Puffy Peanut and Almond Butter Cookies with milk chocolate chips and walnuts

I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut butter. Sure, I’d have it now and then, but, mostly I gravitated toward cream cheese and jelly, and only really, raspberry jam as an accompaniment; I don’t like grape jelly. And– now this is a sidebar– my favorite sandwich which I ate often as a kid and now often for lunch is tuna fish with add-ins like scallions and celery, sometimes green pepper. And, always mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip, never that, only real pure mayonnaise. Hellman’s or Best is best! And, I prefer to eat my tuna salad sandwich the day after I make the tuna mixture, so that the ingredients have a change to blend, become more flavorful.

Now back to peanut butter. But still, as I’ve aged, matured, changed, peanut butter has become a more go-to staple in my kitchen again. Probably too because my husband has always had a hankering for it t lunch time. And especially since I bake and cook nonstop, peanut butter is handy for sweet and savory dishes. Here, I’ll just focus on the familiar sweet side of peanut butter. I know too there are savory dishes with peanut butter, so I’ll search them out.

These peanut butter cookies that I baked today, were cake-like, soft but a bit chewy too, bendable I’d call them and quite different than your run-of-the-mill, sometimes too-crunchy-style peanut butter cookie. I gobbled a few down as did my husband! I’ll be saving many of these cookies for my demonstration and book-selling event at Echter’s Nursery on April 6. Details are on my event page.

This recipe makes nearly 50 cookies. I suggest people invest in a cookie scoop, medium size, which is about 2 tablespoons. They are wonderful small gadgets and simple to use. They make cookies look symmetrical and pretty; and too, they help quicken the process of putting the mounds of dough on the cookie sheet. There is no need to fumble around with bulky tablespoons, and you avoid fingers and hands getting all messy with soft dough!

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 pinches of freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter – do not use natural style, it doesn’t work well

1/4 to 1/2 cup almond butter

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup+ 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 sticks butter, softened, cut in chunks

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup lightly salted peanuts or chopped walnuts

3/4 cup chocolate chips – milk, or semisweet variety

2-3 tablespoons of sugar, for topping

Process

1 Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg. Set it aside. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or use silicone baking mats.

2 If you use a stand mixer use the paddle attachment or use a large bowl with a hand mixer. Put in the bowl and mix the peanut and almond butter, the butter, and salt. Do the mixing on medium speed until everything is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add both kinds of sugar, and beat for another 2 minutes

3 Add the two eggs one at a time mixing about one minute after each one. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on the lowest speed add the dry ingredients in about 3 portions, doing t his carefully and slowly so the flour dies not fly around too much. But too, do not over mix! Do it until the flour is just barely incorporated.

4 With the machine off or the hand mixer off too, gently fold in the peanuts or walnuts and the chips.

5 If time allows, chill the dough 3 hours or overnight. However, after just an hour in the refrigerator that will be fine too.

6 Using the cookie scoop, place about 14-16 mounds of dough on one cookie sheet, spacing the dough about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar on top of each cookie. Bake 16-18 minutes. Remove the cookies when they are just beginning to brown on the edges, but still soft to the touch in the middle.

7 Let them sit in the pan for 2 minutes, than remove to a cooling rack.

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