Tuesday, September 2, 2008

{TWD} Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chipsters, two ways

Joining TWD has changed my personality. I’ve become generous. Magnanimous even. I give friends plates of sweets. I’m constantly sending large quantities of baked goods to work with my husband. I'm contemplating getting “I’ll bring the dessert” tattooed on my forehead.

So when the neighborhood supper club invitation arrived a few weeks ago, of course I offered to bring a dessert. I mean, I bake every single week now. The hostess told me that someone else was bringing brownies, and asked that I bring something non-chocolate. No problem. I was confident that the upcoming TWD recipe rotation would provide an adequate choice of recipes.

Then I saw the TWD recipe line-up:

Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte. Hmmm, no, it was chocolate, plus difficult to transport and serve to a group out of someone else’s kitchen. (I ended up serving this to a family dinner gathering. Results posted last week)

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops. Waaaay too chocolate-y for my assigned dish. (I served this to my book club dinner party last weekend – watch for next week’s TWD post)

That left the Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters for the supper club. The main recipe calls for chocolate, but Dorie lists a raisin option with these cookies, so I could use it. I decided to split the batch and make half with dried fruit - using dried sweet cherries along with some raisins, aiming for a PB&J effect. The other half would be chocolate.


Comments in the P&Q showed that people were finding the peanut flavor to be a bit weak, so I made two small changes in the recipe, each to boost the peanut butter quotient:
1) I added 6 oz of peanut butter chips, and
2)I replaced 3 T of the butter with approximately 2 ½ T of additional peanut butter. (I got the idea from Amy Ruth of amyruthbakes, a new TWD member, who made a similar substitution in the Granola Grabbers challenge two weeks ago. Thanks, Amy Ruth, I really liked how it worked in this recipe.)

This was the first time I’ve ever grated fresh nutmeg – wow! It smelled amazing. My microplane worked like a charm (but I was a bit concerned that I was going to grate my knuckles…) The pack of nutmeg I bought is enough to cover the holiday baking needs for my entire neighborhood for the rest of the decade, at least. I’ll be looking for recipes that call for lots and lots of grated nutmeg...


I divided the dough in half and added chocolate to one half and to the other I stirred in raisins and dried sweet cherries. I baked 5 separate cookie sheets-full, and I think I managed to overcook each batch by just a tiny bit. Needless to say, I found it tricky to determine the done-ness. Luckily the recipe is forgiving, and the cookies were moist and chewy and were not dry.


I ended up with 26 of the raisin/cherry and 28 of the chocolate chip, very close to Dorie's estimated quantity. I used the chill-the-dough (several hours), make-balls, and flatten-them method of forming the cookies. I found that if I didn’t flatten them too much and kept them well-chilled they kept a nice shape and didn’t spread too much in the oven. Even so, the chocolate version of the cookies spread a bit more than the raisin/cherry.


The Verdict:
I'd rate these cookies VG+ (the dough was even better than the baked cookies!). I liked the peanut flavor and am glad I added the extra peanut butter to the dough. I found the peanut butter chips to be a distraction, however, and I regretted adding them. They tasted a bit artificial in this recipe and I think the peanut butter flavor came close to overwhelming the chocolate. Several people have mentioned that the cinnamon flavor was strong, but I can’t say I noticed the flavor overly much. I wonder if it’s one of those things that some people are more susceptible to tasting than others?

I actually preferred the cookies with the dried fruit to those with the chocolate. The chewyness of the dried fruit matched the heft and chewy quality of the oats. And they DID taste like a (chewy) PB&J sandwich.

My husband ate some of the cookies but he wasn’t wild about them. His opinion: “I’d rather have a regular oatmeal cookie.” [btw, I am still working out the leavening issue with my “perfect” oatmeal cookie recipe; then I will post it. I promise!] He liked the Granola Grabbers better than this cookie.

A final word about the quantity: I made a full batch and ended up with nearly 5 dozen cookies. Supper club made a dent in my cookie stash. I brought some on a cookie platter to a Memorial Day cookout. A fair number were eaten, and I left the rest of the platter with the hosts. Even after these two events I still have cookies left (which I've frozen and may bring to my book group on Thursday evening). This recipe gives me LOTS of opportunities to be magnanimous!


Thanks to Stefany of Proceed with Caution for picking this recipe. If you want to bake these cookies, you can find the recipe on page 73 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours, or on Stefany's post. Check out the TWD blogroll to see how a couple hundred others baked this recipe.

49 comments:

Amy said...

They look great! I love that you tried it two ways - they both sound wonderful!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

HoneyB said...

They look great. What a busy baker you were!

Teanna said...

There is nothing like spreading the love! I love the dried cherry version... and I LOVE the idea of adding the peanut butter chips! Good luck with that perfect oatmeal cookie recipe!

Cathy said...

Your cherry idea is brilliant -- in fact, I am sure that I would prefer that to the recipe as written. I think adding extra peanut butter was a good call; it was indeed weak in the recipe version. Your cookies look awesome -- I bet your supper club loves you!

Karen said...

Those look deliscious! Thanks for stopping by with the welcome to TWD. :) I will be checking back!

ostwestwind said...

Peanut Butter Chips? I've never heared about it, but it sounds interesting.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Marie said...

Your cookies look amazing. I love the idea of dried cherries! What a great idea!

PANTRY REVISITED by Peggy said...

I like your idea of adding the fruit! wish I had thought of that. And mine did seem to need a bit more peanut butter taste.

Di said...

Great ideas! I've been trying to find new people to share my baked goods with, since I've been baking so much.

kim said...

wow, so many cookies!! :) they look great, and the "pb&j" effect sounds delicious!

crumblycookie said...

I really like dried cherries in cookies. For me, they're a great substitute for raisins. The PBJ idea sounds fun.

I agree, this recipe makes a ton. I felt like I was in the kitchen forever.

rainbowbrown said...

I find grating nutmeg on a microplane to be enormously satisfying. It just flows so smoothly. And, yeah, my whole nutmeg supply has been and will continue to keep me covered for a long, long time. Your cookies (all of them!) look delicious.

CB said...

Bahaha. I love the tattoo idea. I think I should get one too. I think all my friends and family know that I am "dessert girl". Love your variations. Great job!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Em said...

How creative - they look great!

Natashya said...

They look great, I like how you made different version within the same batch.

chocolatechic said...

We thought that the flavors were overwhelming.

Cristine said...

I love how you made two different cookies. I need to get more creative!

MacDuff said...

I have to try the fruit idea. I loved these, but thought some tweaking might be a good idea. Your post is great, as always!

mack said...

What a great idea to split the batch. I will be trying that out next time I make this recipe - then you can really please every palate! Great looking cookies :)

Mary Ann said...

Your cookies look wonderful and the different variations sound marvelous!

Jules Someone said...

I love the idea of PB & J. Nice work!

Bridgett said...

Ha! Yes, we sure do have the same stack. I love it! I think I would love the dried cherry version, or even dried cranberries. What a great blog you have!

Prudy said...

Loved your opening lines about being generous and magnanimous. Congrats for your virtues and your fab cookies.

Carla said...

I'm going to do what you did and use PB for some of the butter and leave the PB chips out. I bet people are inviting you more and more ;)

Rigby said...

Sounds like you had fun with the cookies! The dried fruit sounds delicious in the cookie!

Heather B said...

The peanut butter chips sounds like a great addition! Great job! They look delicious!

Matt's Kitchen said...

So many great ideas! I love the concept of the PB and J with the fruit aspect. Unfortunately, I am still in the follow the recipe crowd with rare forays into uncharted territory.
I also can relate to becoming the dessert philanthropist. Virtually every cookie I made went to my teaching colleagues who were more than appreciative.

Tammy said...

your cookies look so yummy! What is supper club?

Liliana said...

Your cookies look so good! Great photos and great presentation on the cookie tray.

Anne said...

That tray of cookies looks wonderful! That's a great tip to sub extra peanut butter, I think I'll try that next time.

Andrea said...

Ohh I love your raisin dried cherry variation, 'a chewy pb & j' sounds delicious! My husband also preferred the granola grabbers over these, completely opposite of what I expected. Your cookies look great, if I do these again I will skip the morsels and do raisins or dried fruit. I love how thick and chewy your pb & j ones look :)

Cross Country Bakers said...

Yours look great! Next time, I think I'll put in more peanut butter.

Kayte said...

Oh, I love the idea of making half or a whole batch with the dried fruit...the pb&j combination is such a great idea! People are so generous in sharing their ideas...I am so NOT creative, that I just love coming here each week and learning from someone who is! Thanks for sharing!
www.grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Lovely cookies! I like the two variations you tried. Am waiting to get that perfect oatmeal cookie recipe from you too.

Jacque said...

So, you're the neighborhood cookie lady, huh? LOL Wow, they look fantastic! I think I would have liked them better with dried fruit. Great idea.

Jaime said...

they look great; i love how you tried them w/the dried fruit too :) i think it really depends on the type of PB you use - the flavor was very strong in mine! i could definitely taste the cinnamon but i don't think it was too strong - again it depends on which type of cinnamon you use and freshly grated cinnamon will be much stronger. oh and i only use freshly grated nutmeg now - it's not very expensive and the flavor is much better.

SUGAR BETTY said...

Wow, great pictures! I love the varietal display. Excellent job! :D

nancysrecipes said...

Your cookies look great and your photos are gorgeous!

Mike Spoodles said...

Mmmmm...raisin/cherry chipsters sound awesome. I love dried cherries.

Marthe said...

Yum!! Finally had some time to update my blog, I did enjoy these cookies a lot, as did my coworkers: I brought a tin of cookies to work and they were gone in no time!

Karleen said...

Wow you're cookie platter looks amazing! You have such a lucky book club. I love the yellow kitchen aid. I think it's my second choice after pink!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

That's one beautiful tray of cookies!

James said...

Great post! I think it's great you tried it two ways.

I got more peanut flavor by using natural peanut butter (against the recommendation of Dorie) ... worked out great. I'm not so good at listening. :)

I'm looking forward to your next post!!

27Susans said...

While shopping for malted milk balls, I found some chocolate covered sour cherries. They look just like malted milk balls and I wonder how they would taste in either the peanut butter chipsters or the malted milk whoppers. I would still add extra chocolate chunks. I see you added dried cherries to the chipsters with good results.

Susan

n.o.e said...

That's interesting, Susan. I've actually eaten dark chocolate covered cherries, but have never thought to cook with them (too busy eating!) I think they'd taste good in either of those cookies, or even the Granola Grabbers.

I usually chop the cherries when I put them in cookies, because I don't want the cherries to overpower the cookie. I'm not sure how that would work with the chocolate coating. Another thought would be chocolate covered cranberries or blueberries.

Audrey said...

Thank you, Nancy, for visiting my (very) new blog and for welcoming me to the TWD group...that was so nice of you! But you've also touched on my only concern. Before I start baking with all of you, I think I need a dog (or a husband).
- Audrey

n.o.e said...

audrey, put your mind at rest - among the 250+ TWD members, there are bakers of every domestic situation. Some even have cats! No really, there are lots of singles, and all ages from teens to grannies. The common thread is the baking... and you'll fit right in!!
Nancy (n.o.e.)

n.o.e said...

tammy, I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to answer your question! Our street organized a supper club nearly 20 years ago (I've been in it since the organizing meeting, yipes!). Everyone on the street is included, and we rotate houses. Each host has a 2 month window to choose a date, and we skip the summer months since everyone is out of town so much. The host makes the main course and the rest is pretty much pot luck (we find out what kinds of dishes the host needs). People also bring beer and wine. It's a fun way to catch up on the neighborhood news. We're very low key - it's more casual than gourmet, but everything's yummy!
Nancy (n.o.e.)

LyB said...

I love that tattoo idea, I might get that too! And a TWD on my chest! lol! Your cookies look delicious, well done!