Monday, June 1, 2009

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies


These cookies are extraordinary because they are both practical and mysterious.

Let’s start with the practical. Not so unusually, this common cookie meets two of my key food recipe requirements: they are easy to make and they taste really, really good. Plus I had all of the ingredients on hand and both of my kids liked them. They look yummy and photograph well. Healthy? Relatively…

Perhaps most striking though, is that these flourless peanut butter cookies epitomize a subtle but critical aspect to the joy of cooking for me, and that is the “how did that happen?” factor, the mysterious chemical metamorphosis that transforms simple single ingredients into a result that is greater than the original separate components. No flour - just peanut butter, sugar, a little bit of baking soda and 1 egg.

These delicious cookies are crisp, light and extremely tasty — and addictive.

  • Peanut Butter - 1 cup chunky or smooth
  • Sugar - 1 cup sugar (can substitute 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup white)
  • Egg - 1
  • Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Combine peanut butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes (I did this by hand but you can use a mixer.)
  3. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another few minutes.
  4. Roll into walnut sized balls, and then press down with a fork to create a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Optional: add a few chocolate pieces to the top of the cookies.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes.
Quick Garlic Cheese Biscuits

This recipe is a variation on quick Irish Soda Bread, with the addition of cheese and garlic. One member of the family who shall remain nameless thought it was “too spicy” but those of us with hardier palettes thought the flavors were perfect, and the aroma was amazing. Cheese and garlic can be omitted, or you can use a milder cheese such as Cheddar.

The shape of this bread was based on a plan that didn’t quite turn out as expected. (Welcome to my life.) The plan was to create several small one-size mounds for single biscuit serving. The actual result was larger mounds that were best separated in half for a single biscuit, but work well as a sandwich bun. Also unexpected but appreciated: I really like how it looked like a giant flower after baking - perfect for a spring time feeling (even though it is still too cold here in Chicago!).

  • Flour - 4-4 1/2 cups
  • Sugar - 2 tbls white
  • Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
  • Baking Powder - 1 tblsp.
  • Salt - 1 tsp.
  • Butter - 4 tblsp, melted
  • Buttermilk - 2 cups
  • Egg - 1
  • Cheese - 1 cup (I used 1/2 cup Asiago and 1/2 cup Parmesan), shredded
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves, minced
  • Butter - 4 tbls., melted - for topping (optional)
  • Buttermilk - 1/4 cup - for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C), and lightly grease a cast-iron frying pan or baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and melted butter. Mix thoroughly and then create a well in the middle, where you will add the buttermilk and egg.
  3. Combine buttermilk and egg and beat lightly. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add garlic and cheese and blend thorougly, but do not overmix.
  5. If the dough seems too wet, add more flour, up to a half a cup. I almost always add more flour. Dough should begin to form a ball. It will still seem wettish but that’s okay as long as it is forming a ball shape.
  6. Flour your hands and knead the dough slightly on a lightly floured surface, for a minute or two. Again, add flour as needed for wettish dough.
  7. Form the dough into several roundish mound shapes and place in the greased skillet or baking sheet, with one mound in the center and the other mounds surrounding it.
  8. Let the dough sit for about 30 minutes. This allows the baking soda and powder to react and rise, creating an airier bread.
  9. For the topping, combine buttermilk and butter and mix well with fork. Brush all over the dough and place in the oven. Brush a few times during baking.
  10. Cook for about 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cooking time varies upon ovens and what the biscuits are cooked on. Using the cast iron skillet may take longer, but the heat is distributed well, and the bread will be cooked thoroughly.

2 comments:

are you bored ?? said...

Sayang sob ... artikel pake BHS,inggris... aku gak ngerti

cuma ngerti YES and NO.,..heheheheh

Jhaelexis said...

i love peanut butter :)

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