Now you may read that title and think “Urgh, what a weird combination is that?” but please bear with me. I was reading through one of my new favourite cookbooks (The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg) when I came to a recipe for peanut butter, raisin and dark chocolate cookies. I pondered the recipe for a while and decided to remove the dark chocolate as I wanted a pure peanutty taste. However I then didn’t fancy the idea of the raisins with the peanut butter and so I decided to replace them with dried cranberries instead. My thoughts behind this was that the cranberries would be sweet, jammy and slightly sharp and so would add a fun twist of the famous American combination of peanut butter and jelly.
The cookies themselves have a wonderful light buttery texture and the peanut flavour really comes through. I used crunchy peanut butter for extra crunch and depth of flavour. The cranberries nestle among the dough and work wonderfully with the peanut flavour, adding little bursts of fruitiness with every bite. People at work were a little skeptical of the combination at first but they were loved after the first bite.
The cookies have a crisp outer edge immediately after baking but this softens within a couple of hours to give a moist, soft and slightly chewy cookie.
I made the cookies quite small by using a teaspoon to measure out the dough but I expect they would be just as good made into normal sized cookies or even mega cookies.
Peanut Butter & Cranberry Cookies
(Recipe adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg)
115g caster sugar
70g soft light brown sugar
115g crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g strong plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 185C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream together the butter, both sugars and peanut butter in a bowl until smooth.
Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
Sift over the flour and baking powder and add the dried cranberries.
Beat together for as short a time as possible, until the flour has been incorporated.
Using a teaspoon, place little mounds of the dough onto the baking tray, leaving an inch gap between them. (I got 15 on one tray). Flatten the dough slightly using your fingertips.
Bake in the oven for 9-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Allow to cool and firm up on the tray for 3 minutes, before transferring to a wire wrack.
Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
Makes 40 cookies.