Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies

IMG_7580I was sitting waiting for my car to be serviced, and noticed on the coffee bar that there was a container of homemade cookies. As I sat, I watched how many people took one as they walked by. Pretty much everyone took one, including a gentleman who took one simply to feed to another customer’s dog. It was such an easy thing for the dealership to do, and yet it instantly made the area homey. For employees and customers alike, it made it less of just a work place, and more friendly.

Having been away for a while, in a non-baking climate, and busy before hand, I haven’t made cookies in a long while. With just the two of us home now, I certainly don’t need a jar full.  But when the urge to bake some arose, I used my usual catering trick, I made the cookies but didn’t bake them. I formed them and put them in the freezer until frozen solid, then tipped them all into a freezer bag. All that needs to be done, when we want some fresh cookies, is to cook 8 or so at a time. They cook just as easily from frozen as they do fresh, with maybe a minute or so longer in the oven.

I decided to clean out my nut supply (which I keep in the freezer), as most containers were getting low. There were about 2 cups of mixed raw, unsalted nuts, including some salted Virginian red-skinned peanuts. Somehow that inspired me to make peanut butter cookies, filled with a good selection of other nuts as well. The extra bit of salt from the red-skinned peanuts are great addition.

Without the nuts, this is my very oldest peanut butter cookie recipe from the 1970’s. Hand-written on an well-worn index card. Although I’ve tried other versions, this is the one I use most often, especially when someone is expecting a traditional slightly chewy peanut butter cookie. The recipe works well with Cup-4-Cup all-purpose gluten free flour.

Click here for printable version.

Makes about 5 dozen big cookies.

Ingredients:

1½ c mixed unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds)

½ c salted Virginian red-skinned peanuts

1 c butter (room-temperature)

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

2 eggs (room-temperature)

1 t vanilla

1¾ c smooth peanut butter (about 430 gr)

3 c flour

1 t salt

1t baking soda

Directions:

In a processor, chop all of the nuts until coarsely chopped.IMG_7563

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

Add in the sugars, and beat for 3 minutes, until smooth and uniform.IMG_7566

Beat in the eggs and vanilla, until well mixed.IMG_7567

Beat in the peanut butter.IMG_7568

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt & baking soda.

Add into the mixer bowl, and beat slowly until uniform.IMG_7570

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Stir in the chopped, mixed nuts.IMG_7573

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Chill for 1 hour, minimum.

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Preheat the oven to 375° if you are cooking them from fresh.

Using a ⅛ cup measure, form the chilled mixture into balls. Easy tip: measure the first couple, and then use them as a guide! You’ll be using just over 30 grams per cookie.

Using a fork, press once to flatten. I don’t usually flour the fork, I simply hold down the cookie gently with a finger when I raise the fork to remove it.IMG_7576

Arrange the cookies on the parchment lined sheet so that there are at least 2 inches between them.

Bake in the center of the oven for 13-14 minutes.

If you’re cooking two sheets at once, reverse them half way through the cooking time.

Let them sit for a couple of minutes after baking, before moving them to a rack to cool.IMG_7581

Frozen: place the cookies side by side on the parchment lined cookie sheet. There doesn’t need to be any space.IMG_7578

Put in the freezer (uncovered is okay) for 8 hours or overnight.

When frozen, put the cookies in a freezer bag, no need to separate them.IMG_7584

To cook from frozen, lay them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, and cook right from frozen for 15 minutes.

Let them sit for a couple of minutes after baking, before moving them to a rack to cool.

Chocolate Chip option: use 1½ c chocolate chips instead of the nuts.

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