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In Search of Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday, 13 Jan 2009
 

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Found ’em: Cooking for Engineers Peanut Butter Cookies.  But let’s start this story at the beginning.  Today I had a crazy, ridiculous peanut butter cookie craving.  I can’t even remember the last time I made peanut butter cookies.   I set out to find a great recipe and headed to all the usual places:  Food Network, AllRecipes, RecipeZaar.  No luck.  None of their recipes stood apart with stellar ratings.  And I came across a lot of recipes using only three ingredients:  peanut butter, sugar and butter.  I’m not sure how that could make anything but gooey globs of peanut-buttery stuff.

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So then I decided to break out a tried and true cookbook, the Joy of Cooking.  How could I go wrong with that?  I post fewer recipes from hard-copy cookbooks because it’s a pain to type the whole thing out and attribute it.  So I googled the Joy of Cooking peanut butter recipe to see if I’d luck out and find another blogger who’d posted it.  Well, I did, but it wasn’t what I expected.  I found a site called Cooking for Engineers, and I expect it will be a good resource for my cooking for a long time to come.   Cooking for Engineers provides tons of minute detail and technical tips with their recipes.  They did a “recipe test” on the Joy of Cooking’s peanut butter cookie recipe and it didn’t turn out well.  No, not at all.  The recipe was found to be “cakey, bland and not well-received by… coworkers.”  That told me enough.  The Joy of Cooking recipe was very involved and I wasn’t going to waste my time with it.

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Cooking for Engineers to the rescue again — they posted their own step by step recipe for peanut butter cookies and it looked fantastic.  Like a normal peanut butter cookie recipe, not a three-ingredient wonder!  So to conclude this long, long story, let me say the cookies met and even exceeded expectations.  They were just what I was looking for — a little crispy on the outside, a little chewy on the inside, great sweet peanut butter flavor with just a touch of saltiness.  I followed the recipe exactly and it worked.  How about that!  And these were the first cookies I made on my Williams-Sonoma commercial-quality baking sheets.  They were great — the cookies baked evenly, no burning on the bottom.

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Now, maybe Cooking for Engineers can help me stop setting off the smoke alarm.  It happened again today, and Fred the Dog went berserk again.  Had to open the outside door, again.  Nothing like watching heat waves escape from your home into the -5 degree afternoon.  But we did end up with great peanut butter cookies!  Bon appetit!



Reader's Comments

  1. Glad you liked our Peanut Butter Cookie recipe! I try to make sure that everything in the Recipe File on Cooking For Engineers is well tested and reproducible.

    About the smoke alarm, that wasn’t because of the cookies was it?

  2. Thanks, Michael. The cookies were great.

    I think the smoke alarm was caused because there was still a little bit of spilled juice burning in the oven from the apple tarts I made yesterday. The smoke alarm has a hair trigger…

  3. Thanks for the cookies! They are the BEST…

  4. Thanks, Steve! I used “Cooking for Engineers.” Fitting, no?

  5. What a fun find! I haven’t been on the Cooking for Engineers site before, I’ll have to check them out.

  6. Yes, Cooking for Engineers is a cool site. Very, very detailed, which I like.

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