You know what’s crazy?
This week has been. Absolutely. Nuts. <3 Kind of in an awesome way though.
Oh, and these cookies are pretty cuh-raay-zee as well, so let me start with these because I know that’s what really you came here for (and okay, can I just say that I honestly love the photos you’re about to see: these are such puffy, tall, photogenic cookies…Try and tell me you’re not drooling/pinning/sharing right now as you ogle!).
My very best friends are also my very best taste-testers. I am particularly lucky in this respect because I happen to have quite a few very best friends–you know, the ones who, when you ask them if they want to try a cookie for your blog, immediately raise their hands and shout with all the bravado of a District 2 citizen, “I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!” I’ve gotten at least seven texts this week from friends who, after seeing this post, wanted to know if I had any cookies left on my counter to share, and I can’t blame them…
And thank goodness I can share the
pithy grad student wages wealth with so many awesome friends–otherwise, as they never fail to point out after I’ve fed them five variations of my latest peanut butter cookie recipe, expanding jean sizes would definitely be a big problem. Er, bigger than it already is, anyway. (Sorry, guys!)
So when a few of my friends so graciously ‘volunteered’ to be my taste subjects a few weeks back, of course I had to take full advantage of the opportunity! They call peanut butter their ‘easy win’ dessert ingredient, so I started experimenting with all things peanut buttery and, after many tasty but textually wrong or kind of blah batches, I finally emerged with the victor: these, their and my favorite peanut butter (chocolate chip) cookie recipe. It’s puffy, tall, soft, chewy, not a bit cakey, and–well, everything you see in these photographs, really.
Aren’t they gorgeous? They’re chock full of peanut butter flavor; I threw in a huge handful of chocolate chips for that great PB-CC pairing, and then….and then….
Yeah. I did. You obviously don’t have to go the PB&J route if you don’t have these bars on hand or
just don’t like PB&J we won’t talk about that, but it’s kind of an awesome surprise addition to your PB cookie recipe if you do.
Since my first time making these, flocks of friends have come back to ‘volunteer’ themselves for the rigor of taste-testing in the Wallflour Kitchen. Plus, they’re so easy to whip together (you won’t need even a speck of cornstarch in these, although cornstarch really works wonders in My Favorite Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe) and are possibly the prettiest cookies I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving away…although at some point I’m really going to need to start putting out a donation tin, because the term grad school is really a euphemism for state-funded and endorsed poverty.
Speaking of grad school–ah, grad school. If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I just passed a major milestone on Friday and am, one week later, still in full recovery mode. Well, on Tuesday morning at, oh, say, 3:30 AM, I checked my school email (thinking naively that I wouldn’t really need to check it until at least March–ha!) and found an unread message squatting in my inbox with the subject heading: “MEETING SCHEDULED FOR 2/18 WITH ALA S.”
I won’t bore you with the details of all that happened at that surprise meeting 12 hours later, but basically a) it was a pretty good morale booster–we discussed my exam, next steps for my prospectus, and my promising professional future, and b) I came out of it with a pile of books. Like, enough to last me a month. And I currently have them sitting next to me. Because if my professors used hashtags, they would say that #RelaxationisfortheDeluded, and I sadly wiped away a tear as my 72-hour, short-lived Vacation Time drifted into a distant memory.
Well, not that distant. I’m clutching pretty hard onto that Vacation Time right now, blogging and whatnot. I have most definitely spent the week eating sweets and ice cream like, well, like the soulfully-undernourished English grad student I am. Ha!
Yesterday, my friend and I paid a dutiful visit to Disneyland, complete with crazy Space Mountain photos and a World of Color showing to top off the night. I’ve also spent the week eating (which is a good thing), cooking dinner for friends, hosting Disney movie nights, eating more (still a good thing), and, of course, baking & blogging. I’ve climbed into at least 5 cars filled with my friends this past week where I was deafened by a roar of congratulations that nearly toppled me out the door. And oh, the fun of enjoying fun again–at one point, the really sweet guys next door even came over at midnight and invited us over for warm homemade banana bread, and we ended up chilling for two hours finally getting acquainted! It’s like a scene out of a Friends episode. I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to be able to ‘do crazy’ without feeling insanely guilty about not burying your nose in a book for enough hours in a day.
So of course, this week, to thank all of my gorgeous, wonderful very best friends for their support, undying enthusiasm, and taste-testing boldness, I made plenty more batches of my official new favorite soft-baked peanut butter cookie recipe. You’ll want to Pin/Share/print the recipe right this minute, because it’s the best of the very best. Just like my lucky taste-testing pals. <3
And now, if you’ll just excuse me for a moment…
Make sure you print this recipe!
My Favorite Puffy, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Averie Cooks
You’ll never need another peanut butter cookie recipe after you’ve met–and inhaled–this one! Puffy, soft, and perfectly chewy without a hint of cakiness about them, these mounds of peanut butter goodness are my personal favorite. But don’t take my word for it: my friends have been raving about this recipe as the be-all PB cookie, and I can hardly make them fast enough!
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened to the point of melting
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, cream the heck out of your egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. The mixture should turn so fluffy you’ll want to die. When this has happened (about five minutes of vigorous beating), scream “It’s so FLUFFY!” and move on to the next step.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt–mix in until just incorporated.
- Fold in your chocolate chips like you would fold a baby’s laundry–gently, quietly, and gracefully.
- Cover your mixing bowl with cling-wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least two hours prior to baking. Tip: If you are like me and don’t wait for anything longer than it takes to watch an episode of Chopped, you can also stick the bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes prior to baking, watch Chopped, and come back.
- After your dough is chillier than a December penguin, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- Remove your dough from the fridge and use an ice cream scoop to create 2.5-inch mounds of gorgeous dough. You will want to mound these higher rather than wide in order to create that tall, droolworthy puffiness you desire. Place dough mounds 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies in oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges and top of cookies are set but the centers appear slightly underbaked. Remove sheet from oven–allow cookies to cool for an additional 10 minutes on stovetop to create that awesome soft chewiness you’re looking for.
- Eat. Eat. Share. Eat some more.