Have I introduced Mark yet? Yep, I’m pretty sure I have, but very very briefly.
Let me just say that I have close to no desire of being like those Foodnetwork stars who always mention their husbands on 89% of their episodes. For instance, by now I feel like I personally know Giada de Laurentii’s husband Todd…”Todd loves this..and Todd loves that..Todd, Todd, Todd, Todd…”. Sorry (ahem…), but really..WE GET IT. Basically, you have a perfect husband and life that you have decided to broadcast on T.V. for the whole nation to see. Yay! I’ve also had the pleasure of, in essence, meeting Ina Garten’s husband, Jeff, via their televised dinner dates. I’m not hating on them. I love Ina Garten and her delicate and subdued manners of explaining recipes and also her love for Jeff.
And I have never in my life watched the Foodnetwork by the way…I swear..
But I do have to admit that mentioning one’s significant other when discussing food can be kind of a contagious and intuitive act. I guess both can go hand in hand. I love both: sweets and Mark. Both topics bring joy and have the potential of putting a smile on my face, so it only seems natural that I inevitably want to combine the two. Sweets + Mark = Happy me. So when Mark offered the idea of helping me complete a whole recipe from start to finish, it felt like the best idea in the world. Better than chocolate drizzled popcorn. Better than pumpkin pie with a dollop of cream on top. Better than chocolate ganache. Okay, that’s a stretch.
“Really??!,” I replied to his suggestion. When I asked him what he would like to bake with me he wasn’t really sure but seemed a little too excited to hear about a certain peanut butter cinnamon sugar cookie recipe I was writing…”YESSSS!!! Yummm!!”
Mark, put on that apron because it’s on like donkey kong.
For this recipe I’m using this basic cookie dough ratio –> 1 (sugar) : 2 (fat) : 3 (flour). You can tweak this basic ratio and experiment as you wish by adding eggs, changing flavor combo, etc.
This cookie will also be petit four size, meaning that you can eat it in just one bite! Meaning that you can have like 6 – 10 cookies and not feel guilty about it. You shouldn’t feel guilty when eating sweets anyways. They’re good for the soul.
Research Question: I’m going to ask Mark, who has hardly ever baked in his life, to ask the research question this time.
Me: If this was a 4th grade science experiment, what question would you like to ask prior to conducting the investigation? What is the testable question in hand and what would you like to know and discover when everything is said and done?
Mark’s research question: “Can we make a cookie as tasty without the use of eggs and also make it have a rich texture?”
…I’m going to help and guide Mark through this step.
-These cookies will be soft, tender, and crumbly in the interior. This dough will be egg-free, so the cookies will be very delicate due to the absence of a high protein content.
– Using light brown sugar instead of white sugar in the dough will contribute to an even more tender cookie.
– The crunch produced by the finely chopped peanuts that will be folded into the batter and the thin layer of cane sugar crystals that coats the cookie will create a nice texture contrast to this crumbly cookie.
– Substituting half of the fat proportion of the ratio with peanut butter will do two things: 1) boost the peanut butter flavor in the cookie 2) produce a very moist and rich cookie.
– Baking together will happen more often from now on because it will be super fun.
Me: What else Mark???
He says he doesn’t quite know what else to hypothesize at the moment. He’s too busy playing video games…
2 oz butter, softened
2 oz peanut butter
2 oz light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz AP flour
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped and unsalted
(1/2 oz – 1 oz of milk) –> Parentheses means that this ingredients is optional. It’s mainly listed to adjust the consistency of the dough if needed.
1/4 C natural cane turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw) & 2 tsp of cinnamon, mixed and poured into a shallow bowl
1. Combine butter and peanut butter in a mixer. Mix at medium speed to combine well.
2. Add light brown sugar to mixture and continue mixing until sugar is evenly distributed and butter becomes fluffy and lighter in color. Add vanilla and continue mixing.
3. Mix flour, salt, and cinnamon together and gradually add it to butter mixture until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Turn mixer off.
4. Fold in finely chopped peanuts into dough until they’re evenly distributed into dough.
5. Test consistency of dough by forming dough into a ball. Add a small amount of milk if dough needs a little extra moisture in order for it to hold together
6. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into thick barrels and cut barrels in half. Work each piece so that each barrel has ¾” – 1” in diameter.
7.Roll each barrel into parchment paper and chill for at least 1 hour.
8. After dough has been chilled, apply egg white all over barrel and gently roll barrel in sugar and cinnamon mixture so that entire surface of barrel is covered in cinnamon sugar.
9. Cut ends off barrel.
10. Cut barrels into ½” slices and place each slice on a sheet tray that has been covered with parchment paper.
11. Bake cookies at 350 F for about 15 – 18 minutes.
** Yield: About 42 petit four size cookies **
– The absence of eggs and the light brown sugar make for a crumbly cookie. The texture of the interior of the cookie is sandy on the inside and crunchy around the edges.
– The large sugar crystals around the edges of the cookies add delicate sweetness along with a crisp texture.
– The sweetness level wasn’t overpowering and it was balanced out by the saltiness of the peanut butter.
Mark: “This is one of my favorite cookies I have tasted so far because I have a natural tendency to like anything that has peanut butter and I’ve found that the texture was very original and unlike the average cookie.”
Final step..and the best step of all…Enjoy!