I actually made these a couple of weeks ago and did not get round to writing a post. However, given that it is Independence Day in the USA, now seemed as good a time as any.
Cookies are the American cousin to our biscuit. They are usually bigger (as everything in the USA invariably is) and are more suited to a glass of milk than a cup of tea. While looking at different recipes, it became apparent that like our biscuits, cookies are never just cookies. They can be crispy or have more of a half-baked, soft texture and of course the combinations of flavours and ingredients are endless.
An all American ingredient that has a very special place in my heart, is peanut butter. When I eat it, I often like to compliment the saltiness with something sweet. Although traditionally paired with jam (jelly to any Americans reading this), one of my all-time favourite breakfasts/snacks is a peanut butter and banana sandwich on wholemeal toast…. Incredible.
Given it’s soft, pasty texture, I knew peanut butter would work well in a cookie. However, like my beloved sandwich, it needed something sweet to balance the saltiness. Cookies for me, always need to contain a chocolate element, either chunks or chips. Dark chocolate was not going to be sweet enough and even milk chocolate didn’t quite have the level of milky, sugariness I was after. What I needed was the creamy, almost slight sickliness of white chocolate for that real sweet/salty contrast.
The recipe for these is a slight adaption of this one from Baking Mad
195g light brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
195g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth but I think the crunchy gives more texture to the cookie)
150g white chocolate or white chocolate chips (the more chocolate, the better)
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper
2) Cream the butter (make sure it is at room temperature) and sugar in a mixer or a with hand whisk until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again until well combined
3) Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Next add the chocolate (smashed up if it’s a bar) and peanut butter and stir until mixture is evenly combined
4) Using a dessert spoon of mix per cookie, spoon dollops of mixture on to the baking tray and squash down slightly with the back of the spoon. Leave about an inch between each cookie as they spread when baking
5) Bake for about ten minutes or until golden and still slightly soft in the centre. Once cooled, slightly, transfer to a wire rack and then enjoy
Tip: Cookies come in many textures and styles. Play around with ingredients until you find a combination that works for you.