Whole Wheat Peanut Butter (Ice Cream) Cookies

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This weekend seems to be the unofficial start of summer and though I can't believe how fast the year has passed, I'm looking forward to the relaxed routine awaiting us in 19 days as that marks the official start of summer to my cheerful first grader and exuberant preschooler. There are no plans for camps and such. I'm thinking mommy camp might be in order this year. The past ten months have been lived on such a tight schedule, I feel like I'm missing out on the joy of just being with one another. I can already see the afternoons getting rowdy, as the toddler will be home from daycare and the baby glued to my hip, so I need to make sure my freezer is fully stocked with these Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies that I turned into ice cream sandwiches. Because cookies and ice cream buy me 6 minutes of calm, and that's worth the sticky floors and sugar highs.

These soft, crunchy edged cookies contain the perfect balance of nuttiness and sweetness. Neither is excessive, which is an important attribute in my cookie preference. Actually, I'll vote for loads of nuttiness, but an overly sweet cookie is something I'll happily nudge aside. They're made with a blend of whole wheat and all purpose flour, which lends some kind of nutrition without weighing the batter down. A win. And they're mixed with natural peanut butter, which gets preferential treatment for its full bodied flavor and thick texture. I promise it improves the taste exponentially over regular peanut butter. So aim for that when baking a batch.

This recipe comes from the Seven Spoons Cookbook, a book I happily snagged a review copy of as soon as it was released a year (?!) ago. Tara's blog writing and cooking is captivating and her book is an extension of the different culinary tastes, textures and experiences she so eloquently writes about. The recipes are an eclectic mix of Indian, French, Mexican, American, Vietnamese as well as Middle Eastern. She has a Hummus with Miso I must try stat. Her Roasted Grapes with Sweet Labneh is intriguing as I've never roasted grapes. There's also Halloumi in ChermoulaOlive and Orange CauliflowerConfetti Rice, and of course her pies. This mélange is a testament to modern cooking and the global influence on the home cook. I love it and it means I'm keeping this book close by.

Now back to these Peanut Butter cookies. They are placed right after the recipe for her chocolate chip cookie, the ones she characterizes as "basic" and "good" and who won some kind of fierce contest for Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever award, so I know she's not one for giddy exaggeration and she has my confidence when she says that this PB cookie is one she's tried to improve upon but cannot. So trust me and her, they're as perfect as they should be. 

And a serious ice cream sandwich they make, with just a scoop of vanilla and a few minutes in the freezer. I left them bare since it was an impromptu transformation, but I would not be against some roasted nuts and chocolate chips rolled over the sides. Just a thought.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

from Seven Spoons Cookbook by Tara O'Brady

makes 18 cookies

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (65g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (200g) chunky natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (140g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • flaky sea salr, for sprinkling 

instructions

the instructions were written in my own words

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 3 large baking sheets* with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.
  3. With a mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl, about 1 minute. I used a hand mixer, a stand mixer will work as well. Add the brown sugar and white sugar and honey and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix on medium speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir to just combine. With a spatula, scrape up the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated but don't go overboard. 
  4. With a cookie scoop, scoop out the batter and place on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can roll 2 tablespoons into a ball and place on the parchment, as the book directs. Space them about 2 inches apart. Freeze dough for 10-15 minutes. 
  5. Dip a fork into warm water and use the tines to press the dough balls lightly. Dip the fork between pressing each cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 16 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back once during baking. Cool the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 
  7. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
  8. After the cookies cooled, I sandwiched a scoop of store-bought vanilla ice cream because it seemed like the most reasonable thing to do. It was so perfect, I recommend you to do the same.

notes

Everything fit on 2 baking sheets for me.