Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies: baking that I did not mess up!

Seems like everywhere I look lately I've been seeing Gwyneth Paltrow promoting her new cookbook My Father's Daughter. Her perfect smiling face even graces this month's cover of bon apetit which touts her as "food's newest face". She's also been getting a lot of flack in the media lately mainly for being too perfect. People seem to find her annoying, I mean is there anything this girl can't do? She already has oscar, she sings, she's a style icon, she has her own lifestyle newsletter Goop, she's bffs with Madonna, she speaks spanish, has two beautiful children with one of the biggest rockstars in the world and the girl appears to have zero body fat and perfect long blond hair. What a bitch right?

In her defence, as I flipped through her cookbook while in Chapters the other day I was surprised to find that the recipes actually looked pretty darn good. So I thought I'd give the girl a chance and try one out.

I chose to bake her recipe for peanut butter cookies which was a huge challenge for me. I am pretty much the worse baker ever due to my inclination to improvise. This usually works well for cooking but not so much for baking. Just last week I attempted to make a zucchini loaf which ended up a big gooey mess since I felt the batter was too dry and so irrationally threw in some milk at the last minute. The results were disastrous and sadly the loaf was inedible.

Anyway, I baked these cookies following every step exactly avoiding my usual urge to skimp on the butter and cut out the salt. I even let the egg come to room temperature before cracking it into the batter. Why room temperature eggs are better than cold ones for baking is forever a mystery to me.

Lo and behold I had a feeling these cookies were destined for greatness when the cookie dough ended up being a little too good. And once baked and cooled I was not disappointed. These cookies are divine. Kudos to Gwynie for sharing her fantastic family recipe. And I like you anyway.

Grandad Danner's Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about 30 cookies)
by Gwyneth Paltrow My Father's Daughter
taken from Epicurious April 2011

11/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
8 Tbsp (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperture
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 organic large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional, I omitted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and brown sugars. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour in thirds and stir until smooth. Fold in the peanut butter chips. Roll the dough into golf ball sizes (about 11/2 tablespoons). At this point you can roll them in granulated sugar, or press down the middle with the tines of a fork. Either way, bake for 10 minutes, in a non-stick backing pan (I don't have one so I lined my baking pans with parchment paper to prevent stcking) rotating the pan halfway through baking time. Cool the cookies on a rack before serving.


  1. Look how far along your photography has come! It wasn't too long ago that we were splitting our sides over our power sphere photos. Keep up it!

  2. Thanks Mel! I appreciate the encouragement.
    I know, I cringe when I look at my power spheres photo....yet, I spent forever on it! Just takes practice I guess.