Peanut butter cookies: do they epitomize home baking for you? Earlier this year, I admitted to not being quite so obsessed with the typical peanut butter cookie until I discovered this recipe, but now I feel like nothing is warm and fuzzier than a tray of warm peanut butter cookies.
Now, from the very same cookbook, Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy, I can’t help but share a second recipe for peanut butter cookies but of a very different ilk. These are gluten free, dairy free, not too sweet, and not too heavy or caloric altogether. Their lightness borders on making them healthful- healthful cookies are sort of godsends for those of us with a sweet tooth.
How do they accomplish such transcendance? Because these are meringues, albeit meringues gone wild. Medrich calls them “peanut butter clouds,” and that’s what they resemble. I’m not going to bother trying to describe them more than that. The pictures are worth 1000 words, I think. Reading the recipe should further illuminate the meringues’ simplicity and charm.
Also, I just wanted to take a sec and apologize if you visited BGSK yesterday to look for recipes or enter the Nespresso giveaway. I woke up to find that the site was down, my food photos and words replaced by a plain white screen. Some googling revealed that such a screen was known around the web as the “WordPress white screen of death,” a terrifying name that made me feel more helpless than I already did. Happily my trusty designer-developer team was able to get me up and running right after I figured how that the WSoD (white screen of death) wasn’t a hosting problem but an issue within the site itself. Stressful, but resolved. Phew.
And, if you can’t get enough, here are more peanut butter recipes and ideas:
Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints from Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Moosetracks Cupcakes from Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Creamy Peanut Butter Filling from Joy the Baker
Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread from Cookin’ Canuck
Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens with Peanut Sauce from Palate/Palette/Plate
Peanut Butter Meringues
adapted ever so slightly from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich
Makes about 30 cookies
3 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup well-stirred peanut butter (you can use smooth or chunky; I used smooth)
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tarter in a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer (handheld or stand), beat on medium high until the egg whites are past the foamy stage and are sort of creamy. They should hold soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. This took me about 5 minutes with my handheld mixer.
Keep beating, and add the sugar a little at a time – taking about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to add it all. Beat until the egg whites are stiff.
Scatter small spoonfuls of the peanut butter on top of the beaten egg whites. Fold the peanut butter in with a rubber spatula.
Drop rounded tablespoons of meringue onto the cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through.
After an 1 1/2 hours, remove one meringue and place it on a rack. Let it cool completely, then take a bite. If the meringue is dry and crisp, remove the rest from the oven. If it’s still a bit soft or sticks to your teeth, let them cook another 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool completely on a rack. Store in an airtight container.