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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recipe: Maple Glazed Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies


Recipe: Maple Glazed Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies



I'm on a bit of a Cookie kick. 

I think it's because Cookies are such an open format when it comes to playing with recipes. They can be a study in simplicity, like last week's Chewy Vanilla Sugar Cookies... or, they can be something completely outrageous. These Maple Glazed Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies lean more towards the outrageous side of the scale. 

It's no secret that I love all things Peanut Butter. And yet, Peanut Butter Cookies tend to leave me cold. Often too dry or too hard... they're a sad, shrug of an indulgence. 

This recipe was another attempt to address that ambivalence, and it worked. Adding a Maple Glaze and a Peanut Crumble to an extremely rich Peanut Butter Cookie did the trick!


Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
 Like almost any Cookie, there are just four sets of ingredients: the Butters, the Sugars, and Eggs (with a little Vanilla) and the Dries. 

Butter and Peanut Butter
You can use either Smooth or Crunchy Peanut Butter. I prefer Smooth Peanut Butter for the actual dough, saving all that Peanut Crunch for the Crumble topping.

Creamed Butter and Peanut Butter
 Start by beating the Butter and Peanut Butter until they are completely smooth. Don't worry - you can't over-mix at this point! 

White Granulated Sugar and Light Brown Sugar
 Using Light Brown Sugar in addition to White Granulated Sugar creates a softer Cookie with a richer flavor.

Creamed Butters and Sugars
Beat the Sugars into the batter until the batter once again appears completely smooth. Don't worry - you still can't over-mix at this point! 

Eggs and Vanilla
 The Eggs and the Vanilla Extract are added next. Eggs contain emulsifiers that help the water and fat-based ingredients "bind". 

Creamed Butters and Sugars with Eggs Emulsified
As the Eggs form an emulsion, the batter will become thicker. And you guessed it - you still can't over-mix at this point!

 Last are the Dries: Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Add the Dries in two additions, mixing the dough until is just comes togetherOnce the Flour is added, it is possible to over-mix the dough. 

Do Not Over-Mix the dough!

Rolling the Dough into a log and chilling it overnight makes it easy to cut individual cookies.

If the Cookies aren't perfectly round, fix the shapes with your hands. No one is looking.

The ingredients for the Maple Glaze are brought to a boil and then simmered until the volume reduces by half.

When brushing the Cookies with the Glaze, try not to drip on the parchment. Excess Glaze will caramelize in the oven and cause the Cookies to stick to the parchment.

A mixture of Peanuts, Sugar, Cayenne Pepper and Paprika makes for a savory topping with a little kick (but if you don't like Cayenne or Paprika, feel free to leave them out).

 Do not over-grind the Peanut Crumble in the food processor. The Crumble can easily be turned into a paste (something those of us in the business call "Peanut Butter").

When it comes to the Crumble, top the Cookies with as much as they can hold!

The just-baked Cookies are very tender and should be left to cool completely before they are removed from the sheet trays.

As the Cookies cool, all the delicious fats and sugars set.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk (or as the perfect accompaniment atop an Ice Cream Sundae).




- The Recipe -



Maple Glazed Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies:

Yield1,200g - Two Dozen

Ingredients:
  • Peanut Butter, smooth: 385g (1.5 Cups)
  • Unsalted Butter, cubed: 170g (0.75 Cup / 1.5 Sticks)


  • White Granulated Sugar: 150g (0.75 Cup)
  • Light Brown Sugar: 150g (0.75 Cup)


  • All Purpose Flour: 240g (2 Cups)
  • Baking Powder: 5g (1 Tsp)
  • Baking Soda: 2g (0.5 Tsp)
  • Salt: 6g (1 Tsp)
  • Cinnamon: 1 Tsp
  • Nutmeg: 1 Tsp


  • Whole Eggs: 100g (2x)
  • Vanilla Extract: 13g (1 Tbls)
  • Roasted Peanuts, unsalted: 115g (1 Cup)
  • White Granulated Sugar: 50g (0.25 Cup)
  • Cayenne Pepper: 0.5 Tsp
  • Paprika: 0.5 Tsp
  • Salt: 6g (0.5 Tsp)


  • Maple Syrup: 240g (1 Cup)
  • Unsalted Butter: 30g (2 Tbls / 0.25 Stick)


Directions:


1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the Peanut Butter with the 170g of Butter until well combined. Add the Light Brown Sugar and the 150g of White Granulated Sugar, mixing until the batter is light in color and airy. In a separate bowl, gently whisk the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Nutmeg until the dry ingredients are well combined.

2. Keeping the mixer on medium speed, add the Eggs one at a time, waiting until the dough is light in color and airy between additions. Add the Vanilla Extract and mix to combine.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients. Mix the dough briefly. While the dough is still streaky, add the remaining dry ingredients and continue mixing. Stop mixing as soon as a homogeneous dough forms.

Chef's Note: Once the dry ingredients, which include the All Purpose Flour, have been added to the dough, the mixing process should be as gentle and as brief as possible. Overworking the dough with develop gluten, which will result in a tougher-textured Cookie.

4. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it on a large piece of parchment and form a log approximately 2" thick. Wrap the log in parchment (or plastic wrap) and wrap the parchment in plastic wrap. Chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator or place the dough in the freezer until it is firm enough to cut (approximately one hour).

5. As the dough chills, grind the Peanuts, 50g White Granulated Sugar, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika and Salt in a food processor and set aside.

Chef's Note: The Peanuts should become a course meal. Do not over-grind the Peanuts, or they will form a paste. 

6. Combine the Maple Syrup and 30g of Butter in a small saucepan and heat the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the Glaze reduces by half.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oven heats, unwrap the log of dough and cut 24 1/2" thick slices. Place the Cookies on a parchment lined sheet tray, leaving at least two inches between cookies. Using a pastry brush, coat each Cookie with the Maple Glaze and then top them with a generous portion of the Peanut Crumble. 

Chef's Note: If the individual Cookies are not perfectly circular, reshape them with your hands. When brushing the Cookies with the Maple Glaze, try to avoid dripping excess syrup onto the sheet tray. It will caramelize and stick in the oven. 

8. Bake the Cookies for approximately 15 minutes, rotating the sheet tray after 8 minutes. Allow the Cookies to cool completely before removing them from the sheet tray. 



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