Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bakery Style Peanut Butter Cookies

The secret to these cookies is 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening. I use this method in a lot of my cookies.

Cream in mixing bowl:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup creamy peanut butter, or crunchy if you prefer
1 tsp vanilla
Combine in separate bowl:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and stir until blended.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Recipe says to lightly grease cookie sheets (I never do, I use a Silpat liner). Scoop cookies and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet 1 minute. Place on wire racks to cool.

Some Hints:
I buy this sparkling sugar at Wal-Mart for $2, you can also buy it at Joann Fabrics.
* I like well defined criss-crosses on my peanut butter cookies, so I spray my fork with pan spray in between pressing each cookie. You can probably skip this step if your dough has been refrigerated.
* I'm sure you have figured out the trick to chewy cookies is pulling them from the oven before they are done. I still have a hard time knowing exactly when to pull them, but for my oven 7 minutes is about perfect for regular sized cookies. You want the surface to look done, but if you were to touch them with your finger, they would feel very underdone.
* Remember to remove from hot pans after a minute, leaving them on pans to cool, will overcook them and make them crunchy the next day. If the bottom of my cookies take on the grid of my wire racks, I know they are perfect!
* I freeze my empty pans between baking, using an already hot pan will affect cooking time. I have found this keeps baking times and cookies consistent throughout the whole batch.
* Don't be afraid to freeze leftover cookies or if you want to make them ahead of time for an event. They thaw very well. I used to always keep dough in my freezer, but now I bake them all at once. It is so nice to have cookies on hand for a treat in the evening or for having company.
* I've never done it, but these would be so delish dipped half in chocolate.

 Who doesn't love cookie dough?

The sparkling sugar gives it that real bakery touch.

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