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Out on this limb

I was planning to start this post with something about food, because that’s the way these things usually work. But I can’t seem to start much of anything, because this is sitting next to my chair.

This is Alice. As of last Friday, she has turned our family of three into a family of four. She is nine months old and weighs about 35 pounds, and though we have no idea what breed she is, we’re guessing some kind of pointer mixed with something else. Possibly a Muppet. Our friend Sam named her Peter Falk, which we changed to Mrs. Peter Falk before eventually settling on Alice, which was the name of Peter Falk’s first wife (though we changed the spelling). Our Alice was born on the border between Arizona and Mexico and picked up by a rescue group as a very young stray, and she’d been living with a family just outside Seattle until recently. For the past six days, I have spent most of my waking, non-work hours trying 1) to tire her out, and 2) to take a decent, non-iPhone photograph of her ridiculous, mop-like face. I have failed on both counts.

However, in the few moments when I was not following Alice around, I did manage to make two batches of salted peanut butter cookies, and I think they are - I am not afraid to go out on this limb - some of the best cookies I will ever eat.

Actually, that strikes me now as a somewhat depressing thing to say, because it seems so final, as though it were all downhill from here and I might as well hang up my apron, say goodnight, climb into a coffin, and close the lid behind me. All I meant was: I have found the peanut butter cookie recipe for me. I have found the only one I will ever need. I have an entire lifetime of outstanding peanut butter cookies ahead of me, and I find that a comforting thought.

The person I have to thank for this is Autumn Martin, owner of Hot Cakes Confections. She makes these cookies, along with take-and-bake chocolate cakes, caramel sauces, truffles, and other sweets, and sells them at a number of farmers’ markets and shops around Seattle. I first tasted her cookies at Picnic, where I often grab sandwiches (housemade corned beef! On a pretzel roll!) at lunchtime. They keep her peanut butter cookies in a jar above the cold case, and it feels like lying if I don’t admit that once, I cleaned out the entire jar. (I shared them with friends. Sort of.) They’re tender, chewy, exactly the right degree of crumbly, and intensely peanutty, and every other bite, you hit a chunk of milk chocolate. I knew that Brandi was also a fan, so when she and Olaiya invited Autumn to teach a class at the Pantry, I crossed my fingers that the salted peanut butter cookies would be on the agenda.

They were. And because she is a kind and merciful woman, or because she noticed the crazed and dangerous look I get when I am near these cookies, Autumn said that I could share her recipe with you.

On the surface, the recipe follows a standard route. It begins with the creaming of butter and sugar, followed by the addition of peanut butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and then dry ingredients. What sets Autumn’s cookies apart is the details: the quality of peanut butter, the quantity of salt, and the addition of chopped milk chocolate. She uses natural peanut butter, which tends to have a truer peanut flavor and fragrance than more processed types, with their added sugar and who knows what else. Her recipe also uses what might look like a daunting amount of salt, but do not be tempted to question it. The result isn’t beat-you-over-the-head salty - just tasty - and the salt serves the valuable purpose of giving the peanut flavor a giant boost. It also heightens the flavor of the milk chocolate chunks that Autumn stirs in at the end, just before scooping and baking. Dark chocolate is my default in most situations, but the milk chocolate here brings something important. I intend this as the very highest of compliments: imagine a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and then, imagine a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup as a cookie. Yes. Goodnight.

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Autumn Martin and Hot Cakes Confections

Hot Cakes Confections uses a brand of natural peanut butter called Aunt Patty’s, but I used Adams Natural Peanut Butter, which is what I keep at home. (Note that I buy the kind that needs to be stirred well before using, not the no-stir kind. And make sure not to accidentally buy the unsalted one. Hate it when that happens.)

For the milk chocolate, Hot Cakes uses Theo milk chocolate. I also love the milk chocolate made by Scharffen Berger. I’ve also tried Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, which aren’t great, but they get the job done. Whichever you use, note that I call for a larger amount than the original recipe: it calls for about 115 grams (4 ounces) milk chocolate, but I like 170 grams (6 ounces).

For kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal brand. Note that different brands have different flake sizes, so measuring by weight is very important! (If you use Morton’s brand, for instance, 12 grams is only 1 ¾ teaspoons by volume.)

Lastly, Autumn’s recipe was written in ounces, but I have converted it to grams and cups.

240 grams (2 cups plus 1 tsp.) pastry flour
5 grams (1 tsp.) baking soda
12 grams (1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.) kosher salt
275 grams (2 sticks plus 3.5 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 grams (about 1 ¼ cup, packed) dark brown sugar
170 grams (¾ cup plus 2.5 Tbsp.) sugar
2 large eggs
400 grams (1 ½ cup) natural salted creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
170 grams chopped milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the pastry flour, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (You can also do this by hand, with a sturdy spoon.) Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat on medium-low speed to blend. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate, and beat briefly on low speed, just until evenly incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop – mine has a capacity of about ¼ cup - scoop the batter onto the prepared sheet pan, taking care to leave plenty of space between cookies. (I limit it to six cookies per pan; if you add more, they run together.) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and pale golden around the edges, but their tops have no color. (The cookies will not look fully baked, and this is important! The chewy texture of these cookies depends on it. They’re not nearly as good when baked until golden and crisp.) Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan. They will firm up as they cool. (Also, they taste better when fully cooled. Promise.)

Repeat with remaining dough.

Note: This dough freezes beautifully. Actually, I like the texture of these cookies best when they’re baked from frozen. Scoop the dough onto a sheet pan and freeze until hard; then transfer the dough mounds to a freezer bag or other airtight container. Do not defrost before baking, and plan to add four or five minutes to the baking time.

Yield: about 20 large (4-inch) cookies


OpenID themoveablefeasts said...

Kind of like you, I think I've already found "my" peanut butter cookie recipe. My boyfriend (who's favorite ice cream is the salty caramel flavor from molly moon's) thinks they're too sweet, not salty enough, not chewy enough. I'm going to try out this version for him (but something tells me I might enjoy them a just a little bit too).

Lovely little mophead dog, by the way! :)

9:27 PM, October 06, 2011  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Hello there, Alice. What a beautiful addition to the family. And there seems to be no better way to celebrate than with cookies.

9:27 PM, October 06, 2011  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Congratulations on adding Alice to your family! After having a nameless Meyer lemon tree for four years, we finally decided two weeks ago to name it Alice. It's not a name you can give just anyone!

9:46 PM, October 06, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alice, darling, looks like the dog my parents have which is a terrier mix of sorts.

cookies: nom!

9:57 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger ursula said...

These biscuits look great, but your writing, as always, is the real reason I read your blog. Beautiful.

10:19 PM, October 06, 2011  
Anonymous Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Aw, Alice! She is such an adorable little sweetie.

Also, salted peanut butter cookies sound just amazing.

10:36 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger Dylan said...

It's always nice to see a dog love on a person. Dog's are truly friendly animals. Sometimes they even spark creativity once in a while! The cookies look so ravishing and simple that I have to try one. So I guess I know what I'm making soon :D

10:41 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger Junsui said...

Oh my gosh, I love this: cute puppies and peanut butter cookies. Alice is *adorable*. And I already feel a bit crazed and I haven't even tried these cookies yet. But you had me at salted peanut butter.

11:33 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger Christine said...

I've never been a huge peanut butter cookie fan, but your description of them as being like a peanutbutter cup in cookie form has sold me. I need to try these.

11:48 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger Christine said...

Also, that is one cute puppins. Congrats on the new family member!

11:48 PM, October 06, 2011  
Anonymous Ruthie said...

Oh you temptress. These are going to be made and eaten in stealth owing to the boyfriend's annoying nut allergy. Wonder if there are any peanut butter anonymous meetings going on soon? X

11:55 PM, October 06, 2011  
Blogger IronGirl said...

I've been an avid reader (you inspired me to start writing about food) but not posted a single comment yet...your Alice looks like a clone of my Tryfan.

12:07 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Heidi / foodiecrush said...

And puppers love peanut butter so just in case Alice goes awandering toward the cookie jar...And salty peanutty cookies at that. I heart rescues.

12:40 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Gary Phillips said...

It's been so long since I last made cookies. I don't know how long the peanut butter would last if I was to bake with it. I'd be sticking my finger in the jar every 5 seconds.
Thanks for putting measurements up in metric units :)
And Alice looks so sweet x

1:08 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger london bakes said...

Congratulations on the new addition! That is one cute dog.

I can't wait to try these cookies, they sound like the perfect salty/sweet combination.

1:22 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger tori said...

Alice is gorgeous and your writing sublime as always. But it's the comment that the cookie dough freezes well that has turned me into a spin. Because if it freezes well, might it work as peanut butter cookie dough chunk ice cream....? I fear danger lies ahead.

1:26 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Jane said...

The above comment was me - though the name is not. I'm still a random, but I wanted to use my real name. Also, my Tryfan is a terrier cross, if that helps identify Alice.

2:15 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I don't know what's more delicious - Alice or the cookies. Well, maybe we'll give Alice the title cutest of the two because the analogy of that cookie to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup has just about done me in at 5:10 a.m. I'm up this early working because I have a project that HAS to be wrapped up today so I can't rush into the kitchen to bake until tomorrow.

Welcome to Alice. Alice and Jack. I am loving that!

By the way, someone I sent Jeni's to on your recommendation tried her Gravel Road Ice Cream and to quote Steve Jobs (RIP, Steve, we will miss you) thought it was insanely great.

2:18 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Sue/the view from great island said...

The cookies look amazing, the pup adorable, but for some reason I can't get the house made corned-beef on a pretzel roll out of my head! But once i do, I will try those cookies. Good luck with Alice, you're going to need a very fast shutter speed.

3:24 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Bow Street Flowers said...

More photos of Alice please.

4:55 AM, October 07, 2011  
OpenID sunflowerchild11 said...

Puppies and cookies? I think that's cheating. Minus 10 points for seducing readers by irrelevant cuteness.

P.S. If I live in Paris and fancy natural peanut butter is far away (am lazy) can I use normal?

5:03 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Magda said...

I'm sorry but after seeing Alice's photos, I just can't concentrate on the cookies. She's so cute.
That story about her name is hilarious heheh Peter Faulk lookalike :)

5:15 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Carrie said...

Molly, is it totally necessary to use the pastry flour? I never seem to have it around, so I'm wondering if I could use all-purpose flour as a substitute (though perhaps in a slightly different amount)?

5:30 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:42 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous emily said...

it would be better if i had waited to read this post until AFTER yom kippur. suddenly, tomorrow's fast is going to be twice as hard. damn. xo.

5:49 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

I am not a big fan of peanut butter or their cookies but if you say this is "the cookie", I will definitely try for the sake of my peanut crazy nephews and nieces this holiday season!
Alice is very cute by the way, even with blurry pictures. Dogs and toddlers are two categort I fail at taking non blurry pics.

5:53 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Oh my goodness, Alice is such a good lookin' dog! And I love dogs with people names. Congrats on the new addition!

5:57 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Katie said...

What a sweet little pup!

And I cannot wait to try these cookies!!

6:17 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Anna said...

Sounds so good. Congratulations on the new addition to your family, I hope you are having fun!

6:26 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger natalia said...

i feel like i have tried countless peanut butter cookie recipes searching for the perfect one. i'm like goldilocks: too crispy, not peanut butter-y enough, too soft.
i have found a decent recipe, but i think this one definitely deserves a try.
there is no arguing with a reese's peanut butter cup.
also, we just adopted a little puppy that was left abandoned in the everglades. poor little puppy.
good luck!

6:26 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger jjdane said...

These look delicious but every I see a recipe that has me "chop chocolate" I cringe. Do you have any wonderful tips for not making a mess and hacking my finger off?

6:38 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous erin @ from city to farm said...

Oh. My. Those sound dangerous. And congrats on the new addition...she almost looks terrier-ific. Or some Briard? :) Ahh, guessing mixes..such fun!

6:44 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous sarah said...

If we weren't both heterosexual women and already married I'd get down on my knee and propose to you because in addition to my unspeakable affection for salty sweet things, oh my gawd do I love peanut butter cookies. Really. I love them. But I rarely make them because the hate I have for washing out a measuring cup that's previously been filled with peanut butter is inversely proportional to amount that I love peanut butter cookies. Every recipe for peanut butter cookies I've ever used has used volumetric measurements. Admittedly, I haven't looked all that hard for one that didn't (sad, considering my love... also, lazy with a capital L) but now I don't have to. I'm teary with happiness.

And it goes withou saying that Alice is a most excellent dog/mop.

6:47 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Robin (Hippo Flambe) said...

My neighbor makes peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that I have always found irresistible. Once they were selling them fresh from the oven and with lemonade and my boys and I decided they were the perfect lunch appetizer.

However I have often wondered how to alter the recipe to make them perfect. I think you have answered that question. Thanks!

6:50 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger the starving student said...

The addition of chocolate is what sells them for me! The gorgeous photography doesn't hurt either. Alice is such a cutie!

6:55 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger The Writer, not in residence said...

Alice looks like a schnauzer mix of some sort - most likely she has a fair amount of some kind of terrier in her - if you can't tire her out, distract her - Most pet stores sell a toy called a Kong - basically a big rubber oblong thing with a hole in the end - Buy one of these, put some peanut butter and a couple of dog treats in the far end and let her work on getting them out. Should keep her occupied for a couple of hours.
Two of my three dogs love their Kongs.

7:14 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous kirsten said...

huge fan of peanut butter cups, and have been very drawn to salt in chocolatey desserts of late. looking forward to try this one!

7:18 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Andrea said...

Well, now I know what I'm doing this evening. Cookies, hello.

Hello Alice!

The only way we can get our pup (Molly Maguire) to look at us when we take a picture is to hold a treat next to the camera. Then we have her undivided attention for about as long as we can stand the hopeful expression on her face...

7:32 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Brit said...

anything salted: i'm in. these sounds AMAZING. thanks for sharing. :)

7:33 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Evelyn said...

Your muppet analogy is perfect -- that was my first thought when I saw the wonderful photo of Alice! I'm a huge fan of peanut butter cookies and I'll be making these beauties over the weekend. Thank you!

7:42 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger pamkaren said...

Oh - Alice is lovely!

7:44 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Allison said...

This sounds like my new favorite cookie recipe! Is the pastry flour important, or would it be okay to use cake or even all-purpose flour? As always, thanks for the beautiful post (with bonus puppy pictures)!

8:15 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Roberta said...

I wish I had one of those peanut butter cookies RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!! The dog reminds me of a briard but not nearly as large. I hope your other four footed friend is making her feel right at home. We also adopted a 3rd dog last month, the other two seemed confused. Is she staying or visitng? seemed to be the eternal question.

8:41 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Lindsey said...

Alice looks like a great companion! I have a beautiful dog that refuses to be tired or photographed as well!

8:59 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Joy said...

I had to giggle at the muppet comment. The cookies look great.

9:12 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous charlotte au chocolat said...

you've just tempted me with these cookies. they look/sound delicious!

9:15 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking said...

Welcome to Alice!
There's nothing like a really good peanut butter cookie. I'm definitely going to have to try this, especially since it's got chocolate, too.

9:21 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Paula @ Dishing the Divine said...

For a baby shower last weekend I served three different kinds of peanut butter cookies to let guests pick their favorite. Only problem? I burnt two of the batches because I was so wrapped up with other projects. So, the favorite choice was obvious at that point. :) these cookies look delicious. :)

9:43 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Hollye said...

Gorgeous dog and gorgeous cookies! Love them both! Thank you for your beautiful writing.
Hollye Jacobs, www.brooksidebuzz.com

9:44 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Sasha said...

You had me at salty and peanut butter, but then I read about adding chocolate and I nearly fell off my chair.

I want these cookies.

They sound dangerously good. I am afraid that if I make them, I won't want to share.

9:44 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane said...

Tiring out a new addition, especially of the dog variety, is never an easy task. I feel for you. Luckily, that's a face you just can't resist, which I'm sure makes you smile often. Thanks for the great peanut butter cookie recipe. My hunt is never ending for that perfect bite.

9:47 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Ahhh.. there really is nothing quite as wonderful as a puppy...

except maybe the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe!

9:51 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Sarah at Letters from the Kitchen said...

She really does look like Peter Falk! And also a lot like my parents' pup, who we've deemed part muppet. So lovable. Also lovable: cookies that taste like peanut butter cups! I can't wait to try these this weekend!

10:08 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Janet said...

Love that scruffy face!

10:13 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooh- those cookies look great- and that puppy!! looks a lot like a wirehaired pointing griffon that i know (and love)....

10:13 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I want them and I want them, now.

Oh, and Alice is adorable.

10:30 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Alice is a big shaggy mop of gorgeous. If she is part pointer, she'll need a lot of walks. And you'll need snacks for the walkers, so perfect excuse to make more cookies. Oh, and thanks for using grams from an English reader!

10:30 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Moore or Less Cooking said...

Love peanut butter cookies- these look amazing- Alice is so lucky to have you!

10:31 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Reading (and chickens) said...

I think these might be the most perfect cookies ever.

Congratulations on Alice--she looks like a sweetheart.

10:35 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Sharyn Dimmick said...

Lordy, that's a lot of salt, even with kosher salt. But then I am not a salt freak -- don't even get it near my caramel. I, too, prefer dark chocolate in most situations, but I like Reese's. Thanks for the recipe.

10:51 AM, October 07, 2011  
OpenID airn323 said...

I will go ahead and go out on a limb with you - having never tried these cookies and say that they are the best cookie ever. Once I make them, I will confirm your statement. Congrats on Alice! Dogs are always welcomed additions to the fam!

11:13 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous KimB said...

Alice has a most kissable muzzle in the extreme! And rescue dogs, at least in my opinion, are the very best.

My rescue pup also loves peanut butter cookies - except without the chocolate of course.

11:31 AM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger evil cake lady said...

holy cow. thank you for converting to grams, and i need to abandon work right now so i can go home and bake these cookies! how can i treat people when all i will be thinking about is these cookies?

a good problem to have, in the grand scheme of things.

11:52 AM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous JudyB said...

Sounds wonderfully tempting. Question though--don't want to mess up--I have all purpose flour, and cake flour, but am uncertain as to what "pastry flour" is??

12:21 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Jess said...

Have mercy. I didn't think you could improve on just you know normal tasty peanut butter cookies, but this is making me want to run out and make sure i have all the ingredients. YUM.

Welcome Alice. Congrats on the new addition. She definitely looks part muppet to me, but I'm no dog breed specialist.

12:22 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous VT Meg said...

I am so grateful for this recipe (not even having made it yet.) Every other recipe for pb cookies is best with commercial' pb, which I refuse to buy (hfcs! hydrogenated oil!) so I haven't made any for years. So, yay! My husband thanks you, too.

12:36 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger caroline said...

Are you sure she isn't part Schnauzer? I ask because I have two and the features are very similar. I secretly like it when their fur gets long and shaggy and they look extra muppety. :)

12:46 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Wow! These sound amazing. There is something about a peanut butter cookie that makes me feel eight years old an the world is all shiny and bright.

12:54 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't comment on the cookies yet.....but hurray for you for rescuing sweet alice!....hopefully it will encourage others who are thinking of buying a puppy to consider
a shelter dog instead......the love of a good cookie only lasts a few minutes...the love of a rescued dog last for many years.....good luck with her.

1:07 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Laurel said...

Definitely yes. I will find a reason to make these soon. Will update.

2:22 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger patbarford said...

These can't be the best cookies you've ever tasted, because that prize goes to your amazing Molasass Ginger Chocolate Chip cookies. Hands down, one of the best cookies I've ever made. I will try these though. they do look scrummy.

2:24 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, friends! Alice thanks you for the kind words.

A few answers to your questions:

sunflowerchild11, I've only made this recipe with natural peanut butter, so I'm not sure what to tell you. But hmm, how bad could it be?

Carrie and Allison, I haven't tried anything but pastry flour here. Maybe do some searching around the Web for how to substitute all-purpose for pastry? I'll bet the amounts are different.

jjdane, I'm right there with you: I hate chopping chocolate. But I find that with a large, sharp chef's knife, it goes pretty quickly. Not my favorite task in the world, but worth the trouble. Just keep your fingers out of the way...!

JudyB, I get confused about the difference between flours, too. Here's a good explanation of what pastry flour is.

Happy weekend.

3:49 PM, October 07, 2011  
OpenID lechow said...

that is the cutest dog. ever. have a blast!

3:56 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Lillie said...

I agree with the commenter above who thinks Miss Alice resembles a wirehaired pointing griffon . If she's even part griff, you're in luck - they're the best.

I'm now trying to decide if I really need to go to the store just for milk chocolate chips, or if baking these can't wait a couple of days. Thank you!

3:58 PM, October 07, 2011  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

The cookies sound delicious. Alice is adorable.

4:05 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Lillie, we're increasingly convinced that she's at least part wirehaired pointing griffon, too! She's got the right build, the right type of coat, the right nose and eyes, the right tail - everything.

4:41 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood said...

I love the dog; I love the cookies. We seem to be opposite sides of the same coin: I went to culinary school for savory and I have cats, where you seem to do more (not all, just more) sweet and now you have a dog. Congratulations on Alice. She's a sweetie.

4:44 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Amy (Minimally Invasive) said...

I'll confess that I'm not a peanut butter person, but I'm such a dog person that it more than makes up for that deficiency. Congratulations on the newest member of the family (and the new, perfect recipe)! May you all be very happy together for many years to come.

6:07 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous leela said...

i know the url below looks all crazy and spammy, but i swear it's just a picture of my scruffy mopdog darwin, who looks like maybe he is alice's cousin. scruffy dogs are the best!
also, those cookies look fantastic and i don't even like peanut butter that much. so.

7:37 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous g. said...

oh molly, i love alice!!!! :)

7:55 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous Julie said...

Aw, I adore Alice. She looks (her profile, at least) just like my dog, the one I grew up with, who was a bearded collie. Best dog ever. Enjoy her moppy face.

8:21 PM, October 07, 2011  
Blogger Leisa said...

Congrats on Alice! From what I can see of her in the first photo, she looks a lot like Charlie, the dog my husband and I found running around a local mall parking lot in January. He was hungry and frightened, but he was enticed into our car with some food court meat and after being checked out by our Vet and being sans chip, he's been with us ever since. Charlie is a Schnauzer, and although he looks different now with his fur clipped, his nose and ears were identical to Alice's in that photo--all shaggy and straggly and huggable. She is going to be a loving and loyal addition to your family!

PS: The cookies are very similar to those my Gram used to make when I was a little girl. They'll be made tomorrow morning and mostly devoured by mid-day. :-)

9:46 PM, October 07, 2011  
Anonymous meg- grow and resist said...

ha! I was devouring one of the cookies the other day (again) and wondering how on earth I was ever going to find out how to make them! Yipppee!
And, welcome Alice!

12:06 AM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous Tash said...

Alice - sooo cute and your cookies, scrumptious!

1:16 AM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Dean P. Tailor said...

Never really been a fan of cookies (more of a cupcake man myself) but these were wonderful.

Great writing and photographs too. Keep up the good work.


4:15 AM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

yum, yum, yum!

PB cookies work so well with GF flour too. Can't wait to try this.

6:02 AM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous AnnaG said...

'Alice' on her good days ... 'Malice' on her bad days. :)

6:29 AM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous Angel said...

these cookies look great- can't wait to try. The "salted" part reminds me of my all-time favorite cookies at Cafe Fanny's in Berkeley, which I think they call salty chocolate cookies. I've tried unsuccessfully to track that recipe down, so if you are ever in Berkeley and at Cafe Fanny, perhaps you can work your cookie prowess magic to get to the bottom of that...? Thanks as always for a great read and a smile

8:48 AM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous burnttoast said...

Can't wait to try cookie recipe. Congrats on Alice the Muppet dog (brilliant by the way). Muppet dogs are a rare breed, much desired and hard to find, since they only show up in shelters or rescues! You and Alice lucked into each other.

11:30 AM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

Alice!! I love it. Even if you didn't name her after me. :) Definitely going to try this cookie recipe. Have been hunting for a good peanut butter cookie. How do you think it would work to replace some of the flour with white whole wheat??

11:38 AM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Chris Johnson said...

Alice looks like a sweetie! I hope you all enjoy her. The cookies sound amazing, I think there's nothing quite like a really good peanut butter cookie. I can hardly wait to try them out!

1:02 PM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous Richard Farner said...

Blessings on you for adopting a rescue dog! Alice looks like a real sweetheart andI wish you and your family many years of happiness with her.


1:38 PM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Laura said...

SO. Does Alice like peanut butter? She's adorable, and thanks for another amazing recipe!

2:08 PM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous Beaverton Vet Clinic said...

What a lucky pup:-) He got a cookie chef as an owner:-)

2:51 PM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger La Petite Aubergine said...

mmmm...those cookies look incredible and perfect for fall. miss alice looks like a total sweetheart - i have a pitbull/hound rescued mutt who is the sweetest thing there is...congrats on your new addition to the family!

8:06 PM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Mark said...

Fantastic! They say dogs are a gift that we rarely deserve and I have not doubt she will give you much joy. the recipes look good, too...

8:36 PM, October 08, 2011  
Blogger Amy said...

I saw your post this morning and had to make these cookies today - they were exactly what I felt like on a lazy Sunday afternoon! Thanks! I found the peanut butter made them quite short, but perhaps I overcooked mine. Not that that's a bad thing of course, I loved them and so did the hubs! I have plenty stowed away in the freezer for future cookie cravings. YUM. Thanks again.

xox Amy

1:42 AM, October 09, 2011  
Anonymous Leigh said...

ah, cute dog. I have one too, a border terrier who's just turned one. Clever things, he's already figured out that if he sits under my feet whilst i'm preparing foot at the worktop then little treats will drop his way. Enjoy your time together.

4:41 AM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger spelyea said...

made these 11pm friday night because i just couldn't wait. everything molly promised is true (including that they taste better completely cooled!) i used pastry flour, scharffen berger chocolate (61%), and froze the dough for a bit before baking. here we are two days later and the edges are still crispy, the center still chewy, and i've eaten more than i'd care to admit. grin. there is a clear peanut butter flavor, they're not too sweet, and they're perfectly salty. this is not the thick dry peanut butter cookie i grew up with. THANK YOU molly!

oh, and they taste fantastically delicious with ice cream as well ;)

7:12 AM, October 09, 2011  
Anonymous Elissa said...

If you wake up one morning and find Alice sipping an espresso and smoking an unfiltered cigarette while listening to Puccini, she's an Italian Spinone. Just sayin. Can't wait to see you Alice!

8:20 AM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger Amanda :: Grace & Gusto said...

I have been on the prowl for the 'perfect' peanut butter cookie for years now. Each time, they seem to fall just short of, well, something. If these are as awesome as you say, then I may have to fly to Seattle and give you a hug. :)

12:45 PM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger bajadulces said...

We had an Alice, although his name was Bear. He was a marvelous dog, put together by a committee. And he was kind and loving to all and a man once stopped me as I was walking and told me he was the most beautiful dog he had ever seen. He was actually very scroungy looking and smelly, but baths helped that and we adored him.

1:20 PM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Alice is gorgeous and I made these cookies last night and am eternally indebted.

5:22 PM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger Lauren Glanzer said...

Ooof. We just adopted a 5-month-old Beagle. I know precisely what you mean re: "the few moments I was not following [her] around". So adorable, so exhausting. Congratulations on your new addition.

9:59 PM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger Annie said...

Holy smokes are those cookies delicious! My 5 year old son and I made them today. Not for the health conscious, but wowzers they're good.

10:50 PM, October 09, 2011  
Blogger Dialtone said...

God dammit, my next paycheck is going to have to be on your book. Awesome food. I'm not which I'd rather come home to, that dog, or these freshly baked cookies..?

4:57 AM, October 10, 2011  
Blogger dr gonzo said...

a wonderful post, indeed, molly! thank you, again, for sharing such thoughtful & delicious recipes & photos. made the pb cookies last night and subbed regular unbleached all-purpose flour, after a bit of online research about the protein content - i had bread flour & regular flour, but no pastry flour. i will try another batch w/ pastry flour to compare ASAP (yes, the cookies were THAT good). i used some gifted fannie may "dark" chocolate (more like darker semi-sweet), and all came out very well. i'm assuming the taste will remain the same (de-lish) but texture may change a bit with the pastry flour. YUM.

7:19 AM, October 10, 2011  
Anonymous Allison said...

I ended up using 2/3 C of cake flour and 1 1/3 C all-purpose instead of the 2 C of pastry flour (which I could not find at the store). They were fluffy and chewy as they should be. Also used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I made mine smaller and then froze about 2 dozen of them. They are very salty but it works perfectly with the peanut butter. SO delicious! Thanks!

8:23 AM, October 10, 2011  
Anonymous sara said...

Thanks for the recipe, I had fun making the cookies. I did find them to be too salty though.

10:01 AM, October 10, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

10 years ago I went to Petco to get guinea pig food and came home with Sadie - a 90 pound yellow lab mix. Best idea ever. Alice will be your cooking buddy, confidante and refuge. And maybe like Sadie - she will have an abiding love of vegetables. So your delicious cookies remain safe.

2:40 PM, October 10, 2011  
Anonymous jamieofalltrades said...

These sound divine!

3:12 PM, October 10, 2011  
Anonymous wandering educators said...

welcome, alice!!

and these? these Will Be Made. i LOVE LOVE LOVE pb - we make our own - and can't wait to make these. thanks!!

9:49 AM, October 11, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Just made these and they are delicious! I used ap flour since that was all I had and I didn't feel like loading the kids up in the car and it worked fine. Don't know how it compares, though!

10:26 AM, October 11, 2011  
Anonymous Maia said...

As delicious as these cookies look, I scrolled through this post hoping to spot more pictures of Alice. Look forward to seeing more - as the proud owner of a muppety dog, I can tell you there are none cuter!

3:25 PM, October 12, 2011  
Anonymous a suburban kitchen said...

I will try these for sure. I have made them before with natural peanut butter and they are usually dry. Will give this one a try. Thanks.

5:11 AM, October 13, 2011  
Anonymous a suburban kitchen said...

Love the dog. Are you keeping her? I foster dogs and have 3 myself. It is hard to turn them down. Good for you for rescuing her. Nothing like a rescue. They appreciate.

5:13 AM, October 13, 2011  
Blogger Cheilita said...

Oh man. when you wrote that these were the only pb cookies you'd need again I sort of scoffed because I have a favorite recipe too and I couldn't imagine they'd be better... but then BLAM! they were. so much salt, and it was absolutely great.

11:37 AM, October 13, 2011  
Blogger Lauren said...

These cookies are indeed awesome. I made a batch last night and am thrilled to have a stash hidden away in the freezer to cure future PB/chocolate cravings. I do have one point of contention -- next time I will be adding loads more chocolate! I'm thinking I may even mix both dark and milk chocolate, which wouldn't be over the top at all. Anyway, these are delicious as is, but if you're a hardcore chocaholic like me, you may want to consider upping the ante.

5:43 PM, October 13, 2011  
Blogger Christina Tazelaar said...

The lingering saltiness of these cookies is perfect! But mine were enormous--5" across when I used a quarter cup of dough. Even half of that made a good-sized cookie.

11:57 AM, October 15, 2011  
Blogger Kris said...

These are amazing cookies. I haven't baked anything other than biscotti for three years (thanks to my partner's love for baking), but I tried these this morning, waiting for a delivery of a new phone, and - yes! - fireworks...humble, modest, but oh so good.

12:31 PM, October 15, 2011  
Blogger tytty said...

hi molly,

when i see the words salted and cookie together, im always intrigued.

it's a lot of sugar for asians sweetness threshold. how much can i reduce without affecting its texture.


4:39 PM, October 15, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will be my new go-to peanut butter cookie recipe. They are absolutely perfect. Those of you who are dark chocoholics and have always shunned (as I have) milk chocolate, don't do it here. Buy high quality milk chocolate. It gives the cookie something dark chocolate cannot: it blends with all the flavors, while dark stands apart. Do go with milk chocolate. By the way, I used equal amounts pastry flour and unbleached white and it turned out well.

7:13 PM, October 15, 2011  
Anonymous Jenna Hatcher said...

I'm so excited to make these, but I have to ask...have you ever looked at the smitten kitchen blog, and if so, made her chocolate pb cookies? I've never really eaten or made a great pb cookie until I tried those...and your recipe will be out of this world bc everything I've made from you IS!

10:27 AM, October 17, 2011  
Blogger Nan said...

Thank you for this recipe. I was very happy with the flavour and the texture, although I suspect I used a tad too much flour as my version did not spread as perfectly as did those pictured. While I employed the ice cream scoop method and created very large cookies, I stopped counting at 30. Perhaps Alice indulged in some of the dough when you weren't looking?

7:12 PM, October 17, 2011  
Anonymous kickpleat said...

What a sweetie, very peter falk like - for a lady! as for the peanut butter, it's adam's all the way. though i do buy unsalted for cornelius, I keep the crunchy salted for me. his and hers.

11:54 PM, October 17, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made the cookies tonight. Very yummy, big fan of salty sweet stuff. I think next time I would be a bit more chocolate--although it could be because I wasn't sure of the amount of chocolate needed in ounces.

5:56 PM, October 18, 2011  
Blogger Neener said...

Oh my goodness. I made these cookies last night and they are to die for! I make your Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies for my kids' lunches all the time but I think that we have a new winner. The texture and taste are amazing. I too would probably use a little more chocolate---but then I just reread your post about the taste of chocolate in every other bite and I now think that your measurement is perfect---will have to go home and taste another cookie just to confirm.

1:49 PM, October 19, 2011  
Blogger woof nanny said...

I feel kind-of silly for asking this, but what exactly is "pastry" flour?

10:01 PM, October 21, 2011  
Blogger Andrea said...

Don't know where I went wrong but I made a batch tonight and I can honestly say they are disgusting! I am visiting my son at college tomorrow and wanted to take some cookies to him, as he loves peanut butter cups I thought these would be wonderful, but no! Is 'kosher salt' different somehow? Is pastry flour? I am throwing them in the bin....oh Molly< I have tried many of your recipes with great success....alas not these..... :-( x

2:52 PM, October 22, 2011  
Blogger Laurel said...

Wowowowowow! I will say it again. Wow. Even the dough was wow and I am not a dough person. Thanks Molly, these turned out fantastic. Cookies are my nemesis but these were perfect, wonderful, and we can't stop eating them...good thing I made a double batch ;)I have to admit I was a bit daunted by the copious amount of salt, but it has its place here.

12:18 PM, October 23, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

woof nanny and Andrea, here's some info about pastry flour. And Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't like the cookies! I wonder what went wrong? Kosher salt is indeed different from table salt, and I wonder if that could be the problem? Kosher salt tastes less salty than table salt, so if you used table salt, it could be a bit much.

10:16 AM, October 24, 2011  
Anonymous the written kitchen said...

Made these cookies last week and they are my new favorite! Perfect texture of crispy and soft and chewy. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Thank you! I am no longer on my 8 year quest of finding the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe! time for a new quest....

5:37 AM, October 26, 2011  
Anonymous Rosie said...

I made two batches of these cookies last week and this recipe is awesome - thank you! Also, for others who are trying them out, I'm not sure about the purpose of the pastry flour, but I found them too crumbly/fall-apart-y when made with pastry flour but just about perfect with regular all-p flour.

12:38 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous hannahmarie said...

Wow, your description of these cookies has made my mouth water. With such praise, I know I'm going to have to try them soon. Thanks for helping to make this available!

7:16 PM, November 07, 2011  
Anonymous Jenny Sullivan said...

My family is crazy about these cookies. I use regular flour, an entire 11.5 bag of milk chocolate chips, chill the dough first, use a 3 tablespoon scoop, bake 2 trays for 7 minutes, then switch trays and bake another 7 minutes, and I weigh all the ingredients in grams. This is especially important for the salt: 12 grams of Morton's kosher salt measures 1 and 3/4 teaspoons; 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the same salt is 25 grams and, if added to the batter, makes the cookies inedible.

3:07 PM, November 09, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks so much for that information about the salt, Jenny Sullivan! So important! I've put a note about it in the recipe.

10:55 PM, November 09, 2011  
Blogger Merlot Decants said...

Made these last night and they are dangerously good! Thank you for sharing...I think ;)

8:56 AM, November 10, 2011  
Anonymous Emily said...

Hmm...I'm wondering if I could press a Hershey's kiss on top in place of the chocolate bits? I love to make peanut butter blossoms at Christmas (it's a nostalgia thing) and the salty factor could take the blossoms to the next level!

7:16 AM, November 16, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These cookies are amazing. I can't stop making them. I would say though, re: the salt, that I too am using Morton's kosher salt (coarse) and have been using the 1T + 1t, and it has been quite perfect. Very far from inedible.

Thanks for this recipe! We love it.

1:51 PM, November 16, 2011  
Blogger kmd said...

I just discovered you - sorry it took so long. I took your book along on a trip to Amish country. It was a lovely experience and reading your memories and recipes enhanced it greatly. Looking forward to book #2.

7:05 AM, November 21, 2011  
Blogger Erica said...

My 9-year-olds are sold on this recipe:) http://www.onebeaglehouse.blogspot.com/2011/12/december-8.html

7:26 PM, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

I added these cookies to my Christmas cookie boxes this year, and my coworker dropped by to say they were the best cookies she had eaten during the 2011 holiday season. Quite a compliment, and I was inclined to agree with her!

7:25 PM, January 02, 2012  
Blogger Emily said...

I had made these cookies at least four times in the past two months, and I'm making them again tomorrow. Huge success, inevitably. As are all your recipes. Good luck with the writing! And enjoy our unseasonably agreeable midwestern weather.

8:54 PM, February 07, 2012  
Blogger Pam said...

Molly, thank you for the AWESOME recipe! I received a proposal of marriage (but I'm already married) & standing orders when I shared. I will be making this recipe A LOT! :o)

6:18 AM, February 15, 2012  
Blogger Unknown said...

There are delicious! I love the salt, and used big chunks of chocolate, which was also delicious. Thank you!!!

10:35 PM, February 20, 2012  
Anonymous Pa said...

liked these a LOT. Baked 6 when I made the dough, froze the rest. Baked another 6 straight from the freezer, adding 4 minutes to baking time and not as good as the first round. Then, baked 6 from the freezer last night for just 15 min and THOSE were the ones to sing about! Used natural peanut butter from Whole Foods cuz couldn't find the two you mentioned. Now I have a quest to find the "right" pb!

Thanks for sharing these...

3:36 PM, February 29, 2012  
Blogger Mish, Al, and Acer said...

I made these gluten free subbing in my ap mix (140g for a half batch) and a little xantham gum for the pastry flour. The dough was VERY soft, so I put it in the fridge for a while, then froze the balls for about a half hour. I made 3 inch cookies instead. We LOVE them! They are super rich and peanut buttery. Thanks so much for the recipe.

9:48 AM, May 09, 2012  
Anonymous Amy said...

Molly, just wanted to comment saying that I've made these cookies twice, and plan to make them many more times in the future. I am also not afraid to say that these are hands down the best peanut butter cookies I've ever had, and that they're probably some of the best cookies in general I ever will have. I blogged about them, which I hope you don't mind, but I linked it back to you and the original recipe here. Thanks so much for this recipe, Molly!

8:13 PM, June 01, 2012  
Anonymous Amy said...

Oh! And I just wanted to also say that I've successfully made these cookies both times using 1/3 part cake flour and 2/3 part all-purpose flour in place of the pastry flour. Thanks!

8:14 PM, June 01, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are literally the best cookies I've ever made.

5:27 PM, November 19, 2013  
Blogger Ben Lehman said...

I just wanted to let you know that these cookies have become a regular treat for my household. I make them with more invert sugar so they come out a bit softer. I also use Hershey's milk chocolate for the sour milk taste.

We have found them to make particularly good ice cream sandwiches.



4:33 PM, September 14, 2014  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I made these last night. They smelled great out of the oven. I put the batter in the fridge for 1½ hours to let it firm up like Sue suggests on her blog. The baking only half-way flattened out the scoops of dough, rendering the cookies shaped like low-height domes, 2 to 2½ inches in diameter. On the second tray, I had to push down the dough half-way after letting the scoops sit for 15 mins at room temperature before baking in order to achieve a more flattened cookie look. I don’t see how frozen balls of dough would come out looking like cookies. I used all-purpose flour, Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter and Straus Family Creamery unsalted butter. Could it be the hand-held mixer that caused this? I used the paired wire beater attachment.

The Eating Experience
I let everything cool down first. I was surprised at how light the cookie was. It was not hefty. It was not chewy, but delicate and soft. It was almost like eating large macarons, except less airy with delicate crumbs.

3:40 PM, November 04, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so i've been wanting to try your recipe for a while now but since i live overseas I've been having some difficulty finding all the ingredients i need. I've found most except for the kosher salt. We have all kinds of salt EXCEPT kosher salt, what do you recommend i use instead? is sea salt acceptable?

11:54 PM, February 02, 2015  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry for not replying sooner! If you're still interested, yes, you can use sea salt instead. Salt is interchangeable by weight, so 12 grams of sea salt should be the same amount of salty-ness as 12 grams of kosher salt.

4:37 PM, February 06, 2015  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I used sea salt once (Maldon) for a batch of these cookies. Some people commented about how salty it was. Probably was due to the large flakes of salt crystals. Crushing may not have helped because crushing Maldon sea salt results in a very fine, nearly powdery salt. If you use a measuring spoon equivalent instead of using a scale to weigh the resultant powder, you will end up adding in more salt due to the higher density of finer grains within the same volume of space.

5:15 PM, February 09, 2015  

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