Above is Orangette’s Salted Peanut Butter Cookie and for once in my life, I didn’t change a thing about the recipe.
There are two secrets to this cookie that you should know:
1. Remove from the oven at the very hint of browning. It will look undone. You will doubt yourself.
2. Do not serve these fresh out of the oven. Do not even serve them warm. Do yourself a favor and bake them in the morning. Ignore them cooling on a wire rack all day while you seek out every youtube version of King of the Road (this one wins, but this one’s kind of special, too). Serve them after dinner.
I mixed up a batch of these last month, but because there were only four of us for dinner and I’ve been trying not to make people leave my house clutching their stomachs, I baked a pan’s worth and froze the rest. My first effort, served warm. They were fine, but not great. They needed ice cream.
More than a month later, I broke out the dough, baked for 20 minutes. After dinner, they were good. But the next morning, they were amazing.
240 grams (2 cups plus 1 ts) pastry flour
5 grams (1 ts) baking soda
12 grams (1 T plus 1 ts) coarse salt
275 grams (2 sticks plus 3.5 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 grams (about 1 ¼ cup, packed) dark brown sugar
170 grams (¾ cup plus 2.5 T) sugar
2 large eggs
400 grams (1 ½ cup) natural salted creamy peanut butter
2 ts vanilla extract
115 grams chopped milk chocolate (4 oz)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the pastry flour, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well.
3. In a larger, separate bowl, beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat on medium-low speed to blend. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate, and beat briefly on low speed, just until evenly incorporated.
5. Scoop the batter onto the prepared sheet pan into 1/4 cup mounds, taking care to leave plenty of space between cookies. No more than 6 per sheet!
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and pale golden around the edges, but their tops have no color. These will not look cooked, but do not overbake!
7. Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan. They will firm up as they cool. Do not serve until cooled.
Freezing instructions: Scoop dough into mounds and freeze until hard; then transfer the dough mounds to a freezer bag or other airtight container. Do not defrost before baking, and bake an extra 5 minutes longer.
Yield: about 20 large (4-inch) cookies