Ultimate cookie – 6 – Soft peanut butter cookie

Yes, it’s time to bake cookies again! Let’s continue looking for that ultimate cookie… After testing a white chocolate macademia cookie and pepernoten, it’s time for peanut butter cookies.

I have never made peanut butter cookies before so I’m pretty curious. Actually peanut butter here in the Netherlands, and I think in most of Europe, is by far not such a big thing as in the US. In the US you can find peanut butter varieties of just about any snack. Whereas here that’s virtually non-existent. Not sure why that is. Here in the Nertherlands peanut butter is eaten on bread, the most famours peanut butter brand is Calve and just about every Dutch person knows about the commercials which asks ‘Calve peanut butter, whom didn’t grow up with it?’. (Oh, I got kind of distracted browsing Calve commercials on YouTube, if you want to see a typical Dutch winter scene, have a look at this one!)

So, back to the peanut butter cookies.

peanut butter cookiesAs with my previous cookies, I’m not yet in the stage of developing my own cookie recipe so I found one online  on Julia’s Album. I ‘translated’ the recipe to a recipe based on ‘weights’ instead of cups and left out the sugar sprinkles, but apart from that it’s just about the same.

Soft peanut butter cookie
Author:
Ingredients
  • 100g flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 60g peanut butter
  • 50g egg, that ís a medium sized egg
  • ½ tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and peanut butter
  2. Add sugar
  3. Add egg
  4. Add flour + baking powder
  5. Mix and then shape into whichever shape you want
  6. Bake in the oven at 180C

Making these cookies is as simple as can be really. It’s mixing, shaping, baking. So let’s analyze these cookies.

These cookies came out very soft, not at all crispy or crunchy, pretty different from the other cookies I made before. So, I got out my Excel sheet with all the different recipes plotted out.

First thing I noticed, the fat content of these cookies is highest of all, as is the sugar and liquid content. However, the flour content is really very low, see below:

Comparing cookie recipes
flour-w% sugar-w% fat-w% liquid-w%
Macademia cookies 50 26,5 15 8,5
Pepernoten 47 23 23 7
Peanut butter cookies 29 30 26 15

I think that’s why these cookies are so nice and soft. Flour is what gives the cookie structure. Heat will set the proteins and the starch gelatinizes. Fat and sugar on the other hand as well as liquid cannot give structure to the cookies. Just imagine mixing water and butter and placing that in the oven, it’ll just sink in. Same if you mix sugar and water, it will caramelize but remain flat.

There’s one other nice thing I tested. The recipe said to make balls out of the dough. So I did that for half te dough, but the other half I just scooped  out and placed on the baking tray. As you see on the photo these cookies are not the type that spread out and change shape. The balls remain balls and the random scoops stay random. There’s also cookies for which this is not the case, so let’s keep that in mind.

peanut butter cookies

Lessons learned today:

  • A very soft and not chewy or crispy cookie can be made with a low flour content.
  • Shaping of cookies depends on the cookie dough type.

peanut butter cookies

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