I’ve made quite a few different types of cookies, but sadly there has been a lack of peanut butter cookies. I decided to see if I could bring some elements of food science into the mixture. The post below pertains to peanut butter cookies, but it is actually an excerpt from my section “Food Manuals: Cookies,” which goes further into detail on how to make a variety of cookies. It’s very in-depth, so you’ll learn how to create exactly the taste and texture of cookies that you want.
Typically in cookie making, butter (or margarine) and Crisco are the typical fat choices, if using the creaming method. However, have you actually considered that these two fat sources create completely different cookies? Butter creates are softer cookies that are almost cake like. Crisco creates crispier, thicker, and denser cookies. Crisco based cookies have a better rise than butter based cookies because Crisco has a much higher melting point. This is important because a cookie can only rise as much as the fat chosen will allow it. Butter melts before the cookies structure has a chance to reach its full potential. For this reason, it is common to see many recipes that call for freezing the cookie dough. The advantage to using butter is that is definitely has a more appealing taste than Crisco.
Of course there are more sources of fat than butter and Crisco. The trickiest one to use is peanut butter. We don’t typically think of peanut butter as a fat, but if you look at the back of nutrition facts label then you’ll realize that peanut butter is 50% fat. Thus incorporating it into cookie dough is a bit tricky. I’ve noticed a ton of recipes that just add peanut butter to a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. The results of that method are not desirable. If you’re going to use one cup of peanut butter in a recipe, then I suggest omitting ½ of a cup of Crisco or butter. Other oils commonly used include coconut oil, lard, and peanut oil (eggs yolks also contribute a small amount of fat). By definition, liquid oils can only be used in muffin method cookies.
To read more from “Food Manuals: Cookies” click here.
½ cup white sugar
½ cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of Crisco
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
½ cup of chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, cream together sugar, peanut butter and Crisco. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture.
- Place cookies on baking sheet and flatten with fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Makes about 30 one-inch cookies.