Hye Thyme Cafe: Pumped Up Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pumped Up Peanut Butter Cookies

Pumped Up Peanut Butter Cookies : Hye Thyme Cafe

I don't know about you, but I like to order spices from Penzeys Spices on occasion, so their catalog comes to me in the mail and usually contains at least a few recipes. A while back, a recipe for Izzy's Peanut Butter Cookies caught my attention. First off, they looked like they had a bit of "chew" to them, rather than being a crispy cookie, or a soft cookie. That made me read the recipe, and I noticed that it contained cocoa powder. That got my gears turning, so I had to make a batch, switching things up a bit as I went along.

Although the cookies turned out great in the end, I did mangle the first tray. Izzy's recipe calls for rolling the dough into balls, then rolling the balls in sugar and pressing with a fork for that familiar criss-cross peanut butter cookie pattern. Because I was making these as a last minute addition to the Easter dessert table, knowing the dough was too soft to roll out and cut into shapes, I decided to press the dough into an egg-shaped cutter to form the cookies and bake them that way. Seemed like a good idea to me - until I took a peak and saw I pretty much had a tray of peanut butter cookie bars - they had all grown together! No problem - the rest were rolled per the original recipe.

Don't do this!  Dough spreads too much for using cutters - stick to balls
!!  Don't do this !!
1/2 c butter, soft
1/2 c Crisco shortening
1 c sugar (plus more for rolling)
1 c light brown sugar
2 t vanilla
1 c peanut butter (I use Jif)
3 eggs
1 T cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
2 c flour
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 t instant espresso powder

  1. Cream together the butter, Crisco, and sugars
  2. Add the vanilla and peanut butter
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined
  4. Use a fork to whisk together the coco powder, salt, baking soda, flour, cayenne, and espresso powder - add to wet mixture, a little at a time
  5. The dough will be very soft, so you might find it easier to chill for 20" or so to firm up a bit
  6. Roll into balls, then roll in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Press gently with a fork or potato masher to create a grid pattern if desired
  8. Bake at 350 8-12"

Cream together butter, shortening and sugars
Beat in peanut butter, vanilla, and eggs, one at a time

Whisk together dry ingredients
Add dry ingredients to wet, a little at a time, then chill to firm up a bit

Roll into balls, then roll in sugar and bake on parchment-lined trays at 350 for 8-12"

Pumped Up Peanut Butter Cookies : Hye Thyme Cafe

Although you do get a slight kick at the end from the cayenne, you can't really discern the cocoa and espresso powder; they just serve to elevate the flavor without being "in your face." This is a keeper!

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