real life test kitchen: salty-sweet peanut butter cookies

A few weeks ago, we were in Columbus, OH and stopped by the Northstar Cafe for lunch. Everything was incredibly yummy, but we had a giant peanut butter cookie for dessert that I cannot stop dreaming about. It was moist in the middle and crunchy on the outside. Best of all, the top was covered with salty roasted peanuts. Perfection! I found this recipe at Cookstr.com that seemed to have all the right elements, and decided to try to make them on my own. They really are just classic peanut butter cookies, one-upped with real peanuts and a sprinkle of gourmet salt. They weren’t as good as the one I had at Northstar, but they satisfied the craving. Wrap ‘me up in some lovely box, and they’d be a great holiday present! I think Santa and the reindeer crew would love them, too. Here’s my take, below.

What You Need:
1 stick (½ cup) organic unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup crushed roasted salted organic peanuts
Handful of gourmet salt, such as Black Himalayan salt or Maldon brand sea salt flakes

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter, salt and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well-combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking soda together. Add this to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in salted peanuts, reserving a handful for sprinkling on top.

4. Shape the dough into balls (about two tablespoons each) and place them three inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a fork into the tops to flatten them slightly. Sprinkle each cookie with the remaining crushed nuts and a few grains of course sea salt.

5. Bake, rotating the baking sheets between the oven shelves halfway through baking, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

6. Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack to cool. Cookies are best eaten within three days before they get to crunchy!

More Cookie Recipes:

Oatmeal Flax Seed Cookies

Gingerbread Men

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buckeyes

The Best Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma B’s Rosemary Nut Rolls


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