar. but if you have some, a mix would be nice. finally, i added peanuts, because yum.

if you have a scale, i really recommend using it because it is much more easy and more exact than using cup measurements. but i looked up equivalents, so if you are scale-less, you can try it that way.

these follow the basic rules of cookie-making - cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy (~5 minutes), then add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition. mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the butter-sugar-eggs and mix until just combined (~20 seconds). it will be fairly dry and crumbly, but that's okay. then add the chopped chocolate and peanuts and use your big tough arm muscles to blend them in. sometimes it's easiest to just make sure your hands are super-clean and combine things with them - the dough is pretty stiff.

it's best if you can let the dough sit in the refrigerator for a day or three so that everything gets to hang out for awhile and get friendly (see explanation in the NYT article). but i was in a hurry, since i was making these for a work thing the next day, so i made them right away and they were still great. so it's up to you. you could even do some right away and some later - this recipe makes A Lot of cookies. you could also cut the recipe in half if you are worried about having tons of tasty cookies around.

when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. you can make these in whatever size you like. i wanted large but not gigantor cookies, so mine were about largish golf ball-sized. i rolled them by hand and flattened them down a little bit once they were on the baking sheet. i got about 9 on each large baking sheet and they ended up being about 3" in diameter once baked.

bake them for 15-18 minutes, depending on your oven and on how crunchy you'd like them to be. i erred on the side of crunchiness, leaving them in for about 18 minutes or until they were a dark toasty golden on the bottom. they're pretty delicate when they come out, so slide them onto a baking rack or something, but leave them on the parchment until they've cooled a bit.

then grab a big glass of milk and be happy. or bring them to your coworkers, friends, or neighbors and let them be happy. or both.

16 oz sugar - white, brown, or a mix (somewhere around 2 cups. with brown, you get more moisture, so they may be less crunchy than mine were. which is not a bad thing, necessarily)
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, also at room temperature

16 oz flour (i used 10 oz white and 6 oz whole wheat, which the internet says is equivalent to ~ 2 1/4 to 2 1/3 cups and a little less than 1 1/2 cups, respectively. but get a scale! they're cheap!)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (kosher, please. table salt is gross. if you must use it, though, i'd go with like 1/2 tsp)

12 oz chopped dark chocolate (~ 2 to 2 1/2 cups. you could use chocolate chips, but chopping it yourself is much better, i think. chop so that most pieces are the size of smallish peas)
6-7 oz chopped roasted, salted peanuts (~ 1 1/2 cups)

listening to: okkervil river, clem snide. are you on spotify? me too! http://open.spotify.com/user/leelarice

No comments:

Post a Comment