Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich is going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: It's hard to say no to peanut butter and toffee.
Kids of all ages will go nuts for super-peanutty peanut butter cookies encrusted with crunchy sweet coconut toffee- or plain toffee-coated peanuts and (if you like) sprinkled with tiny pinches of crushed flaky sea salt. Tuck them into a lunch box, bring them to the office, or take them as a hostess gift. If your audience is adventuresome, trade the toffee peanuts for those Thai curry cashews in the bulk bin aisle of better supermarkets, or add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Thai curry paste or hot sauce to the dough. Really!
This dough is quick to mix by hand, no mixer necessary. Coating the dough with toffee peanuts is a tiny bit fussy, but sooo worth it. Get a kid (any age!) to help with this. Just call it back-to-school bonding time with a big payoff for all concerned.
Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Cookies (Artisan Books, 2010)
Makes approximately 12 to 15 cookies
8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1/2 cup (100 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (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 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups (170 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (140 grams) purchased coconut toffee peanuts or toffee peanuts, coarsely chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Get excited about Alice's forthcoming book Flavor Flours: nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
Photos by Alpha Smoot