Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

Peanut Toffee Cookies
This is another of Alice Medrich’s terrific cookies in her Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy cookie book that I’m so fond of. I made these at Christmastime, and loved them, though they are admittedly not the most usual cookie for holiday treats. All that aside, I’m very glad to have discovered this recipe, and my sons are very glad that I started buying toffee peanuts. With or without the cookies.

A small note: these cookies look picture-perfect out of the oven, but are quite prone to crumbling, especially when stacked.  For best appearance, keep them stored in an airtight container, just one layer deep, if it actually comes to that!

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies
Yield 15-18 Cookies

8 T. (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1/2 c. (100 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 c. (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 c. (255 grams) natural (the kind that is unsweetened and requires stirring) chunky peanut butter, well-stirred to blend in the oil before measuring
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. pure vanilla extract
large egg
1 1/3 c. (170 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. (140 grams) purchased coconut toffee peanuts or toffee peanuts, coarsely chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and egg. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the flour and mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until evenly incorporated.

Cover the dough and refrigerate for an hour or two, or up to 2 days.

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pour the chopped nuts into a shallow bowl. Scoop about 2 level teaspoons of dough for each cookie, shape into a 1-inch ball or a fat little log, and coat the top and sides heavily with the chopped nuts, pressing in any pieces that fall off so that there are no bald spots. Place 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. If you like, sprinkle each cookie with a very tiny pinch of crushed flaky sea salt.

Bake the cookies until they are lightly colored on top (and underneath), 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. The cookies will seem very soft to the touch, but they will firm up as they cool. Set the baking sheets on a rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

A New Fave: My Ginger Cookie

medrich ginger cookie
I could probably attach the title “new fave” to almost every cookie in Alice Medrich’s Chewy, Gooey, Crispy and Crunchy book, because everything I have tried is simply fantastic. But this ginger cookie is terrific, and has a different place in my reportoire than the Best Recipe’s, though I love that one too (see Molasses Spice Cookies). After a conversation I had tonight with my friend Rachel, I realized I had never posted this recipe, and it was high time! especially since winter is feeling close to over here in the Rocky Mountains and these cookies just epitomize an afternoon with a cold chill in the air. These are also a favorite (surprisingly to me!) of, I think, two of my kids, Henry and Peter. Incidentally, this recipe works fantastically at high altitudes, too.

My Ginger Cookies

  • 2 c. (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. ground ginger
  • 1 ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground allspice
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • ¼ c. unsulfured mild or full-flavored molasses (not Blackstrap)
  • ½ c. (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. (2.33 ounces) packed brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 2 T. finely minced fresh ginger (I omit this; it’s too much for my little ones!)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ c. (4 ounces) ginger chips or crystallized ginger, cut into ¼ -inch dice
  • About ½ c. (3.5 ounces) Demerara or turbinado sugar or ¼ c. (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Combine the warm butter, molasses, sugars, fresh ginger, and egg in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and ginger chips and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls (0.5 ounce dough for each). Roll the balls in the Demerara sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the lined or ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies puff up and crack on the surface and then begin to deflate in the oven. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from back to front halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half or more of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake for a minute or so longer.