A Little Brittle Goes a Long Way: Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm still working my way through the easy recipes in Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar. Her recipe for peanut butter cookies seemed like some low-hanging fruit -- it's just a peanut butter cookie that includes pieces of peanut brittle (the recipe is in the chapter titled "nut brittle").

The peanut brittle is straightforward. You melt a cup of sugar in a dry pan, cook it until it is a deep amber color, add peanuts, and the dump the mixture out onto a silpat to cool. You chop the cooled brittle, or grind it in the food processor, into pieces the size of short-grain rice.

The method for these cookies is similar to that for the chocolate-chocolate cookies, although Tosi explains that this recipe doesn't require the full 10 minutes of creaming because of the presence of peanut butter, which is a great emulsifier. You cream together butter, sugar, and glucose for 2-3 minutes, and then beat for another 3 minutes after adding peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Finally, you add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and the peanut brittle. You scoop out the cookies (I used a #12 scoop and got 14 cookies from the batch), flatten the tops of the scoops, and then refrigerate the cookies for at least an hour before baking.

The recipe says that the cookies should bake for 18 minutes, but my first batch came out burnt around the edges; subsequent batches were nicely browned in 17 minutes and probably could have been taken out of the oven even a bit earlier. The cookies had little specks of golden melted brittle visible throughout, and they spread quite a bit, ending up 4.5 inches in diameter. There were also tiny bits of peanut in the cookies -- part of the chopped brittle -- even though I used smooth peanut butter.

These cookies were moist and very chewy. I would have liked bigger pieces of peanut or more texture in general. The brittle is not crunchy in the final cookie -- I don't know if this is because they melted into the cookie dough, or because the pieces of brittle were so small to begin with. I think I would have preferred the cookies with chunky peanut butter, or perhaps larger pieces of brittle (although I am leery to try the latter since the recipe includes a warning, "Make sure your brittle is ground down to the size of short-grain rice or the consistency and texture of your cookie will be off."). But they are definitely quite tasty. I would happily make these again, the next time I'm in the mood for a monster-sized peanut butter cookie!

Recipe: "Peanut Butter Cookies" from Momofuku Milk Bar, by Christina Tosi.

Previous Post: "Magic Doesn't Just Bake Itself In an Oven: Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies," February 3, 2012.


Louise said…
They had these in Milk Bar last week. They had replaced Chocolate-Chocolate on Feb 1, so I didn't get to try those. I think my favorites are Blueberries & Cream and the Corn Cookies. The cookies are all in individual packages and many of them have sort of a sticky glaze on the cookie, especially the Compost and Cornflake Marshmallow. I don't know if they were packed while still warm or just oozed. I got cookies on a couple of days but haven't figured it out.