This is inspired by both my mother's unusual but delicious late night snack she made us growing up (peanut butter and cheese sandwiches) and my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe from Cook's Illustrated. —Abduffy
Test Kitchen Notes
My mom used to make us peanut butter and cheese quesadillas when we were kids, so I had to test this combination in cookie form. The recipe made a delicious cookie: not too sweet, nice and light, with a wonderful savory, cheesy bite in the center. This is a nice departure from the traditional chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter cookies. The only change I might make is to halve the amount of "The Cheesy Stuff." —Maria Sumner
3 dozen cookies
pure vanilla extract
sticks unsalted butter
dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups
chunky peanut butter (not natural)
sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded
pre-roasted and salted peanuts, ground to breadcrumb texture
In small bowl combine 8 ounces of cheese, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup peanut butter and set aside.
In large bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with a mixer (on high) until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes.
Add peanut butter to butter/sugar mixture and beat an additional 2 minutes until mixture is combined.
Add 1 ounce cheddar cheese to peanut butter mixture and beat on low just until combined.
Slowly incorporate egg, milk, and vanilla mixture to peanut butter/cheese mixture with beaters on low until combined.
Stir peanuts into peanut butter mixture by hand with spoon or rubber spatula until combined.
Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture by hand with spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Cover this final mixture and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour, though longer is better.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove batter from the refrigerator and drop by rounded tablespoons into your hands and roll batter into a ball for reach cookie.
Place dough balls on cookie sheet and flatten with your palm. Make an indent in the middle of the cookie with your thumb.
Fill each indent in each cookie with cheese/peanut butter mixture until it just goes over the top of the indent, approximately 1/8 teaspoon. If you have extra cheese/peanut butter mixture leftover, use it to spread on crackers, it's delicious!
Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once halfway through. The cookies will puff up and be slightly brown but will look undercooked.