Peanut Butter Cookies a la Flour

February 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

I have a new baking strategy. About once a week I walk over to the nearby Flour Bakery, scan the luscious goodies within the glass case, and pick something. Just one thing. The intention is try my best to replicate Joanne’s tasty treats.

The first was the oatmeal raisin cookie. If you didn’t get the low-down on this oatmeal experience, look over there in the previous posts. It was an unscheduled lesson in the importance of expiration dates.

But, this is a new day. And a new cookie. Peanut butter. Mmmmm … peanut butter. Hers is a big, wide cookie. Dotted with bits of peanut. Crisp. A hint of salt and, surprisingly, a tad greasy. And a nice peanut butter flavor.

What baking lesson will I learn this time?

I’m happy to report that no catastrophes occurred with this recipe. I followed the recipe to the “t.” All the ingredients were fresh. And the cookies turned out fabulously.(Want the recipe? Buy the Flour cookbook!)

Mmmmm .... peanut butter cookies

But, did I replicate the cookie? No. My batch was lighter in appearance, a bit softer, less salty, and not as greasy. And they didn’t spread as much.

A Flour peanut butter cookie and one of my own

Why? Two reasons. First, the baking process. The recipe says to bake 18-20 minutes (as I recall, I don’t have the book nearby). But because ovens are always fickle things, I prefer to go by the look of the cookie. Joanne says to remove cookies from the oven when the just start to turn golden around the edges, with the middle remaining lighter (again, I don’t have the book with me, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she recommends). And because I prefer a slightly undercooked cookie, I took them out the millisecond I saw the edges browning up.  Yes, I crouched on the floor staring through the oven’s window.

Second, and what I account as the major factor in the differences between the two cookies … the peanut butter. The recipe called for a chunky peanut butter. I happened to have smooth. And unsalted. I had a jar of Teddie natural peanut butter, which tends to be thicker and less oily than those childhood favorites Peter Pan and Jiff. Whatever is in those brands that make them smooth and creamy, Teddie doesn’t have it. And I’m kinda glad it doesn’t. Those cookies rocked.

Dainty Rates: Snickers Peanut Butter

February 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Snickers Peanut Butter

Bleh. Save your dollar.

I’m a HUGE fan of Snickers from back in the day. Hungry? Grab a Snickers. The original power bar. Chocolate, nougat, caramel, peanuts—it’s all right there and in great proportion. And, it gives your molars and jaw something to really get workin’ on. They aren’t kidding when they say Snickers really satisfies.

So, I’m thinking a peanut butter version of Snickers, let me have it, right? This is gonna be awesome. I LOVE peanut butter.

It’s a dollar I’ll never get back.

Thumbs down, and here’s why:

  • The nougat was too … too … what’s the word … whipped. More like a Musketeer than a Snickers. It didn’t have that Snickers nougat density.
  • And was that nougat supposed to taste like peanut butter? Because that flavor hit me like bad cooking oil.
  • Hello? Peanuts? Did you forget to jump in?
  • Something had a crystalline texture to it. Was it the chocolate? The “caramel”? Whatever it was, I had a mouthful of tiny crystals. Like when you bit into some bad candy. Was that texture there on purpose? Who’d want that?
  • There was no satisfying chew. My jaw was disappointed.
  • It left me feeling heavy. Like I had just too much oil. Not a good feeling.

As a life-long Snickers fan, I was looking for and expecting a Snickers with peanut butter. What I found was nothing like a Snickers. Take the name off it and call it something else, folks, and save your brand.

Dainty Rates: 0 Dots

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