Salty-Sweet Peanut Butter Sandies + Salted Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
A good friend confesses when you have broccoli in your teeth.
A great friend will pick you up from the airport, maybe even help with your cumbersome luggage.
But only a really spectacular friend puts up with your baking obsessions, willingly sampling all your edible projects even though this means submitting themselves to your intense, overly-eager staring and insanely specific questions while they attempt to innocently enjoy a cookie.
“Is it too crispy? Not crispy enough? Too crumbly? I used only one egg; maybe they would be better with two, or perhaps it’s because I used all-natural peanut butter as opposed to one with an oil-based stabilizer…the flavor is nice, though, right? Should I try adding some paprika next time? Or maybe a little ginger? Go for that savory-sweet thing? I’ve heard about people adding smoked paprika. Should I get smoked paprika?”
So, on behalf of my all-too-tolerant friends and family — and as an offering of thanks and appreciation to those patient first tasters of home baking everywhere — I offer two cookie recipes deemed good enough as is! One tender, perfectly crumbly bite of peanut butter bliss; one crispy-chewy twist on the classic chocolate chip.
Of course, bakers, tweak as you please; loved ones, you have been warned.
Salty Sweet Peanut Butter Sandies (adapted from The New York Times Cooking’s brilliant Julia Moskin)
- 1 stick (113 grams, 8 tablespoons, or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
- Scant 1/2 cup (40 grams) granulated sugar
- Just over 1/2 cup (60 grams) turbinado or raw sugar
- Just over 1/4 cup (30 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (255 grams) peanut butter (I used CB’s Nuts Creamunchy natural peanut butter, but I think any kind of peanut butter would work here, creamy or crunchy)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (32.5 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt + 1 tablespoon raw sugar, mixed together, for topping
- Using either a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy, at least 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Add the peanut butter and eggs, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and salt; mix with a fork to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix until just combined with no flour showing, being careful not to overwork the dough.
- Use a small cookie scoop or spoon (about 2 teaspoons capacity), scoop or shape dough into balls; the recipe will yield roughly 2 dozen cookies. Sprinkle each dough ball lightly with a sugar-salt mixture, getting it into the crags and crannies of the cookies. At this point, I like to chill my little dough balls, covered, to let the flavors marry and ensure tender cookies, but you can also bake right away or freeze for later — or do a little bit of both!
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place dough balls topped with sugar-salt mixture onto the baking sheet; the cookies won’t spread much or change shape while baking, so they can be placed quite close together; just leave room for air circulation so they can brown.
- Bake cookies for 12–15 minutes until cookies are set and golden-brown. Carefully lift or slide off baking sheets and cool on racks. Store in layers separated by parchment paper in airtight containers.
Salted Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies (another winner from New York Times Cooking, this one barely altered)
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) tahini, well-stirred
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- Lightly packed 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 to 1 + 3/4 cups (170 to 230 grams) bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate chips or chunks (I include a range here because the original recipe called for the larger amount, but for one batch, I only had the smaller amount on hand and actually really liked the ratio of cookie to chocolate even with the more limited number of chocolate chunks)
- Flaky sea salt or more kosher salt, for finishing
- Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter, tahini, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about a full 5 minutes.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and continue mixing at medium speed for another 5 minutes.
- Sift flour, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt into a large bowl and mix with a fork to combine.
- Using a rubber spatula, add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. The dough will be soft, not stiff.
- Refrigerate dough, covered, for at least 12 hours to ensure tender cookies.
- When ready to bake, heat the oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a large ice cream scoop or spoon to form dough into 12 to 18 balls. At this point, you can bake the cookies or freeze the dough balls for later baking — I say, why not both? Bake a batch now and save the rest for future deliciousness!
- Place the cookies on the baking sheet at least 3 inches apart to allow them to spread — seriously; you will need those 3 inches! Even slightly chill from the fridge, these bad boys will spread into delicious, golden cookies with tender, chewy middles and crisp edges. Bake 13 to 16 minutes until golden brown around the edges and gold in the centers. When baking from frozen, this took about 20 minutes in my oven, but I find I like these cookies better on the crispier side — no complaints from the coworkers either!
- When cookies are just out of the oven, sprinkle sparsely with salt. Let cool for at least 20 minutes on the rack.