08 June 2014

I've Got a New Oven, So Cookies!

 We got a new oven a few weeks ago which is awesome, as it now takes a reasonable amount of time to cook something. No more six hour chickens or three hour bagels. I don’t even care that my roasting pan and one of my cookie sheets don’t fit in it.

Even though it’s about 32ºC today, I thought I’d test it with some cookies.

Due to the rarity of such items as light and dark soft brown sugar, molasses, oats, etc., my cookie baking in Italy is somewhat limited. I had some peanut butter, eggs, sugar and mini dark chocolate chips, so I went with flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I used Calvé brand peanut butter, which is typically pretty good, though a bit more on the “natural” side of the peanut butter spectrum. Skippy-type peanut butter definitely works better for these.

There are tons of flourless peanut butter cookie recipes all over the innerwebs, so I just kind of looked at several, saw what I had and mixed everything up.

Recipe I used:

1 c peanut butter
1 c sugar (some recipes use white, some use dark; I had some Chinese brown sugar, which isn’t really as squishy as it is in the US, but I used it anyway, and mixed it with white sugar)
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbinatodi sodio, if you happen to be looking for it in Italy)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
mini dark chocolate chips

Yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies

Preheat oven to 175ºC/350ºF.
Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips together in a bowl. Most recipes say to cream them until light and fluffy and some tell you to mix the peanut butter with the sugar and, I think, the egg before adding the baking soda and vanilla, but I don’t have a mixer and I wasn’t really reading anyone’s directions, so I used a wooden spoon and bashed it all around until it seemed pretty homogenous and I couldn’t really feel the sugar granules anymore.

Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls, about 1’ diameter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. This is especially useful if, like me, you don’t know that one of your cookie sheets won’t fit in your oven, as it’s super easy to just lift the sides of the parchment laden with cookie blobs off of the sheet and place it on another, smaller cookie sheet

If you want, use a fork to press them down. You don’t have to make the criss-cross pattern that signifies Peanut Butter Cookies—the cookies’ll kind of puff up and some of them won’t retain the crosshatch anyway—but I like to. At this point, I sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and sort of smoosh them into the dough since it’s pretty crumbly and doesn’t hold the chocolate chips well if you fold them in. You end up with most of the chocolate chips loose in the bottom of the bowl and have to smoosh ‘em in, anyway. My way annoys me less.

Bake them in a 175ºC/350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes.

Take them out and let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. Delight in the fact that the whole process took only a half an hour instead of the hour and a half it would’ve taken with my old oven.

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