Saturday, 1 October 2016

Recipe: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Cookies

I've been making variations on these cookies for years, having initially adapted the recipe from the Good Housekeeping recipe book my mum's had since before I was born. I've never actually made them to the recipe in the book, and just keep fiddling and messing until I find something I like.

Having slightly hurt my left wrist doing too much deadline knitting, I'm cutting down on the knitting for a couple of days. My big project is done, and my next knitting deadline isn't until December. I don't mean by that what you think - I'm not planning to knit gifts for people this year as I have other plans. My best friend is anticipating a new family member, so I'm using this as an excuse to make all the cute baby clothes and accessories I've had my eye on for ages.

Being fat, I'm careful about knitting baby things in public. I have a sock on the go for that, to avoid the embarrassment of the conversation which goes like this:
Stranger: "Aww, when are you due?"
Me: "Not pregnant, just fat."
Stranger, embarrassed, wanders away

Anyway, baking uses different muscles to knitting, and I was itching for a creative outlet this morning. Baking cookies is a great way to start the weekend. These are particularly excellent about 10 minutes out of the oven, when they're still warm and a bit chewy inside. When they cool, they have excellent snap and a slightly complex sweetness, not too cloying.

A note on measurements: All ingredients are by weight and in imperial measurements. Although I am what's called a 'millenial' and learned metric in school, I was taught to bake by my mother and grandparents, who taught me in imperial, and so that is how I bake. Sorry.

Makes12 good size cookies.

3oz butter or margarine, softened slightly
3oz white sugar
3oz light brown sugar
1 egg
6oz self raising flour
2oz white chocolate chips
2oz smooth peanut butter
vanilla extract or chef's vanilla

Preheat oven to gas mark 4 or 180°c.

Cream together the butter with both sugars until smooth in consistency and light in colour.

Add the egg and a splash of vanilla extract (not too much - 1/4 teaspoon is enough) and mix until just combined.

Add the flour and chocolate chips and stir in gently. When most of the flour is incorporated, add the peanut butter and stir until mixture is even and no floury or excessively peanut-buttery areas remain. Make sure you scrape around the bowl to incorporate everything.

On a lined baking sheet, place 1tbsp sized dollops of mixture spaced well apart to allow for spreading. Bake for 12 minutes at 180°c and then check on them - they should be well risen and lightly browned at the edges. I find that the first batch tend to need 2 minutes longer, but for subsequent batches 12 minutes is enough.

Leave to cool on the baking tray until the cookies have sunk, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack or paper-towel-lined plate to cool the rest of the way, or eat warm with tea, coffee or glasses of cold milk.

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