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Gone Nuts Peanut Butter Cookies

These are crazy good with peanut, coconut, and cacao "nuts".  I like these well enough that I'm recording this variation for posterity....


Ungreased or silpat lined baking sheets         Oven 375 degrees F        Time 12 minutes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (feel free to vary the type of sugar to taste--mix light, dark, white, muscovado, palm, or other sugars as you please, as long as the total quantity is 1 1/2 cups)

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if not milling vanilla bean into flour) (10 mL)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (the "natural" just peanuts kind) 

Mill together:*
    375 grams g soft wheat
    75 grams brown rice
    4 inches of vanilla bean, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (10cm cut into 1 cm pieces)
    8 whole cloves
    2 inches of cinnamon stick, crushed (5cm)
    3 pieces whole dried mace
    3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (450 grams)
    1/4 teaspoon cloves (1 mL)
teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly ground (2.5 mL)
teaspoon cinnamon (5 mL)

1 teaspoon salt (5 mL)
2 teaspoons baking soda (10 mL)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (preferably unsalted, about 2 oz or 60 grams)
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened flaked coconut (2 oz or 60 grams)

Cream the butter until soft.  Beat in sugar until smoooth.  Beat in the eggs, peanut butter and vanilla if using.   Beat until it is all really smooth.

Whisk together the flour, salt and soda.  Add to the creamed mixture and stir briefly.  Add the nuts and coconut and stir until just mixed.  

Roll balls a dough a little smaller than walnut-sized.  As long as the amount of dough in each is the same the exact shape and size are not too important.  Place them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.  Press a fork across the tops  twice--make an X with it--to flatten them evenly, because they won't flatten out and bake evenly otherwise (unlike, say, toll house cookies).   The flattened cookies should have at least 1/4 inch of clear space around them still to keep from baking together.

Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes, until they're golden all over.  If using two baking sheets in the oven at once, turn them front-to-back and switch top-to-bottom after 6 minutes.

Let cool thoroughly on rack before adding to the cookie jar.

Another fabulous variation:  Substitute 1/2 C cacao nibs for the peanuts.  Oh my oh my yum.

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