The recipes in Alice Medrich’s cookbook Pure Dessert are so innovative and fresh. I read through the book dog-earring many pages vowing to bake from it. I finally made the time even though I knew that these cookies would be a tough sell for my family. No peanut lovers here (except for me) and my brother-in-law Patrick turns his nose with disgust whenever I make anything with peanut butter (he’s French and says the French just don’t get peanut butter). But I forged ahead because I knew I’d like them and I just needed to try. Well…yum! If you like peanuts and peanut butter – then this is a cookie for you. My friends Ali and Jonathan generally get to try and enjoy most of my sweets (they are neighbors so they get it all) but claim to not be critical enough. But I’ll take Ali’s concise comment – “loved them.” My daughter Sylvie surprised me by telling me that they were yummy – that the nuts reminded her of the chou-chou nuts that they sell on the beach in France. Oh, and by the way, these cookies are truly beautiful to look at.
salted peanut butter toffee cookies (just barely adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup natural (smooth or chunky) peanut butter (not unsalted)
1+ cup lightly chopped toffee peanuts*
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Mix the melted butter with both sugars in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg, vanilla and peanut butter. Add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Cover the dough and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the chopped nuts onto a tray. (I line the tray with parchment for easier clean up). Oh and re-use and re-use your parchment. Spoon out about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie and roll in a ball and then into the nuts. Press in the pieces that fall off. I like to cram as many as I can into the cookies. Place on cookie sheet and bake for anywhere from 14-19 minutes. Baking time will vary and depends on the size of the cookie, where they are placed in the oven, and how you measured your ingredients that day. The humidity and weather can also affect baking time. So please check the cookies often so as not to over bake. They should look very lightly browned on the top. Let cool and enjoy! Turn into a peanut cookie ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream. A little messy but delicious.
* I bought toffee peanuts on-line at Feridies.com. Amazon.com sells them too – as well as many other sites if you look around.
As usual – (you’ll see this often when I bake cookies) I reserved some un-peanut coated dough to freeze. I rolled it into logs (see oatmeal cookies for more instruction) for use the next time I’m hankering for a peanut cookie. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator and follow steps above – coating the balls of dough. Bake and enjoy with very little effort.