Would you believe that, until recently, I had never baked with peanut butter? Not once. Peanut butter is a regular feature in my sandwiches, and it goes a long way in Thai peanut sauce. But, even though I frequently found myself drooling over recipes and blog posts about peanut butter brownies, cookies, and cakes, I just never got around to trying them.
So the January Daring Bakers’ Challenge was actually the first time peanut butter found its way into one of my sweet treats – this time, in the form of the filling for the challenge Nanaimo bars (which I’m told I should make again).
Perhaps this pulled a mental trigger, but when I was hit with a sudden urge to bake cookies a while back, and reached for Martha Stewart’s Cookies, this recipe just jumped off the page. The fact that they were quick and required no resting time made it all the more appealing.
As I’ve said time and time again, making cookies does not come easily to me. I often have issues with my dough being too dry, and I often find that my cookies are chewier than I would like. But these… I have to say, they were just right. It’s probably due to the fat contained in the peanut butter, but they were perfectly crisp and friable. I also love the fact that they contain brown sugar, which adds a very special kind of sweetness that lingers on the tongue, without being overpowering.
My father-in-law loved them so much he asked me for the recipe link. The texture reminded him of speculoos cookies, and he wanted to adapt the recipe by adding spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom), to make it even more like speculoos. Now, I know that these traditional Belgian cookies have never been made with peanut butter, and that purists would probably hate the idea. But you know what? He was right: the resemblance in texture was definitely there. And when he made his spiced-up version, they did indeed taste and feel very much like speculoos. Which means I’m going to have to try, too. Of course, they won't be peanut butter cookies anymore...
So, while you’re waiting to find out how my pimped-out peanut butter cookies turn out, why don’t you go ahead and try the regular version? It’s simple, but foolproof and seriously dreamy.