Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Cookies for Thanksgiving? Yes, Please!

More of the Fab Four:
Big and Nutty, Super Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies
But first a few tips and tricks:  Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature -- eggs, butter, peanut butter.  Since I live in the South, I even keep my flour in a zip-loc bag in the refrigerator and that needs to warm up as well.  Don't forget to check the date on your baking powder.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (or you can use dark brown sugar)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Planter's Crunchy Peanut Butter (or an extra crunchy brand is fine, too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extra (even the imitation vanilla works fine)
  • 1 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped to the consistency of bread crumbs
INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Adjust the oven rack to lower middle position.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl, (and it's easier to use an electric mixer) beat the butter until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat until fluffy.  Depending on your mixer, this could take 3-4 minutes. Don't forget to scrape down the bowl periodically.
  • Beat in the peanut butter.
  • Continue beating as you add in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Change over to a wood spoon or a spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients.
  • Continue to stir gently as the ground honey roasted peanuts are add in -- just until incorporated.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Each cookie uses about two tablespoons of dough. Roll into a large ball and place each ball on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Using the tines of a fork, press each ball with a criss-cross pattern, then sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of sugar.

Bake cookies until they have puffed up a little and the very edges (not the top) are slightly browned.  Even though they will look pretty raw, pull them out.  They will finish baking on the cookie sheet.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet until they have firmed up -- about 4 minutes. 

Yields 33 -36 cookies.

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