When Markus and I first moved in together, his European heritage clashed heartily with my American appreciation of peanut butter. Europeans eat Nutella; they do not eat (or understand) peanut butter. It took documentation in an article read in The Economist of all places for me to convince him of the benefits of peanut butter. Gradually, I noticed him spreading it on bread for snacking...but even this was a rare concession. What really won him over (with five star enthusiasm!) are peanut butter cookies. In his book, those alone justify the need for peanut butter's existence. Peanut butter cookies happen to be my personal favorite, and they must be paired with chocolate (and a glass of milk, but that's a whole different story).
My recipe is adapted from one found on the Jif website (an American peanut butter brand that was always my favorite). Now, we use all-natural peanut butter and real butter instead of shortening (yuck). I increase the flour slightly to compensate for the extra oil in the peanut butter (FYI: if you are new to the all-natural stuff, you will notice a considerable taste difference in these cookies, namely they are far less sweet, making you wonder about what all is in the commercial stuff). Of course, I have to toss in some chocolate chips too. It creates that salty-sweet mix that really seals the deal. Ask Markus. I just made these two days ago, and he finished them off while I was at knitting this morning. When I demanded to know why he couldn't just leave me one or two, he said this would motivate me to make more. Today. So here we go...
Irresistible peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips
Makes around 3 dozen, depending on the size of your cookies
3/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
as many good-quality chocolate chips as you deem appropriate (I don't measure, but you'll need at least 1/2 cup; mine probably contain 1 cup or more)
Preheat oven to 375F/180C.
Combine peanut butter, butter, light brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well-blended.
Add egg. Beat until just blended.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until just blended.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 375F/180C for 7-8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Don't let them set or brown too much or they'll become rock-hard when they cool. Of course, this can be remedied by using them to make ice cream sandwiches...but we won't go there.